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Best friends Kenneth Reynolds and Raymond Jordan are U.S. Navy officers, and Kenneth is engaged to Raymond's sister. But the eruption of the Civil War divides them, as Raymond stands by his native Virginia while Kenneth remains on duty as a Northern officer. Kenneth's uncle, John Ericsson, designs a new kind of ship, an ironclad he calls the Monitor. Eventually the war pits Kenneth, on board the Monitor, against his friend Raymond, serving aboard the South's own ironclad, the Merrimac (as it is called here). A naval battle ensues, one that will go down in history. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(Opening dedication) This is a story of ships and men -- iron ships and men of iron -- the monitors of liberty. To the first "Monitor" of them all, to the gallant men who fought for and against her, this picture is respectfully dedicated. See more »
Absolutely wretched...wretched from start to finish!
Without a doubt, this movie has among the worst dialog I have ever heard in a film--and I have reviewed well over 11,000 films! So much of what the people say actually sounds as if the script was written by a 12 year-old! It's filled with platitudes, schmaltz and clichés--all of which make NONE of the film seem the least bit real. It's a shame, really, as the idea of the film is great. After all, how many films have celebrated the most amazing naval battle of the Civil War--the fight between the CSS Virginia and the USS Merrimack. Unfortunately, while it is great that the film is about this battle, it also is jam-packed full of historical inaccuracies--not the least of which is that every time they talk about the Virginia, they call it the Merrimack--the name given to the ship originally when it was a Union ship. But, after having been burned and sunk, the hull was used to create the Virginia--and its crew certainly would NOT keep referring to her as the Merrimack! But this isn't all, so much of the story is pure hogwash--and about as much is right about the film as is wrong--including the whole silly back story about the court martial.
The bottom line is that aside from the theme, it is a cringe-worthy film. Not only is the dialog dumb, but at the end of the film good 'ol Abe Lincoln himself stops by to have a nice little chat with the hero and his conflicted girlfriend. I HATE when films toss in Abe Lincoln as a cheap plot device--another reason I also hated "Of Human Hearts"--another dopey Civil War film hindered by schmaltzy dialog and a complete waste of good actors.
By the way, this film was directed by Lew Ayers--the actor. Now we can see why he's know to us as an actor and not a director!
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