Media Review by Joe Cornwall
For The Fly Fish Ohio Rating System
Glen Lau went to
Marion County Florida in the early half of the 1970's to meet with Homer
Circle, long-time angling editor of Sports Afield magazine and an Outdoor
Writers Association of America (OWAA) member since 1946. He intended
to make the movie Bassin' Man, the story of Homer and others
as a bass fishing pros.
As fortune would have it, Glen went fishing with the owner of important
property that is part of Silver Springs. Silver Springs is the site
of one of the largest artesian spring formations in the world, producing
nearly 550 million gallons of crystal-clear water daily. Silver Springs
forms the headwaters of the Silver River, which empties into the Ocklawaha
River, a part of the St. Johns River system. What he saw there was
rich aquatic life, thousands of bass and water that provided "50 yards of
The plan got changed. Glen saw an opportunity to make a unique
documentary; one that would explore the real life and times of the
largemouth bass itself. "I wanted to make the movie for me," says
Lau. It became a personal quest to dispel the myths and learn the
real truth about America's number one game fish. Two weeks of
filming turned into two months of filming. Two months turned into
two years. When it was over, Bigmouth! was the definitive study of
our most important inland aquatic asset.
The movie was released to unwavering praise. At many showings,
crowds three or four times the available seatiing showed up and often the
demand meant additional screenings needed to be added. The movie played in art
houses and documentary theaters, auditoriums and club houses around the
nation. At the time, Shakespeare was a sponsor. In "1977 or
'76, in there" says Lau, he bought back 100% of the rights to Bigmouth
Today, the original film, as theatrically released in 1974, has been
digitally transferred with new material from Glen Lau and renowned bass
expert “Uncle” Homer Circle
The DVD will be unveiled at the Bassmaster Classic in February. This
film has never been televised in its 35-year history, and what you see on
the DVD is "one generation down from the original film" according to Lau.
Talking about the transfer, Glen said "it was first transferred onto Beta
SP... it hasn't been enhanced for sharpness or focus... this is what the
film looks like." The production was originally shot on
This legendary film, scripted by Parker Bauer and narrated by the
inimitable Rod Serling, describes the lifecycle of the largemouth bass in
and around it’s natural habitat. Glen Lau’s underwater
cinematography captures the complete birth to death odyssey of bigmouth in
a definitive, one-of-a-kind study.
I've watched the screening copy at least three times since I received it.
I first viewed this film on a 42" Panasonic TH42PX80U plasma using a
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD Player via an HDMI connection. I finally had to
experience it in a theatrical environment and arranged to screen it in a
custom state-of-the-art home theater featuring a high-definition
wide-screen projection system best measured in feet. To say that I
was stunned is an understatement. The still images used to
illustrate this article are actual captures from the film. The depth
of field, saturation of color, incredible vibrancy and presence of life in
each and every shot has got to be seen to be believed. It is
almost impossible to believe this movie isn't recorded using the latest,
small and powerful HDTV technology! This film achieved a level of
cinematography that absolutely pushes the very boundaries of its time, and
it survives the three decades of broadcast evolution without need for even
the first note of apology.
There is material on this film that fundamentally changed our
understanding of the biology and behavior of the largemouth bass.
Discoveries made in the filming of this documentary have gone on to change
textbook dogma and provide fisheries biologists with a new way of looking
at Micropterus salmoides, and by extension virtually every other
warmwater game fish.
BIGMOUTH-The 35th Anniversary Edition is available for sale through
for $19.99. The DVD may not be available in all
stores at this time; you should ask the manager at your local Bass Pro
Shop, Cabela's or Gander Mountain to order copies. It's worth every penny.
There is also a broadcast version of Bigmouth that will be released early
in 2009. If you'd like to see Bigmouth broadcast for the first time
in 35 years, write to your local station or cable company.