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If your tastes in movies are like so many audiences that like movies
that are loaded with sex and violence, you won't like White Squall.
That is the only reason I can think of why this movie failed at the box
office. It is just too truthful and too full of real life experiences.
Young men everywhere can learn from this story.
Really fun to watch now as most of the cast of young boys on the Ship are mega stars now. The story is a true one and I know many young men would love the opportunity to do what they did spending their Senior HS year on a working ship.
The bonds they form are a little cliché but the emotions seem real. Very well cast. Bridges looks his best and Ms. Goodall is believable as his trusted wife.
I did not realize it was a Ridley Scott movie until the second time I watched. The scenery/camera work is amazing, the story is sound and it takes you full circle.
Mystic, Connecticut high school student Scott Wolf (as Charles "Chuck"
Gieg) goes to sea for his 1960-61 senior year. He joins the crew of
"Skipper" Jeff Bridges (as Christopher Sheldon) on the amusingly named
ship "Albatross". While not acknowledged in the script as such, the
name turns out to be a bad omen. Of course, you knew that going in.
There are teachers on board, but the real lesson is adventure on the
high seas. This is where boys become men. They fight, cry and study
together. They bond while smoking, drinking and taking penicillin shots
for venereal disease...
Our narrator and star is Mr. Wolf, who gained popularity as a small screen look-alike for Tom Cruise on the TV series "Party of Five" (1994). Top-billed co-star Mr. Bridges gained his sea legs on his famous father's syndicated series "Sea Hunt" (1958)...
Wolf and the "boys" look more like "male model" college graduates than high school teenagers. They have shaved chests, plucked eyebrows, pouty lips, and perfectly trimmed hair. Wolf is first drawn to boyish Ryan Phillippe (as Gil Martin), who clings to a picture of his dead brother and has a fear of heights. Made obvious for his lateness and snobbery is Jeremy Sisto (as Frank Beaumont). He commits a despicable act due to domineering daddy David Selby (as Francis Beaumont). In a lesser storyline, initially obnoxious Eric Michael Cole (as Dean Preston) goes to the head of the class...
This is based on a true story. Having age appropriate actors play the parts might have made some of the behavior look more inappropriate; herein, they appear trimmed, tempered and tamed. The photography, by Hugh Johnson, is a strength.
****** White Squall (2/2/96) Ridley Scott ~ Scott Wolf, Jeff Bridges, Ryan Phillippe, Jeremy Sisto
Jeff Bridges is Outstanding in 'White Squall'. He delivers from start
to end. I loved his performance & even as a film, this Ridley Scott
Directed Adventure is superb!
'White Squall' Synopsis: Teenage boys discover discipline and camaraderie on an ill-fated sailing voyage.
Based on the fate of the brigantine Albatross, which sank on 2 May 1961, allegedly because of a white squall, Ridley Scott directs this Adventure with remarkable skill. He's a legend at his craft & he proves it once again. The Screenplay is highly efficient.
Jeff Bridges rules this film. He's exemplary in his portrayal. A Versatile, Oscar-Winning Actor, who never fails to mesmerize his fans.
Watch 'White Squall'. Its Really Good!
What happens when you throw together too many uninteresting characters
and try to make something way more dramatic than it needs to be. You
get Ridley Scott's White Squall. This film is based on a true story
from 1960 when a group of schoolboys took to the open seas to learn
about discipline and becoming a man. The ship is called the Albatross
and the captain is the hard boiled Christopher Sheldon, played by Jeff
Bridges. The boys learn about what it takes to become a man and the
self discipline needed to be an honorable and respected individual. But
it is a tragic storm that teaches them some difficult lessons about
life and death.
This film is, for the most part, a character driven story. This is a real problem when you could care less about any of the characters. Character with daddy issues. Check. Macho man who can't read or write. Check. Highly intelligent character that, despite all his book smarts, still has a lot to learn. Check. One dimensional narrator. Check. The list goes on, but my point is that this film has all the necessary stereotypes for your most typical coming of age story. Thus this film permits nothing new or interesting. Another problem could be that there are just too many characters. The film tries to develop all of the boys and they are subsequently underdeveloped. You don't have enough time or information to develop a connection with any one character and so everything that happens with these boys is incredibly uninteresting. There is also a very flat dynamic between characters. They are all pretty white boys that come from upper class American families making the characters devoid of any kind of diversity.
The biggest issue here is that the film truly believes it possesses everything I just said it didn't have. It tries so hard to be a gripping drama but its character development completely missed the mark, making all of these "dramatic" scenes silly and moronic. I could care less about one boys success at learning how to read and write from the help of two other boys because his character is obnoxious, underdeveloped, and flat. Yet the film tries so hard to elicit an emotional response here that I want to ignore it even further.
Aesthetically this film is a different story. Ridley Scott is in no way a bad director, it just seems like he had a serious string of duds post Blade Runner. He makes the most out of White Squall with an epic scale ocean scope. The climactic scene of the film is the terrible storm that hits the Albatross and Scott shoots this scene magnificently. He manages to make this the only truly dramatic moment of the film and the scene manages to be as riveting as is possible for such a lackluster film. In a way this makes the film more of a disappointment. If I had cared more about the film before the epic storm scene, this scene would have been more powerful than it already was. It really makes me wish more effort had been put into the first two thirds of the film because the last third, even after the storm scene, is pretty decent. The film also concludes very well, making the film a would be satisfying experience.
White Squall is an overall mediocre cinematic experience. Not nearly enough effort was put into developing the array of characters who were the most important focus of this film. Ridley Scott directs as well as he can for such a poor script, but it doesn't save White Squall from being a major disappointment.
This is a great film about teenagers learning about themselves and facing a challenge together. It is very interesting that this film avoids the usual clichés of an action movie and develops characters more than just stereotypes. I would describe this film as a drama with a magnificent backdrop of uncontrollable natural events...storms and rough seas. Sort of a parody on some the difficulties that these young men were facing. Ridley Scott directs a film which is unique and pushes back the boundaries of genre as have some of his other films such as ALIEN and GLADIATOR. Both of these films are landmarks in their own way. It's hard to think of a film before ALIEN which had similar qualities. The same with GLADIATOR except perhaps its character development which makes a comparison with KUBRICKS Spartacus. As for homo-eroticism, seeing beautiful young male bodies may subjectively be deemed homo-erotic by some people. Does it really matter? Just enjoy the film on your own level as you would other works of art!!!
The two hours I spent on the couch, doing nothing other than watch
"White Squall", ignoring some tasks longing for my attention, didn't go
to waste. I never thought this movie would turn out to be such a
touching story of boys out in the sea, at best capturing the emotions
of young men amidst the turbulence of the sea where they find
inspiration from. Two hours of a movie is a lifetime voyage to
remember. I couldn't agree more to those whose comments were focused on
the technical side, because truly there are loopholes, so to speak, in
many parts of the movie. But let's remember, it all boils down to how
much effect it had on its audience, enough to sink its strong message
of bondage and camaraderie, of convictions and disipline, of
determination and strength of character -- on us. There couldn't be
better option to take than embark on a voyage to find your way, your
self. Surely, White Squall is a movie I would remember because it
somehow gives definition to the voyage which I am taking now.
To critics, don't be too hard on yourself. Just admit it you like the movie. (My rating 9 was not so much on the movie's technicality but on the gravity of its emotion which in no way is felt by the viewer.
I had never heard too much about this movie. I wasn't sure if I should
watch it. But based on Jeff Bridges being in it I decided to take a look
This DVD was about unruly boys becoming men and standing together through thick and thin. And how they came to face the turbulent 60's
Bridges role as Captain Christopher 'Skipper' Sheldon made me remember that he is one of our premier actors today If you like adventures on the high seas films you will like this one
Ridley is an interesting director for one simple reason, he tells the
story as it is. He doesn't try and reinterpret the story. This worked
brilliantly for Alien and Black Hawk down. With white squall we see
America looking at its 1960s self without trying to dress it up and
find the cool.
Based on a true story it tells about a school ship sailing around the Caribbean. It deals with many issues about this boys, who happen to live in the 1960s. The story involves personal triumph as the boys learn how to become a team. There is a also tragedy when the ship is caught in a sudden storm.
Ultimately a little stilted, but that is the appeal. A lazy Sunday afternoon movie
I've seen this movie sans the ending about a dozen times, and just recently caught the final 25 minutes. I really enjoy this movie: the build-up of characters and plot from the beginning up to the intense storm that wreaked havoc for the boat and its members on-board was moving and believable. There's nothing you can do but have sympathy for the skipper, played extremely well by Jeff Bridges (by the way, if you like him in this one, you'll love him in 'The Big Lebowski'). He's a fair, friendly but stern man who teaches his crew of spoiled teenage brats discipline and responsibility on a demanding voyage through the Caribbean. Jeff Bridges' character loses not only members of his crew but also his wife in the storm and shows convincing emotion to it all. The boys are shaped into respectable young men by the situations they face together and lessons they learn while on and off the boat. Even the son of an aristocrat who is kicked off for killing a dolphin comes around in the end court room scene to show his loyalty. But it's this final scene that leaves me disappointed. I've been entertained with the movie every time I've seen it up until the ending. The parents who lost their sons out at sea look for answers and point blame at the skipper in this final scene. It is filled with melodrama and overacting, particularly by the lead boy in the film, Scott Wolf. He plays a fifteen year old who has gone through a traumatic experience and is there along with the rest of the surviving crew to show support to their skipper and some even to testify. He gives a monologue to the entire court room about how accidents do occur, the skipper is not at fault, and that everyone aboard the ship made a pact of unity, blah blah blah, real sappy stuff that continues for about 5 minutes. And it all ends with a great big group hug with Jeff Bridges in the center with tears streaming down his face. All this melodramatic nonsense bothered me, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the end of the movie take a turn with more development in the plot. After never having seen anything past the ship wreck, I wasn't expecting to see the skipper on trial to save his boating license. I kind of just guessed a sad and emotional ending soon after the White Squall hit and destroyed everything. But after being rescued and brought back home, the excitement picked up again and a new issue emerged. It was nice to see some story going on off the boat, but I would of rather watched pirates of the Caribbean come through and show no mercy, at least then we would of seen really what these little snobs were made of.
For at least 3 years I picked up this film at our local video store - and passed it up, groaning to myself that I was not interested in seeing a family style flick about a group of adolescents. Getting desperate to find a video one evening, I decided to take a chance. My wife and I really did enjoy this movie! Good solid acting, acceptable script, and an interesting story that happens to be true. If you are so addicted to the usual action or sex film, then maybe you will not like this film. But if you can appreciate good wholesome qualities, then this flick should be tried. The suspense is quite good - better than I expected, and the special effects are excellent.
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