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Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion (2003)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, History  |  19 February 2005 (Hungary)
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Reviews: 18 user | 2 critic

A true story about the tragic explosion at Halifax Harbour, Canada, in the early hours of December 6, 1917.


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Title: Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion (TV Movie 2003)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Charlie Collins
Dr. Barbara Paxton
Francis Mackey
Beatrix Collins
Ernest 'Ernst' Masterson
Constance 'Connie' Collins
Courtney 'Court' Collins
Paul Doucet ...
Captain Le Medec
Millicent Collins
Richard Donat ...
Patrick Collins
Sergeant Sam Barlow
Capt. Horatio Brannen
Naval Officer McNabb
Leon Pownall ...
Commander Frederick Wyatt
Graham Harley ...
Mr. Cleese


Shattered City, an epic two-part mini-series, dramatizes a compelling piece of Canadian history. It is the story of how a tragic incident at the height of the First World War became a living metaphor for the worldwide conflict, and how Halifax arose from the ashes after severe destruction and devastation. In the early hours of December 6, 1917, the Mont Blanc, a French-owned freighter loaded to the gunnel's with thousands of tons of TNT, collided with a Belgian relief ship and exploded in the Halifax Harbour. The explosion was so vast that it killed more than 2,000 people, injured 9,000 more and completely flattened two square kilometers of northern Halifax. The series settles mostly on one family, the Collins, who's eldest son Charlie, a captain in the Royal Canadian Army, who tries to find the rest of his family including his fatally injured father, as well as his mother, and other siblings among the rubble, and later finds himself as a lawyer defending the Mont Blanc's captain, Le ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


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Official Sites:



Release Date:

19 February 2005 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Touchée en plein coeur  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The explosion occurred at 9:04:35 local time. See more »


When the French captain and his crew are arrested, the Mountie determines that the captain is lying about being from Montreal by asking him who won last week's hockey game between Montreal and Toronto. When the captain guesses "Montreal", the Mountie draws his gun and says it was actually Detroit. This dialogue seems to be referring to the National Hockey League, which was formed the same year of the Halifax Explosion. Toronto and Montreal would have had NHL teams at that time, but Detroit didn't enter the league until 1926. (Although Detroit is known as an "Original Six" team, this actually refers to the six teams that comprised the NHL for several decades; the NHL was originally an all-Canadian league for back in 1917, there were no American hockey teams with the league.) See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to the spirit and the memory of Constance "Connie" Bond Young August 9, 1911 - February 22, 2003 See more »


Followed by City of Ruins: The Halifax Explosion (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Great performance by Walsh
17 February 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I really liked Vincent Walsh as the lead. He was very convincing in both the family-oriented scenes and the action stuff. The impending tragedy and the mundane actions that led to it were well-played and very gripping. It was nice to see a number of veteran Canadian actors like Lynne Griffin and Graham Green in large and small roles. I also thought the subplot about German saboteurs was both nicely diverting and added to the suspense. While Canadian productions can never hope to compete with Hollywood for budget and special effects, they can provide a Canadian "feel" to a project and "Shattered City" does that very well.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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