An animal-loving volunteer and a small-town news reporter are joined by a native Alaskan boy to rally an entire community - and eventually rival world superpowers - to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. Written by
The character Governor Haskell was named Steve Cowper in real life. Kelly Meyers was really Bonnie Mersinger. See more »
Throughout the film, nobody's breath appears when they are outdoors, especially given the frigid temperatures that they were reporting. See more »
[Doing a news report on the ice]
Cut! God, my feet are numb. These boots are useless.
[motions to Nathan]
Hey kid, you still got that cardboard?
I sold it to the other guy. But I can still get more! It's forty now, though.
Shipping and handling.
...Shipping and handling?
It's not my first rodeo, either.
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At the very end of the credits, when the Working Title logo appears, we hear the songs of the whales. See more »
This is a slow movie. Prepare to watch people standing around a hole in the ice. If you think gray whales are a waste of time, you won't be moved. On the other hand, if you can pull for a family of marine mammals in danger of freezing to death, you will probably find satisfaction in this movie's numerous charms. You'll enjoy the dignity given to the Inuit people, environmentalists, oil executives, Soviets, journalists, and even Republicans(!) who collaborate in dramatic efforts to save the trapped whales. You'll appreciate the care taken with a late 80's period piece, down to the silk blouses, big glasses, hair, and Peter Jennings. You may even be moved by the warm and unguarded performances of Drew Berrymore, John Kasinksi, and others.
It's possible you may have your heart enlarged by the uncommon efforts of truly diverse people on behalf of beautiful and vulnerable earthlings like the grays. There is an unabashed love for both the whales and the humans portrayed in this movie, whose lives and futures are at stake in a variety of ways. Some may regard this affection as sentimentality, but the sense of humor sustained throughout the film argues against this. Somehow I think the worst-ever portrayal of Ronald Reagan was hardly unintentional. This director definitely has it in for for Minnesotans, too.
My ten and thirteen year-old sons were engrossed by this true story brought to the screen and gave it two thumbs up. My wife and I enjoyed being unembarrassed in their presence throughout.
Simply as an introduction to Barrow, Alaska, the movie is totally worthwhile.
My biggest complaint: Drew Barrymore's lips should be blue when scuba diving in frigid Artic waters.
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