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Poster of the movie Shark!.jpg
Directed bySamuel Fuller
Written bySamuel Fuller
John Kingsbridge
Based onnovel His Bones Are Coral by Victor Canning
Produced byJosé Luis Calderón
Mark Cooper
Skip Steloff
StarringBurt Reynolds
Arthur Kennedy
Manuel Alvarado
Carlos Barry
Silvia Pinal
CinematographyRaúl Martínez Solares
Edited byCarlos Savage
Music byRafael Moroyoqui
Cinematográfica Calderón S.A.
Heritage Entertainment Inc.
Distributed byExcelsior Pictures
Release date
  • October 8, 1969 (1969-10-08)
Running time
92 minutes
CountriesUnited States

Shark! (also known as Caine and Man-Eater) is a 1969 Mexican-American action film directed by Samuel Fuller and starring Burt Reynolds and Silvia Pinal.


Reynolds plays Caine, a gunrunner who becomes stranded in a small port in the Red Sea. He meets an attractive woman who propositions him to dive into shark-infested waters off the coast for scientific research.

Caine realizes the woman and her partner are actually treasure hunters.




The film was based on the novel His Bones Are Coral by Victor Canning. This was serialized in 1954 and published in 1955.[2] The original screenplay was written by Ken Hughes.[3]

In July 1966 it was announced Gaumont Pictures would make a film from the novel, directed by Byron Haskin, starring George Montgomery and produced by Mark Cooper. It was to be called Twist of the Knife and to be filmed in Mexico in July.[4] Filming did not proceed.

Sam Fuller

In April 1967 it was announced Twist of the Knife would be produced by Skip Steloff for Calderon-Stell and directed by Sam Fuller, his first film since The Naked Kiss. The cast would include Burt Reynolds, Arthur Kennedy and Barry Sullivan.[5]

The film was to be the first in a series of co productions between Skip Steloff, Marc Cooper's Heritage Productions, and Jose Luis Calderon's Cinemtographia Calderon.[1]

When Sam Fuller joined the project, he rewrote the script and retitled it Caine. He shared writing credit with John Kingsbridge.[3]

Fuller later said "I liked the idea of making a story where, for once, the hero is really the heavy, the heavy is the girl, there's another heavy, and you find out in the end they're all heavies."[6]

He elaborated, saying he liked "doing a story about four amoral characters... to show not only a double cross on a double cross but when we think we know who the heavy is, we find out the real heavy behind it all is the girl... I have the hero not only allow her to die, but he shrugs it off. I thought that was exciting... I had such fun because I went beyond the average switch of revealing the villain. I also didn't have the guy just let the girl go to jail; he lets her be eaten by sharks."[7]

Even before filming began, the producers announced they had signed Fuller to a four-picture deal, including a sequel to Caine.[1]


Filming took place for nine weeks in 1967, in Manzanillo, Mexico, which stood in for the Sudan.

During production, one of the film's stuntmen, Jose Marco, was attacked and killed on camera by a white shark that broke through protective netting. The attack was captured on film and prompted a photo spread in Life magazine. The title was changed to Shark! to cash in on the controversy.[1]


Fuller supervised editing in Mexico City for four weeks. His cut was later re-edited by the producers without his approval. When Samuel Fuller finally saw the version that was released to theaters, he said he thought it was "terrible. I told them I wanted to restore my original cut. They said they didn't know if they could get it from Mexico."[8]

Fuller demanded the producers take his name off it. The producers refused.[1]


Critical reception

The New York Times thought the film "still suggests the imagination of" Fuller.[9]


The film was re-released by Hallmark in 1975 as Man-Eater to cash in on the success of Jaws. Advertising focused on the death of the stuntman in the film.[10]

The Los Angeles Times called this version "threadbare".[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Dombrowski p 177
  2. ^ SHARK Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 49, Iss. 576, (Jan 1, 1982): 143.
  3. ^ a b Dombrowski, Lisa (31 March 2008). The films of Samuel Fuller: if you die, I'll kill you!. Wesleyan University Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-8195-6866-3. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  4. ^ Train on a 'Foreign' Track Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times 1 July 1966: d11.
  5. ^ Fonda Joins 'Madigan' Cast Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times 24 Apr 1967: d23.
  6. ^ Dombrowski p 178
  7. ^ Fuller p 37-38
  8. ^ Fuller p 38
  9. ^ 'Shark!,' Story of Hunt for Bullion New York Times 16 June 1970: 54.
  10. ^ SPLITTING JAWS WITH THE HAPPY BOOKER: A TALK WITH A CIRCUIT BUYER Maslin, Janet. Film Comment; New York Vol. 11, Iss. 4, (Jul/Aug 1975): 57-62,64.
  11. ^ 'Linda Lovelace for President' Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times26 Sep 1975: f19.


External links

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