Blue Water White Death (1971 USA) Film Review

sharm-shark-white-_1779070cCarcharodon carcharias. What a great name! What a terrible beauty God gave to this creature. No other being on the planet glides with the symmetry of the shark. Great White variety or otherwise. The nine months it took to  shoot this documentary was ground breaking back in 1969-70. What an experience it must have been to see this unique documentary on the big screen. If you are a shark fan you must buy this DVD.

Famous under water experts like Ron and Valerie Taylor, along with cameraman Stan Waterman, joined wealthy diver Peter Gimbel on his expedition to find the Great White Shark. In those days footage of large sharks was quite rare and people assumed it was too dangerous to get near them. This team pretty-much only had anecdotal insights and few first-hand observations, from which to generate reliable behavioral-models for Great Whites.

All the more courageous for them to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures! The only weakness in the movie is about 20 minutes of showing people doing nothing interesting; a folk singer strumming his guitar, some mild arguments among the crew. They travelled many hundreds of miles across open oceans from Durban, South Africa to Dangerous Reef, South Australia. I believe the shark cage had not been seen before this film appeared. The night time scenes of sharks tearing into a whale carcass are classic.

On the soundtrack I can hear high-pitched moans that suggest the sonar of either whale or dolphin. Its eerie. Another highlight for me is the section in the middle where the divers step out of the cage surrounded by a graceful army of Oceanic White Tips. These predators are the most beautiful of the whole species and used to kill more humans than the Great White. The Oceanic White Tip has been fished to near extinction now, while the Great White Shark is still here in reasonable numbers. After seeing this Peter Benchley began writing Jaws.

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