Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Trailer for "USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage" looks...not horrible.

So they made a movie about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. If you don't know the story, it's one of the worst disasters in US Naval history.

The world's first operational atomic bomb was delivered by the Indianapolis, (CA-35) to the island of Tinian on 26 July 1945. The Indianapolis then reported to CINCPAC (Commander-In-Chief, Pacific) Headquarters at Guam for further orders. She was directed to join the battleship USS Idaho (BB-42) at Leyte Gulf in the Philippines to prepare for the invasion of Japan. The Indianapolis, unescorted, departed Guam on a course of 262 degrees making about 17 knots.

At 14 minutes past midnight, on 30 July 1945, midway between Guam and Leyte Gulf, she was hit by two torpedoes out of six fired by the I-58, a Japanese submarine. The first blew away the bow, the second struck near midship on the starboard side adjacent to a fuel tank and a powder magazine. The resulting explosion split the ship to the keel, knocking out all electric power. Within minutes she went down rapidly by the bow, rolling to starboard.

Of the 1,196 aboard, about 900 made it into the water in the twelve minutes before she sank. Few life rafts were released. Most survivors wore the standard kapok life jacket. Shark attacks began with sunrise of the first day and continued until the men were physically removed from the water, almost five days later.

Only 317 sailors made it out of the water alive after five days. If you'd like a more dramatic recitation of the story, I would refer you to Robert Shaw's great soliloquy from Jaws.

It's too bad Robert Shaw isn't still alive to make a cameo in this new movie. Judging just from the trailer, the pros look like there is some genuine drama, but the cons are that Nicolas Cage is in the movie, and the CGI looks...meh.

However, it's a great story, and if they tell it well, it has the chance to be a great movie.

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