A true story about the tragic explosion at Halifax Harbour, Canada, in the early hours of December 6, 1917.A true story about the tragic explosion at Halifax Harbour, Canada, in the early hours of December 6, 1917.A true story about the tragic explosion at Halifax Harbour, Canada, in the early hours of December 6, 1917.
The Great War featured incomprehensibly vast usage of artillery shells, and artillery shells need TNT and other explosives. A lot of this had to be imported from the U.S., and by ships. Ships had to be gathered in ports. Ports will then see a lot of ships coming and going, and harbor masters are going to be pressed to keep all this traffic moving. The odds were considerable something like the incident of Dec. 6th, 1917 would happen someplace in Allied ports sooner or later.
Captain Le Medec probably wasn't the greatest or bravest mariner of all time. But how many ship captains who have seniority or pull are going to agree to captain a massive floating bomb at the height of the U-boat menace? Second, did anyone notice that the movie exonerates harbor pilot Mackie while making Le Medec and the Belgian captain look like total dolts at the helm; and has Mackie trying to avert disaster while the Frenchman funks off with his crew? Considering it is a Canadian and not a French production, what a surprise.
Then there is the almost defeatist speech Capt. Collins gives to the war rally in the church. Excuse me, an *officer* in HM forces blurting out like that? It simply wouldn't have happened at the time. Contrary to what he later tells Barbara, Germans weren't close to suing for peace at the time, and the war wasn't kept going only because the Allies wanted another year of war profits. Indeed, with the Western Front stalemated and Russia close to surrender, Ludendorff et al were convinced victory for Germany was just around the corner. And a lot of people on the Allied side feared the same thing.
On the plus side, I was impressed by what the production did with a limited CBC budget.
- Jun 7, 2005