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With more attention to true details, this could have been an Oscar-quality film!
12 March 2011
This is my first review, but I feel I must say something. Having just finished reading Doug Stanton's In Harm's Way, I see important opportunities missed in this film. There were true details omitted - probably for time's sake - that would have made this a more memorable film. For example, when the plane approaches a group of survivors, the crew seriously wonders who they are because their faces are smudged black from the huge oil slick that we never see in the film. As a test, a crew member calls out, "What city do the Dodgers play in?" A feeble voice answers, "Brooklyn." Wouldn't that have been a vintage, human touch?

Dr. Lewis Haynes, incorrectly named as mentioned by other reviewers, had a powerful but ignored role in helping the men to heal psychologically by explaining at reunions why so many turned on each other and acted like barbarians in the water. Most had been unaware that they were witnessing not the moral failings of their friends, but instead the effects of salt water ingestion, exposure to extreme heat, continuous lowering of body temperature, horrific fear, etc., on both body and mind. Add to that survivors' guilt and the Navy's total lack of caring. At that time nobody knew of PTSD.

Thus I mourn for what could have been done in this film. The one bright spot was Stacy Keach's acting. He was masterful and at his finest.

I believe we owe it to those who survived as well as to those who perished, and to their loved ones, to tell this story again on film, and GET IT RIGHT!
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