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A Glimpse of Hell (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 18 March 2001
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A Navy officer tries to set the record straight after the Navy blames a 1989 explosion aboard the USS Iowa on a homosexual affair between two sailors.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lt. (j.g.) Dan Meyer
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PO Dale Mortensen
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Admiral Langlett
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MCPO Ziegler (as Alan C. Peterson)
Bill MacDonald
Ken James ...
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James Bulliard ...
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Storyline

USNavy Ensign (Lieutenant junior grade) Dan Meyer feared a non-flying officer's career prospects -like his- aren't brilliant but tries to excel at his assignment, in charge of gun turret 1 on the battle ship USS Iowa, which sees action in every major war. When the crew tell him the budget never goes to necessary repairs and improvements on the 50 years old ship, he takes his Navy-retired father Donald's advice to file a detailed report above the well-connected captain Fred Moosally's head. When master chief Skelley, the ship's liaison with HQ, asks Meyer to execute artillery experiments which can impress the brass he eagerly accepts against objections from the crewmen, especially Petty Officer Dale Mortensen; the first test successfully sets a record. Alas the second, in turret 2, goes terribly wrong: an explosion destroys the turret and kills 47 sailors, which seals the fate of 16 inch-guns till further notice. Meyer protests in vain when evidence is willfully destroyed 'to spare the... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Tragedy. Cover-up. Truth.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images of explosion aftermath, thematic elements and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

18 March 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La versión del oficial  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The battle ship in the movie is supposed to be the USS Iowa. The call number on the Iowa is BB-61. Throughout the movie, when the camera is panning the ship out at sea, it clearly shows "63" on the bow of the ship. That number is assigned for the USS Missouri (Mighty Mo). The crew members are all wearing hats that show BB-61 on them, so it is obvious that the ship used to portray the Iowa is not the real Iowa. See more »

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User Reviews

Truly frightening
19 March 2001 | by (Eatontown, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

This film vividly portrays the extent to which the male macho myth controls the military mentality. Youthful idealism is pitted against the false mask of professionalism. We see a literal dis-illusionment played out before our eyes -- and wish it were not so. We see loyalty used as an excuse for lying and prejudice -- and want to think these things can't really happen.

An excellent cast and clipped plotting provide us with a gripping tragedy which is all the more frightening because it is a true story of a decade-long cover-up and blatant homophobia. It is hard to believe that the military would lead a witch-hunt against one of its own men to cover its own ineptitude. But the facts are put before us in the shape of shredded, burned corpses. Telling the truth is condemned as ratting and snitching. Such is the paradox of 1984-style doublethink.

This film is a sobering look into the corporate mind, a grim revelation of the lengths people will go to hide from reality. I commend FX for being bold enough to present this sad tale in such an excellent film.


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