Classic movie site with rare images (no web grabs!), original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Saturday, December 02, 2017

Just When They Thought It Was Safe To Go In Water ...


The Sharkfighters (1956) Is Vic v. Deadly Fish

Victor Mature is Cuba bound to investigate shark habits, his mission to develop repellent for benefit of downed WWII flyers. This was more cerebral content than customary for beefy Vic, made believable by his being fish out of water, as it were, in matters of shark study. Matters are helped by all-location filming, including drives through Havana with Mature pointing out Moro Castle and other points of pre-revolution interest. Producing Samuel Goldwyn Jr.'s crew did The Sharkfighters at same time as Errol Flynn and his Big Boodle crowd, both capturing what would be last unfettered scenes of wide-open islands before Castro sealed them to outsiders. Not helpful to The Sharkfighters was on-location tragedy when a special effects technician with a transformer in hand fell into the water and was electrocuted. The pic was trade-noted as a first US feature 100% Cuba-shot, forgetting perhaps any number of silents that had been lensed southward. Variety admired (few) action highlights, but took dim view otherwise of "actionless, talky piece which becomes almost clinical at times." Toward today consumption, The Sharkfighters turns up occasional on TCM, pleasingly wide per Cinemascope ratio, and beyond interest of subject matter and Mature's understated perf, there is a fine score by Jerome Moross, tuning up dynamism he would bring to immediate-following The Big Country and The Jayhawkers. I wish Screen Archives could get out a CD of Morris music for The Sharkfighters.

6 Comments:

Blogger CanadianKen said...

Haven't thought of this picture for years. I saw it as part of a couple of different double bills when I was eight or so. A veteran moviegoer, even at that age,I certainly considered Victor Mature an important star with a vibe and look all his own. But I remember thinking the picture itself was a bit of a non-event. Even then I suspect I had the impression Mature was wasting his time with it. Karen Steele seemed far too shellacked and bullet-proof for my eight year old sensibilities. Not as scary as Marie Windsor or Audrey Totter - but not as special as Mari Blanchard (who'd built up limitless credit in my bank as space queen Allura in "Abbott &Costello Go to Mars"). Claude Akins was just background noise to me in those days. Though a few years later I remember being bowled over by his fantastic work in the Boetticher western "Comanche Station". I'd watch "The Sharkfighters" again, though, at the drop of a hat. You make that Jerome Moross score sound like a real selling point. And - of course - 50's Cinemascope films can look awfully good on a wide-screen TV. The Blu-ray of "Boy on a Dolphin" was a great purchase. Love the movie anyway - but the look and sound of the disc is out of this world.

12:03 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

BOY ON A DOLPHIN is a longtime favorite of mine, as evidenced here:

http://greenbriarpictureshows.blogspot.com/2012/07/cinemascopes-tour-ends-here-part-one.html

The Blu-Ray is indeed a beauty.

And Ken, I certainly envy your having seen THE SHARKFIGHTERS and so many other 50's good ones at the theatre. Oh, to have been born a little sooner ...

4:03 AM  
Blogger CanadianKen said...

Just finished rereading your old posts on "Boy on a Dolphin"( filled - as always - with fascinating info and amiably eloquent observations). The Greenbriar site really is a Shangri-La for vintage movie lovers. And - thank heaven - a lot easier to get to than the one in Capra's movie. Thanks again for doing what you do.

8:06 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Your kind words are much appreciated, Ken.

8:35 AM  
Blogger kenneth Von Gunden said...

Southern Ken (well, south of the border, eh?).

Boy, I know I saw this at the "adult" theater in town (that meant something very, very different back then) because I saw the preview and knew that the guy from the Samson movie was in it and I liked him a lot. Female stars made no impression on me until I saw L'IL ABNER when I was thirteen and weird stuff started happening to my body and seeing Daisy and Stupifin' Jones made me feel "funny" inside. I remember color and sharks and that's about it. The Wolf, man. (Oh, I USED to be a robot...does that matter?)

1:25 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

WOW! THANK YOU!! CASINO JACKPOT,! YAAY! an instant joy for me to FINALLY know that there's another human being here on Earth besides myself, WHO CARES about "THE SHARKFIGHTERS"!!! I grew up with this one, John; first at repeated Saturday Matinees; later on TV, then on film, and finally on TCM! ...(and with a mess of posters on it, too!). Besides the Victor Mature fan that I already was during those formative years, I DO remember first thing, the pulsating powerful music score by JEROME MOROSS that forevermore RE-CHARGED my ears to music in general, as it thundered out of theatre speakers directed, it seemed, only to me-- and THAT ALONE was well enough of itself a GOOD addiction- -- perhaps containing-subliminal intentions in previewing the composer's coming-soon music to be heard behind "THE BIG COUNTRY", the music having a similar effect on me-- and I HAD to find out WHO wrote that music and if it was available on a record! And It WAS!! And boy, was I happy about THAT!! However, as we know, no such MUSIC soundtrack album was ever released for "THE SHARKFIGHTERS"-most unfortunate for some of us-! (..... And while I'm at it--NO DVD-RELEASE yet for the MOVIE, EITHER!!!) This little GEM of a 'B' IN SCOPE and TECHNICOLOR has a great little cast and all other praises becoming to it that only an obscure fan of it could explain...only bummer was it's ridiculous short running time of 73 minutes. I'd like to write more on this title later. This is a movie I know VERY WELL and was FORTUNATE enough to have been introduced to it in theatres, where THIS one BEGAN TO UNREEL, in 1956!

2:56 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014
  • December 2014
  • January 2015
  • February 2015
  • March 2015
  • April 2015
  • May 2015
  • June 2015
  • July 2015
  • August 2015
  • September 2015
  • October 2015
  • November 2015
  • December 2015
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016
  • October 2016
  • November 2016
  • December 2016
  • January 2017
  • February 2017
  • March 2017
  • April 2017
  • May 2017
  • June 2017
  • July 2017
  • August 2017
  • September 2017
  • October 2017
  • November 2017
  • December 2017