CSS Hunley tells the incredible true story of the crew of the manually propelled submarine CSS Hunley, during the siege of Charleston of 1864. It is a story of heroism in the face of ... See full summary »
CSS Hunley tells the incredible true story of the crew of the manually propelled submarine CSS Hunley, during the siege of Charleston of 1864. It is a story of heroism in the face of adversity, the Hunley being the first submersible to sink an enemy boat in time of war. It also relates the human side of the story relating the uncommon and extaordinary temperament of the 9 men who led the Hunley into history and died valiantly accomplishing this feat. Written by
The Hunley was located by Clive Cussler and the National Underwater & Marine Agency, and salvaged by Oceaneering International. See more »
Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard:
And what about you, Dixon? What did you lose in this war besides a good chunk of your leg? Your wife. I do not wish to be... indiscreet, but I have heard the story. She was on a ferry boat that went down in the Tennessee River - hit by a torpedo... that drifted in from God knows where. How can you bear that?
Lt. George Dixon:
I read you lost your wife, sir. I'm sure it pains you to talk about that.
Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard:
On the contrary. It helped me to get rid of the trappings of sentiment. She died... giving birth to my daughter. ...
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The Moving Story of Brave Men Performing Extraordinary Tasks
Armand Assante delivers big time, as the Confederates' Lt. Dixon of the C.S.S. Hunley. In reality, Lt. Dixon was much younger than the actor playing him. However, the weathered look and demeanor of Assante makes him a believable leader, much like Laurence Harvey's portrayal of Col. William B. Travis in John Wayne's epic, "The Alamo."
Donald Sutherland's performance should also be commended. General Beauregard, as portrayed by Sutherland was well done. More importantly, it occurs to this author that Sutherland has the penchant for going out on a limb and playing complex figures in history and myth.
While the film details many historical accuracies, it is safe to say that the depictions of the crew are fiction. The good news is that they are nicely done. Character development, which seems to be in scarce supply these days is fulfilled in, "The Hunley." To the man, I couldn't think of a single character, that I either disliked, or felt wasn't properly placed in the film. In fact, they were so different, with their own peculiarities, that I felt a kinship to each of them. I guess my favorite was the happily married man who was, according to Dixon, "dumb as a post," but "loyal." Honest men indeed.
The special effects are somewhat disappointing. First, it is clear that some of the action shots are less than cutting edge. This was obviously due to budgetary constraints. The good news is that the overly done Hollywood type explosions are happily missing. It is tiring to see 1990's style pyrotechnics in the middle of the 19th century. If you doubt me, go see, "Zorro '98." Big budgets do not equal great effects.
Finally, I thought it was original of the film makers in the awakening sequence which occurs at the end of the movie. This could have really gone south, if not done right. It is a moving experience for the viewer.
All in all, a fine movie. I will have it in my library.
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