In Search of Noah's Ark (1976) Poster

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Working on Noahs Ark and many more Sunn Schick films...
lecarol17 November 2005
Back in the 70'Schick-Sunn Classic Films was based out of Salt Lake City, Utah where they did many documentaries and a TV series (Grizzly Adams) I had the opportunity to work on many of their films. Sometimes as an animal trainer/actor/stuntman and other crew member. We had a lot of fun in the making of "Noah's Ark" where I played one of Noah's sons as will as handling some of the bigger animals (Lions/Bears etc.)I always liked this film as it was done with a lot of research and people who went to Mount Arat to find the Ark.All the actors we're local actors from SLC Utah. The film did not get much exposure and I have not seen it since it was released in the 70's.
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fivefids10 April 2006
I have this on tape and I'm not sure why. I enjoy watching it but I don't believe it. I do find it amusing how several other reviews refer to it as "Christian" when the story of Noah predates Christianity by 2 thousand years or more and is included in the Jewish and Muslim teachings as well - shows what they know (or do not know)about the bible and theology. In any case, whether or not you are a believer, this movie is totally unconvincing. I do not understand how so many people could have climbed the mountain with the sole purpose of finding the ark, and yet not one photograph or piece of video of the ark, exists after all of these endeavors. Oh the movie claims a guy found it and drew maps but he died, a guy photographed it from a helicopter but he was murdered etc. but the most amusing story is that of two atheists that were led up by a Christian and saw it. They became so outraged they wanted to destroy it and kill the Christian! But... one asked the other "If we kill him how will we find our way back...?" so they spare this hapless person's life in exchange for his guidance and silence! Yea right! "How will we get back?" - let's see, you're up on a mountain... seems to me you head in a downward direction and you'll be "back" when you get to the bottom! The man finally breaks his silence on his deathbed. Right! I think Bill Cosby's story of Noah is more credible than this one. This movie could not convince even the most gullible viewer but for some reason I find it entertaining. Perhaps the absurdity of it amuses me, I don't know, it might be convincing if we were still living in 1976 when it was made but not today.
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The film that started it all... (SPOILERS!)
zardoz1211 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
"In Search of Noah's Ark" was the first Sunn "Classics" film about the quasi-paranormal aspects of Christianity, though it should have been the last. Narrated by the Great Bearded One, Brad Crandall, "In Search of Noah's Ark" is a collection of cheaply-filmed re-enactments surrounded by shots of Crandall talking to various pastors, "scientists", and eyewitnesses of eyewitnesses in various locales ranging from America to Turkey. The film begins by recounting the story of Noah, a Jewish man living in what is now Iraq, and how he was told by God to build an ark and populate it with all the world's animals and Noah's immediate family, "because of the world's wickedness." Somehow he is able to build a craft the size of six football fields (according to Crandall) with only his three sons as the workforce, then the animals CAME to Noah "because God had told them that Noah was their friend." All the while Noah's decidedly non-Semitic looking neighbors jeered and laughed, especially when the Santa-like Noah locked himself and his family inside the Ark. After a week the rains began, and we are treated with fake-looking waves smashing trees and buckets of water being thrown at the villagers from off camera. After some shots of a model ark in a swimming pool and the wives feeding the animals (who are mainly goats, chimpanzees, and a parrot!) the storm ends, and the ark lands on Mt. Ararat. After Noah exits stage right, the movie switches from being a Sunday school video and lurches into "In Search of..." territory. According to Crandall and the slew of "experts", there is proof of a world-wide flood in the fossil and archeological records. Unfortunately that "proof" was later debunked. (See the online "Skeptic's Dictionary" for more info.) After the "proof" is introduced, then come story after story of post-Biblical witnesses of Noah's Ark. From stories of early pilgrims who climbed Mt. Ararat in order to take bits of the pitch-soaked wood for relics (we see one of the caveman-looking dudes fall to his death,) to 19th century German doctors who saw the site and a nearby monastery filled with Ark artifacts (since destroyed by an earthquake), even an Armenian shepherd who climbed on top of the ark as a boy in the early 1900s! After 1900, the claims get wilder and wilder; in the middle of losing WWI, the Czar sent Russian troops to the Ark after Russian recon planes spotted it on the Russo-Ottoman front, but the records were lost after the 1917 revolution; that the Soviet Union did recon flights over Mt. Ararat from 1937 to 1947; that the "Stars & Stripes" Army newspaper printed photos of the Ark taken by US Army Air Force pilots supplying the USSR from Turkey duing WWII; and that a Frenchman brought bits of the Ark back in 1968. None of these claims has stood the test of time, especially the alleged "Stars & Stripes" photos. In fact, "In Search of Noah's Ark" has no eyewitness testimony, just people who claimed that they had spoken to eyewitnesses such as an illustrator who drew sketches of what the Armenian shepherd had seen, or a man who claimed to have met a Soviet Air Force pilot who said that his country had made flights over Ararat. What is weird about "In Search of Noah's Ark" is that it makes these claims, then points out how inhospitable the mountain is by telling the viewer that the mountain is rocky, avalanche-prone, and that the peak (where the Ark supposedly resides) is covered in a glacier which thaws and re-freezes every day, thus creating a dense fog. The only proof given that Mt. Ararat IS the "Ararat" of the Bible is that the Kurdish peasants in the area have a tradition that the Ark is somewhere on the mountain and have given every village in the area an Ark-themed name.

So what was the point of all of this? I mean, if you are a "Bible-believing" Christian, why do you need proof of Noah's existance? We have to remember when this film was made; the mid-1970s saw a revival of Fundamentalist Christianity and TV shows about the paranormal were beginning to be shown. (In fact, the Leonard Nimoy hosted "In Search of.." first aired in 1976; I'm guessing Sunn ripped-off the title.) So Sunn both gets the Fundy family dollar AND wanna-be Forteans cash! This "film" deservedly has been out of print on VHS for some time; I was only able to rent through the best video store in San Diego. Avoid unless you want to giggle a lot.
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Just as bad as the von Däniken pseudo-documentaries
Steve Schonberger21 March 2000
This movie was a lot like the earlier von Däniken books and movies like "Chariots of the Gods". But instead of attributing the mysteries of the world to space aliens, this movie started with existing Bible stories about the Great Flood. So instead of promoting space alien sensationalism, this movie exploits literal Bible belief.

As a child watching the movie, the documentary tone was interesting, but even then its "science" seemed backed up by people seeking to match a story to anything they could discover, rather than explain evidence they could find. If the movie was unconvincing to even me as a child, it didn't do its job as a documentary. The movie has nothing to prove -- a Bible literalist would believe the movie's claims before seeing it, and no one else would find the movie credible. It lacks even camp entertainment value.
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You are in error bgard08 re 'Movie was a scam' (26 April 2004)
pgresser9 February 2011
Re 'The individual who brought down pieces of the alleged Ark actually cooked them in his oven at home to "age" them'.

You're thinking of George Jammal, who appeared in CBS's 'The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark' in 1993 - and, yes, ultimately proved to be a hoaxer.

Jammal wasn't in the 1976 film.

The 1976 film is still certainly worth a watch fact, I wouldn't mind seeing a remake of it, re-examining the accounts of eyewitnesses sources from 1976 and investigating claims of sighting which have taken place over the past 25 years.
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"Go forth and build an ark, Noah...and fill it with pillows."
seeingdouble00713 July 2005
My dad took me to see this film in 1976. I was 5, and bored to tears. You know a movie is bad when at 5 one can differentiate a toy boat in a disturbed bathtub from an ark on an angry ocean.

My dad was responsible for a lot of awful movies as a young child. It is amazing I grew up to love films after some of the things he dragged me to. Runners up include Pete's Dragon, and Popeye.

Curiously, I have kept an eye out for In Search of Noah's Ark, hoping to catch it out of the blue on television over the years. But, alas, no luck. I'm surprised there are so many people who remember this movie. Wow. Now I don't feel so alone.
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Good Movie
dave_enigma20 June 2008
My aunt (who is a "Jesus freak")took me to see this movie at the theater back in the 70's and even at a young age (6 or 7) I was in awe. Sure some of the science in the video may be biased, but it was the thrill of the "what if's" that made this move great. The whole world tells the story of a flood, and regardless of whether it was a localized flood, or a universal one, the mere thought of the Ark of Noah still being in existence was thrilling.

Much of what was talked about in this movie is in fact "fact". Much of it of course is speculation, but as with science fiction, what was science fiction in the past is now fact. Archeology is the same way. Problem is, to may modern scientists choose to ignore the obvious, or choose to withhold from public view, anything that refutes their beliefs. Who knows what ancient mysteries the earth still holds!
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Movie was a scam.
bgard0826 April 2004
Ignoring the rest execrable "science" on display in this witless film, this movie was a part of a hoax. The individual who brought down pieces of the alleged Ark actually cooked them in his oven at home to "age" them. Naturally the credulous producers took him at his word.

I suppose this film is worthy for the undiscriminating, desperate Christian viewer, but all others should avoid unless a good laugh (a la "Plan 9 from Outer Space") is what you are looking for.

Of course, if you are the sort who still believes the Shroud of Turin is real, then you won't care.

This film needs to be categorized as "fiction."

Thank you.

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very entertaining and informative
dtucker8621 October 2002
This was the first of the great 1970's Sunn Classic Picture films and what a subject. Was there really a man named Noah? Did God really destroy the world with a universal deluge? Finally are the remains of the Ark still on Mount Araratt today? The re-enactment of the flood is very well handled and you will really get hooked into solving this mystery of the ark no matter what your religious views and beliefs are. They tell of a boy named George Hagopian who visited the ark as a boy in 1902 and told his story before he died in 1972. He said his uncle boosted him up and he actually walked on the roof! Imagine that! I was also impressed by the story of the Russian aviators who found the ark while flying over Mount Ararat in 1916. The Czar sent a special expedition to the Ark and they found it and took photos and even went inside it and found hundreds of stalls and cages. Unfortunately, this evidence was lost when the Godless Communists took over the government. Another intriguing story was that of George Greene. He was an oil worker flying in helicopter who took six photos of the ark sticking out of a glacier. Unfortunately, he was murdered and the photos disappeared without a trace. We know they existed, however, because there were over thirty people who signed statements saying they had seen them and described exactly what they showed. A satellite even took a space picture of a stange formation on the mountain that could be the Ark. Since this movie was made, there was a man who took two pictures on the mountain that seemed to show the Ark broken in two. Does it really exist? This movie examines this fascinating possibility and its lots of fun. This is the only Sunn Classic film that I know of that is out on video and I recommend it highly.
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Traumatized Me As A Kid
Seriously, this is one of the first movies I have a conscious recollection of seeing, 1976 sounds about right (I would have been nine). Mom probably saw the G rating and decided this would be a diverting way to keep us out of her face for a couple hours one Saturday afternoon.

I have no memory of the film's story (though presented as a documentary the bulk of it is about as factually based as your standard Godzilla movie) though certain visual images like the pathetic Ark model used bobbing around in a tank look familiar. No, the moment etched into my brain like battery acid was when some idiot playing an ancient explorer climbing Mount Ararat in search of the Ark takes a dive off a cliff.

The event both horrified me as a budding young outdoorsman, but was so patently obviously FAKE that my two brothers and I couldn't shut up talking about it and laughing about how stupid yet cool it was at the same time for the rest of the weekend -- A glorious bit of cognitive dissonance for a 9 year old mind to entertain. Then again Star Trek, the Six Million Dollar Man, cartoons, everything that was cool sort of had a dumb, fake side to it. The moment stuck with me for 34 years so it must have been impressive at 1:85:1 in a theater.

I never encountered the movie again until a buddy with a shared taste for the bizarre loaned me his long out of print tape. The movie itself is competently made but has all the overkill of a propaganda film, which is an apt way to describe the content. The film doesn't posit the theory that the Ark might be on Mount Ararat, the film regards it as a foregone conclusion with the actual location of the remains of the Ark simply being a formality yet to be dealt with. Eventually somebody will find it, you see, and then everyone will know. Uh huh.

There's also some shameless Bible-thumping going on, with what we would now regard as religious overtones to nearly every aspect of how this unlikely story is told, all of it narrated with grave authority by Brad Crandall, the voice of a number of these low budget pseudo-documentaries. As far as science or a study of history it's pretty absurd, but in terms of tapping in to a basic need within humans to be entertained by ridiculous garbage this movie has some legs. Put it on a double bill with CHARIOTS OF THE GODS in a little art house venue next to the medical marijuana store and it would sell out every night, likely to the same crowd every night. Pot heads eat this stuff up like Doritos.

It's all so sincere, so cloyingly convinced, so eager for its viewers to be swept up in rapt awe at what is essentially a hoax (another reader here comments on that aspect). But it's still entertaining with a sort of bizarre poker faced hamminess about it that only somebody really challenged by the mysteries of life would be tempted to take any of it seriously. Even as nine year olds, me and my brothers knew this was just too fake. Nice to find out we were right on the money.

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Biblical Docudrama.
AaronCapenBanner24 August 2013
Brad Crandall hosts this film, which presents speculation on how Noah's ark may be found on Mount Ararat in Turkey, and how various expeditions are trying to prove this as fact, going so far as claiming that some wood pieces are from the ark itself, but only carbon dating can prove such a thing.

Brad Crandall's distinctive voice(very deep and matter-of-fact) suits this film well, and it did hold my interest for the most part, though some re-enactments of Noah's escape from the flood may be viewed as hokey, I enjoyed the approach for the nostalgic value it provides.

Not yet on DVD, let's hope this can one day see release, perhaps paired with other such Schick Sunn Classic films.
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Of it's time
dgbnew19 July 2008
It's really a neat little film, unless you're a pseudo intellect-bore who's trying to impress everyone like bgard08 did. Yes, there was a discredited individual, but much of what is stated (albeit in 70's docudrama style) is still evidence of a flood, the story, other sighting if the ark etc...

As for the Shroud....anybody who actually knows what he's talking about...knows that the 'conclusive' tests have ALSO now been discredited....and done so by members of the very team that performed the Carbon test as well as the creator of test. This is a fact. They are waiting to re-do with a piece of the main Shroud. So, don't be so damn smug , ya jackass.
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Watch this movie and make your own decision
jmfjbf18 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was made in the 1970's. Evolutionists do not like this movie because it does not fit into their rejection of creationism. This movie appears to have been thoroughly researched and documented. Dr. Henry Morris a respected Christian creationist, is interviewed in the documentary. Everything re: location/size of ark is taken from the KJV Bible. Read all the comments about this movie, not just the negative ones. This is a great movie for Christian families and homeschoolers. Basically, watch the movie without any bias, look at the facts the movie presents and compare it to the Genesis account in the Bible. Look at the present day locations in the middle east. Then, make your own decision about this movie. Don't let others make it for you.
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doublecoog25 July 2003
This was played of as sort of an epic adventure, and 95% of the thing is like a newscast, focused on the anchorperson. (ie a man sitting at a desk talking....) This was perhaps the most boring thing I ever saw, and the subject matter IS of particular interest to me....
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This movie is awesome.
oneking77726 July 2013
This movie is really dated but it is incredible evidence.

A must see movie

. There's so many different accounts in this movie.

You've just got to watch it.

I promise you'll never be the same.

But watch with an open mind.

Don't make a decision as to how real it is beforehand.

These people just wanted to see if there really is/was an ark and there IS. They even do this experiment trying to disprove that the ark would float but it shows it floated fine. I recommend it. Highly.
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boat stuck in ice on mountain
Mark Kinsler26 December 2006
What I read at the time is that there is indeed a great boat-like thing up on that mountain. Apparently someone built something that they thought the Ark must have looked like up there, presumably hauling it up the mountain in pieces. Must have been a swell job. Apparently it's still up there, causing confusion.

The article I read (maybe in Newsweek) said that the bogus ark wasn't built there to deceive anyone, but was done as an act of religious devotion. It makes a good deal of sense. As for the original Flood, the Mesopotamian region has flooded now and again with sufficient ferocity to support any sort of a Deluge story you'd care to write about.

The movie wasn't distributed through regular channels. The promoters simply chose a theater in each town and rented it out for a few nights. They ran the advertisements themselves.
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A look at the Ark
o_thesaint11 August 2005
This movie is one that I vividly remember as a child. I have recently ordered it for my children to watch it and greatly like the movie. It shows and discusses points that are covered in the Bible. It would be nice if we could get a modern research team up on the mountain to view and explore the sites and document it all again. I recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in the Ark and believes in the Bible. I wish I could have found the movie several years ago. I was in Turkey back in 1988 and at that time being in the military we were not allowed to go to the site. I would have liked to have a copy of the movie to show to some of the people I worked with there that had never heard of it. I do believe that the documentary depicts what is there. Although it never really shows any proof, many images from space and aircraft have at times shown sightings of the outline of the ark. If you look at the stats. The top 3,000 feet of the mountain, from 14k to 17k is under a large snow and ice cap. If it is as the Bible says then when it rested on top of the mountain, then at that altitude, the rain and moisture would have frozen the ark into the mountain. Somewhere under the ice and snow I am sure it rests today.
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