When some Russian rebels takes control of some ICBM's, the Americans mobilize. Among the vessels sent is the nuclear sub, the Alabama. But before they leave they need a new X.O. and among the choices is Commander Hunter, who hasn't seen much action. But the ship's Captain, Ramsey OK's him. While on the way, there was an incident and Hunter disagreed with how Ramsey handled it, it's evident that Ramsey doesn't think much of Hunter because Hunter was college educated while Ramsey worked his way up. They're given orders to attack but when they were in the process of receiving another order, the ship's communications were damaged, so the entire message was not received. Ramsey decides to continue with their previous order while Hunter wants to reestablish contact first. That's when the two men butt heads that ends with Hunter relieving Ramsey. Later when some men die, some of the officers feel that Hunter is not up to the task so they team up to retake control. But Hunter has taken ... Written by
The dockside scene where Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman) addresses the crew shows the USS Alabama in the background and, after his speech, the crew runs onboard. The sub was actually USS Barbel (SS-580), a conventionally-powered (i.e. non-nuclear) attack submarine originally commissioned in 1959. The sail ("conning tower") is a plywood mock-up that generally matched the real Alabama's. Barbel's original sail not only looked different but had already been removed (the Barbel was about to be scrapped). See more »
There are several incidents of mis-use of sound powered phones, including a chest set being used for a 1MC. Vossler speaks into the phone without pressing the talk button. See more »
Enjoyable, good tension, good dilemma, good cast. But:
You have a movie like this where either Washington's or Hackman's character side could be right about their course of action. The aim of the movie, ostensibly, is to present both sides and let the viewer figure out which is the correct course.
But you can't possibly side with Hackman, can you?
After all, his character goes nuts when everything starts happening. His character is possibly racist. And his character is prepared to launch nukes. Washington's character is, quite nobly, none of those things.
Ho hum. Hollywood audience manipulation at its finest.
Would it kill these writers and producers to present a dilemma movie in an intelligent fashion for once? I'd like to struggle with "who's right and who's wrong?" just once in my moviegoing life.
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