Monday, April 11, 2011

White Squall, a film

White Squall, a film by Ridley Scott. James and I watched this film the other evening. I had not realized when I checked it out, that it was based on an actual event. Jeff Bridges portrays the skipper of a sailing ship, boys are sent on a voyage that is supposed to last 12,000 miles, in addition to receiving an education. Set in the early 60's, at the time of the Cuban/American Bay of Pigs affair, and at the time of Alan Shepard's launch into space. The boys are a motley group from various backgrounds, during which time they, finally, develop as a well greased team of sailors. A "White Squall" hits the ship, and literally the ship is tossed and turned like nothing imaginable. Several people lose their lives. The survivors are picked up and the skipper is put on a "naval trial." As James is much into sailing, this one was interesting. Although, I must admit that Ridley Scott did not have the Alan Shepard event portrayed accurately. In one scene, after the disaster occurs, two boys are shown looking up into the night skies, watching Alan Shepard streak across the night sky - Alan Shepard never went into orbit, so that scene was totally inaccurate - Shepard was in a "sub-orbital" flight, to an altitude of 116 statute miles, and 302 statute miles down range. But it made for good movie footage. Basically, this was a very well made movie, and we enjoyed it, although, I had to cover my eyes during portions of the white squall part - it was just too much for me. If you are not comfortable with movies about water, ships and disaster, this might be not your cup of tea - however, most of the film did NOT revolve around the disaster. It is a coming of age boy type film. Hope you will consider it. Happy Sailing!

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