White Squall (film)

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White Squall
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ridley Scott
Produced by Mimi Polk Gitlin
Rocky Lang
Screenplay by Todd Robinson
Based on The Last Voyage of the Albatross
by Charles Gieg
Music by Jeff Rona
Cinematography Hugh Johnson
Edited by Gerry Hambling
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • February 2, 1996 (1996-02-02)
Running time
129 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $38 million[1]
Box office $10,292,300 (United States)[2]

White Squall is a 1996 American drama feature film, directed by Ridley Scott.


The film is based on the fate of the brigantine Albatross, which sank May 2, 1961, allegedly because of a white squall. The film relates the ill-fated school sailing trip led by Dr. Christopher B. Sheldon (Jeff Bridges), whom the boys call "Skipper". He is tough and teaches them discipline. He forms a close connection with all-American Chuck Gieg (Scott Wolf), troubled rich kid Frank Beaumont (Jeremy Sisto), shy Gil Martin (Ryan Phillippe) and bad-boy Dean Preston (Eric Michael Cole). When a white squall threatens their ship, the boys try to use what Skipper has taught them to survive the horrific ordeal.


Part of the film was shot using a horizon tank in Malta, with a full-sized ship, the Eye of the Wind, used to depict the Albatross.[3] Maurice Jarre was originally scheduled to compose the original score, but was replaced by Hans Zimmer's protégé Jeff Rona. Zimmer was set to replace Jarre but failed to commit due to time difficulties. The song in the end credits is Valparaiso by Sting.


The film received mixed to positive reviews and holds a 62% based on 34 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus stating: "Though it gets occasionally bogged down by touchy-feely sentiment, White Squall benefits greatly from Jeff Bridges' assured lead performance and Ridley Scott's visceral, exciting direction".[4] White Squall, like Scott's previous film, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, was a box office disappointment.

Roger Ebert gave it three stars. In his review he said "I enjoyed the movie for the sheer physical exuberance of its adventure."[5]



  1. ^ "White Squall - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "White Squall (1996)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Mediterranean Film Studios - Unique Water Tanks". Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  4. ^ White Squall at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. ^ Review of White Squall at Roger Ebert's Chicago Sun-Times website

External links[edit]