Christopher Chaldean (Jeff Bridges) and his wife Alice (Caroline Goodall) run a school on board their ship, the Albatross, which offers the chance for teenage boys to experience life on the high seas. In the early 1960s, they take on a crew of eight boys, using their day-to-day nautical activities to teach them about the importance of teamwork. Before the end of the voyage they get caught up in a freak storm which proves to be the ultimate test of their camaraderie. Ridley Scott directs.
It's a pity this ocean-going adventure wasn't fully appreciated during its theatrical release in 1996, if only because its climactic storm sequence (hence the movie's title) was awesome on the big screen and inevitably less impressive on video. Mixed reviews also curtailed its box-office potential, but as you might expect from Ridley Scott--the director of Blade Runner
and Thelma & Louise
--this is a beautifully photographed movie that will thrill anyone who is drawn to the romance and danger of the open sea. The story is a rite-of-passage adventure for a group of high school boys, who spend their senior year as the crew-in-training on the Albatross, a sailing vessel skippered by an experienced sailor and schoolmaster (Jeff Bridges) who teaches hard lessons of teamwork and individual responsibility. As they sail to the tip of South America and back, the young men face many challenges that will shape their character, in addition to the carnal pleasures of shore leave in exotic ports of call. It's a traditional story, and Scott doesn't bring anything particularly new to this sailboat variation of Dead Poets Society
and Scent of a Woman
. But as a coming-of-age drama White Squall
is professionally crafted and filled with vital energy, featuring a talented cast of newcomers (led by Scott Wolf of TV's Party of Five
) who rise to the demands of this rousing and life-changing adventure. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.