6.6/10
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97 user 39 critic

White Squall (1996)

PG-13 | | Adventure, Drama | 2 February 1996 (USA)
Trailer
2:34 | Trailer
Teenage boys discover discipline and camaraderie on an ill-fated sailing voyage.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Charles Gieg Jr. (book), Felix Sutton (book) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Sheldon 'Skipper'
Caroline Goodall ... Dr. Alice Sheldon
John Savage ... McCrea
Scott Wolf ... Chuck Gieg
Jeremy Sisto ... Frank Beaumont
Ryan Phillippe ... Gil Martin
David Lascher ... Robert March
Eric Michael Cole ... Dean Preston
Jason Marsden ... Shay Jennings
David Selby ... Francis Beaumont
Julio Oscar Mechoso ... Girard Pascal (as Julio Mechoso)
Zeljko Ivanek ... Sanders
Balthazar Getty ... Tod Johnstone
Ethan Embry ... Tracy Lapchick
Jordan Clarke Jordan Clarke ... Charles Gieg
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Photos

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Storyline

A true story about a group of American teenage boys who crew a school sailing ship to gain experience, discipline, or whatever their parents feel they lack. The voyage is a true adventure for them all but it has its downs as well as ups. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Adventure Of a Lifetime Turns Into the Ultimate Challenge of Survival! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and a traumatic shipwreck | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In spring 1961, the real Christopher "Skipper" Sheldon became the first Peace Corps director in Latin America. He never remarried. See more »

Goofs

When the Cubans have boarded the Albatross, they threaten to take Lapchick with them because he does not have his passport. As this is happening, Dean yells "if he's Cuban, Castro wears a dress", which doesn't match what he's actually mouthing. The scene was obviously dubbed, possibly for the MPAA or the director simply liked the other line better. See more »

Quotes

Chuck Gieg: I think I'm gonna choke on feel good.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Alien: Resurrection (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

THE TWIST
Written by Hank Ballard
Performed by Chubby Checker
Courtesy of Dominion Entertainment Inc.
By Arrangement with Celebrity Licensing
See more »

User Reviews

Over-acted, heavy-handed, two-dimensional
9 January 2002 | by pauljasonjonesSee all my reviews

We all know that Ridley Scott's standard visual signature is of fabric caught in the wind and so this film must be his ultimate dream. It is set on board a sailing ship and we are treated to many shots of the wind filling the ship's sails. Sadly, like the sails, the film as a whole is rather over-blown. The plot revolves around a dozen or so spoilt little rich brats spending a summer on a sailing ship under the tutelage of martinet Jeff Bridges, whose job is seemingly to make them confront their fears and emotional turmoils. And by god, they have emotional turmoils aplenty. Each teenaged boy has an easily identifiable trauma to deal with: one kid wets himself (literally!) at the thought of heights, one has dyslexia and is thus at war with everyone, one hates his father etc etc. The central brat is a budding writer and he is the 15 year old who, towards the end of the film, claims that "I still don't know who I am..." But then who does at 15?

All the troubled lads - some of them virtually certifiable - spend lots of time losing their tempers, fighting with each other and then, once they realise how unreasonably they have behaved, they immediately burst into cathartic tears, hug everyone in sight and are one step closer to spiritual enlightenment and manhood. For me this is the film's downfall.

White Squall is based on a true story. Jeff Bridges plays the ship's skipper who, during the Sixties, took a boat-load of teenaged lads on a summer's voyage around the Caribbean, only to have the ship sink in the eponymous storm, with the loss of life. The potential is there for a great action film with plenty to say about responsiblity and personal growth but sadly Ridley Scott over-inflates the human interaction to Jerry Springer-sized proportions.

At least Jeff Bridges is reliable as always. He must be one of the most underrated yet outstanding actors there is. At least, I thought, Jeff won't start blubbing at the drop of a hat. Sadly, in the final scene (and watch out for it, the bell ringing is pure ham!), he succumbs to the director's dictates and has a group-sob with the surviving members of the lachrymous brats. D'oh!

Plus points are Jeff Bridges, the ship and the photography. Minus points are the rest of the actors and the script. Still, worse things have happened at sea...


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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Danish | Spanish

Release Date:

2 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

White Squall See more »

Filming Locations:

Beaufort, South Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,908,514, 4 February 1996

Gross USA:

$10,292,300

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,292,300
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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