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Blue Water, White Death


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Blue Water, White Death + Shark Week: 20th Anniversary Collection + Shark Week: Ocean of Fear
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Gimbel, Ron Taylor, Valerie Taylor, Stan Waterman
  • Directors: Peter Gimbel
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PMFRTW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,572 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blue Water, White Death" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Widescreen Feature Film
  • Audio Commentary
  • Diving into Blue Water, White Death

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

An Interview with Blue Water, White Death Filmmaker Valerie Taylor

There are a few scary moments in the film, of course, but was there any one particular moment you recall when you really thought someone was going to get hurt?
Yes, when we first left the cages, there were over 100 big potentially dangerous sharks around us all in a feeding pattern. I thought "this is madness , one of us could get bitten. I said to Peter you go out first and if you make it I will come out after you." "watching Peter leave the cage by himself was both fascinating and fearful". I think that was my most frightened moment. I guess no one likes to see a friend in what is a very dangerous situation. Surprisingly when I swam out and joined him there was no fear just a huge excitement.

Jaws came out a few years after this, and of course Benchley was inspired by Blue Water, White Death. How did you feel about that and its portrayal of sharks as man-eating monsters?
Jaws was a fictitious film about a pretend shark. It was the same as a gorilla destroying the building in King Kong. Just a story. I do not know why it affected people the way it did. People loved the gorilla and hated the shark. Universal had us going around the US doing TV and radio interviews talking about sharks and how sharks did not think or behave like the fictitious beast in Jaws. I guess it is the fear of the unknown. Sharks are not well understood. They live in an alien environment. Gorillas live in ours. We understand them better. Once you understand an animal it becomes less fearful.

Do you have one particularly interesting memory from this adventure that’s etched in your mind? What was the greatest part of this whole adventure?
Absolutely. Diving with the oceanic white tips in the open ocean while they were feeding on the whale. No one had ever done anything like this before and no one will ever do it again. It was the greatest, most exciting few weeks in my life. I would pay to do it again. Sheer unadulterated adventure. A trip back in time to a world unchanged in several million years. Blue Water, White Death was a gift which at the time I was unaware of. The greatest part of the whole adventure was, quite simply, the adventure.

What do you hope people watching this film for the first time today will get out of it?
The same as they did when it first came out. It has not dated. It is an exciting and true undertaking such as few people are ever lucky enough to experience. No one ever asked us to act a part. Jim Lipscomb, the above water cameraman, was incredible the way he followed us around carrying that big 35-mm Arriflex on his shoulder. We became used to him and his camera but he was always there recording everything we did. It is a great pity that all the outtakes are lost. There is a second story just in what never appeared in the final production.

Did this expedition and your experience swimming with great whites change your life in any significant way?
We had worked with Great Whites before. It was the Oceanic sharks that changed how I looked at dangerous sharks and it was the wonderful people I was so fortunate to be working with that gave us friendships that endure to this day that were most significant to me. However, I guess it was the original story about hunting for the biggest Great White that gave me these memories, so Great Whites have enriched my life. Also Ron's filming of these wonderful sharks opened the way for us to work on Jaws, Jaws 2, and Orca. I guess swimming with Great Whites did make a big difference to the lives of both of us. We still work with Great Whites but we will never be able to dive with hundreds of big sharks feeding on a whale carcass again, nobody will. Thirty eight years ago, before the impact of computer technology we lived in a different world. Today Blue Water, White Death could probably be produced in a computer.

Can you talk a bit about the filming technology of that time and how challenging it was to film underwater?
I did not do any underwater filming. That was Ron Taylor, Stan Waterman and Peter Gimbel. They were shooting on 35-mm film in the Techniscope format which is very wide screen. I was just a female shark wrangler. I also did a lot of the underwater still photography. However watching the problems the underwater cinema-photographers had to overcome, I was always relieved when all the cameras worked and no great sequences were missed because of camera failure. It was not a filming job where any missed action could be repeated.


Product Description

The Great White Shark strikes fear into the hearts of humans across the globe and this 1971 documentary features some fascinating underwater shots of the creature in its natural habitat.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. Rating: NR UPC: 027616080226 Manufacturer No: M108022

Customer Reviews

And by the way, it's G-rated.
Monty Britton
Some highlights like the dives with the feeding Oceanic Whitetips, and the final encounter with the Great White Shark are simply awesome.
Alexander Buttigieg
Outstanding DVD, I have been told about this movie for years and finally being able to see it is just great.
B. Palmer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Buttigieg on July 1, 2007
Format: DVD
In 1969 Peter Gimbel set off on the First ever Expedition to Film The Great White Shark. His Team included other World famous underwater Photographers: Stan Waterman, Ron & Valerie Taylor, and also Shark Attack Survivor Rodney Fox.

Their search for the Great White lasted for 9 months and it took them from South Africa to South Australia. The tension, the drama, the setbacks... of a long journey, plus the first ever awesome underwater photography make this documentary an all time classic and a living tribute both to the team and the sharks.

A lot of the footage that was Filmed had never been seen before. Some highlights like the dives with the feeding Oceanic Whitetips, and the final encounter with the Great White Shark are simply awesome.

Peter Gimbel and his team were the first to introduce me to SHARKS with this Documentary when I first saw it in 1971 and Since then, my life has never been the same again.

A True Masterpiece!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard S. Schwerdtfeger on September 7, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember seeing this when it first came out and have waited years to see it again. I have been a diver for 20 years. This is one of those movies that started it all. The stars of the movie, Stan Waterman, Peter Gimbel, and the Taylor's are icons in the diving and underwater film making business. This is the first movie of Great White sharks and the lengths to which these people went to film them are astounding. These adventurers went out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, parked themselves next to a sperm whale carcass, and got up close and personal with large oceanic sharks at feeding time. They also went to the Hermes wreck at 180 feet and off the coast of Dangerous Reef in the Sourthern Ocean.

- no dive computers, no DAN to evac you out, and never quite knowing what to expect. This is a true life adventure caught on tape when diving really was by the seat of your pants. If you are a diver or adventurer you must see this film. If you like the film buy the book that documents the adventure - Blue Meridian - The Search for the Great White Shark by Peter Matthiessen
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By PHyères on November 26, 2007
Format: DVD
I first have seen this movie when I was a teenager. And never since this time. I watch out for the DVD and now here it is ! Don't miss this movie. This is not JAWS but a very impressive shark movie one of the very real first ! It is an historical account not only about the history of scubadiving Captain Cousteau or Hans Hass began years ago (as reported in HDS last issue) but also about the way we considered Mother Nature in the 70's.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Hansen on August 14, 2007
Format: DVD
I just watched this movie for the first time and I must say i was amazed!This documentary by Peter Gimbel follows his crew to exotic locations including South Africa, Madagascar, Ceylon and Australia looking to be the first to film the Great White shark in its own world. The footage is fantastic with some of the most harrowing moments ever shot on film. Truly the moment where one by one the divers exit the safety of their cages to film dozens of feeding oceanic whitetips is unprecedented and unlikely to be repeated again. I couldn't believe my eyes as the Taylors(Ron & Valerie) and Peter Gimbel continuously prodded away the inquisitive sharks while Stan Waterman filmed the breathless action. When the crew travels to Dangerous Reef,Australia and meets the Great White, the results are spectacular. Never before had a Great White been filmed in its own environment and the pulse-pounding work of these underwater pioneers is priceless. A great purchase for all shark enthusiasts or action fans this DVD comes with several extra features including a reunion of the crew members who reminisce fondly of their great adventures beneath the waves. A MUST HAVE!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By moxie on August 6, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'd been waiting to see BWWD since 1971. Tried to get a VHS copy but failed. Now the DVD is out and a copy appeared in my mailbox, having pre-ordered several months ago. The movie itself is every bit as exciting as I remembered it. My wife, who is a also a diehard scuba diver and hadn't seen it before, agreed it's top notch. The real bonus is the high quality of the digital transfer. Every bit as clear as the original, with stunning colors and lighting to match. What a pleasure to watch. There is also a bonus feature on a get-together with some of the divers, including the Taylors and Stan Waterman.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Mila on December 23, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Blue Water, White Death is a wonderful blend of action, suspense and historical underwater cinematography.
The shark encounters might seem a bit tame by today's standards, especially if you are used to watching leaping Great Whites on NG's Shark Week and other wild-life shows. But the movie was shot in the innocent pre-Jaws early 70's, when few people knew much about sharks or shark behavior.
Watching the divers fend off schools of circling Oceanic White-tip sharks off South Africa is intense as it gets. Later, in Australian waters, you feel the adrenelin pumping as the divers film from inside cages while Great Whites rake their razor-sharp, serrated incisors along the bars.
A special treat is watching legends Stan Waterman, Valerie and Ron Taylor, Rodney Fox, and the late Peter Gimbel, diving in their prime, and then seeing them today and listening to them reprise their exciting experience.
The movie is unique and belongs in every ocean lover's collection.
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