The Perfect Storm (film)

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The Perfect Storm
Perfect storm poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWolfgang Petersen
Produced byGail Katz
Screenplay byWilliam D. Wittliff
Bo Goldman (uncredited)
Based onThe Perfect Storm 
by Sebastian Junger
StarringGeorge Clooney
Mark Wahlberg
Diane Lane
John C. Reilly
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
William Fichtner
Bob Gunton
Karen Allen
Music byJames Horner
CinematographyJohn Seale
Editing byRichard Francis-Bruce
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • June 30, 2000 (2000-06-30)
Running time130 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$120 million[1]
Box office$328,718,434
 
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The Perfect Storm
Perfect storm poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWolfgang Petersen
Produced byGail Katz
Screenplay byWilliam D. Wittliff
Bo Goldman (uncredited)
Based onThe Perfect Storm 
by Sebastian Junger
StarringGeorge Clooney
Mark Wahlberg
Diane Lane
John C. Reilly
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
William Fichtner
Bob Gunton
Karen Allen
Music byJames Horner
CinematographyJohn Seale
Editing byRichard Francis-Bruce
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • June 30, 2000 (2000-06-30)
Running time130 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$120 million[1]
Box office$328,718,434

The Perfect Storm is a 2000 biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is an adaptation of the 1997 non-fiction book of the same title by Sebastian Junger about the crew of the Andrea Gail that got caught in the Perfect Storm of 1991. The film stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, William Fichtner, John C. Reilly, Diane Lane, Karen Allen and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.[2] The film was released on June 30, 2000 by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Plot[edit]

In October 1991, the swordfishing boat Andrea Gail returns to port in Gloucester, Massachusetts with a poor catch. Desperate for money, Captain Billy Tyne (Clooney), convinces the Andrea Gail crew to join him for one more late season fishing expedition. The crew heads out past their usual fishing grounds, leaving a developing thunderstorm behind them. Initially unsuccessful, they head to the Flemish Cap, where their luck improves. At the height of their fishing the ice machine breaks; the only way to sell their catch before it spoils is to hurry back to shore. After debating whether to sail through the building storm or to wait it out, the crew decide to risk the storm. However, between the Andrea Gail and Gloucester is a confluence of two powerful weather fronts and a hurricane, which the Andrea Gail crew underestimate.

After repeated warnings from other ships, the Andrea Gail loses her antenna, forcing Captain Linda Greenlaw (Mastrantonio) of sister ship Hannah Boden to call in a Mayday. An Air National Guard rescue helicopter responds, but after failing to perform a midair refuel, the helicopter crew ditch the aircraft before it crashes, and all but one of the crew members are rescued by a Coast Guard vessel, the Tamaroa. The Andrea Gail endures various problems. With 40-foot (12 m) waves crashing onto the deck, a broken stabilizer ramming the side of the ship, and two men thrown overboard, the crew decide to turn around to avoid further damage by the storm. After doing so, the vessel encounters an enormous rogue wave. Billy tells Bobby (Wahlberg) to apply full power to ride over the wave; it seems that they may make it over, but the wave starts to break and the boat capsizes. Billy elects to go down with his ship, the rest of the crew are trapped and only Bobby manages to surface as he watches the boat go under; however, without a life jacket, he has no chance of surviving. He is last seen all alone among the waves. There are no survivors and the film ends with Linda reading the eulogy at the memorial service, followed by Christina and Bobby's mother, Ethel, consoling each other on the dock and Billy's voice soliloquising about what it means to be a swordboat captain.

Cast[edit]

Authenticity[edit]

Most names were not changed for the fictional film. The families of certain crew members of the Andrea Gail sued the producers in federal district court in Florida, claiming that their names were used without their permission, and that facts were changed.[3]

According to the owner's son, the Satori never made a 360° roll (a capsize), although it had two knockdowns, during which it lay on its side for about 30 seconds.[4] The owner and skipper of the Satori, Ray Leonard, had confidence in the boat, having sailed her in difficult conditions before, whereas his two crewmembers were in a state of panic. He allowed them to make a position report over radio, but while Leonard was out of earshot their tone became so agitated that it was misinterpreted as a Mayday.[4] One of those crewmembers reported that she was so convinced that she was going to die that she wrote her name down and put it into a plastic bag so that her body could be identified when it was finally found, and they believed—quite erroneously—that the boat was close to breaking up. The Coast Guard declared the voyage manifestly unsafe and ordered everyone off-board—including the unwilling skipper.[4] The Coast Guard first tried to take them on board via an inflatable boat, but after it was damaged when trying to approach the Satori they sent a helicopter, which is a much riskier approach as a rescue swimmer must jump in the dangerous seas. The Coast Guard helicopter did not try to lower rescue gear onto the yacht (as shown in the film, where it gets entangled with the mast), but rather asked the crew of the Satori to jump overboard to meet a rescue swimmer in the water. Leonard eventually complied, wanting to look after his crew in the water, and knowing he wouldn't be able to use US ports for several years if he failed to follow the orders.[5]

In spite of the attempts of Leonard to locate the Satori after the storm while she was still afloat, she was found a few days later washed ashore on a Maryland beach, having sustained no damage after the crew left her. A bag of personal belongings left on deck was still there, showing that the boat suffered no further problems whilst sailing herself. Leonard paid for a 60ft fishing vessel to drag her off the beach, helped by a channel dug by Park Rangers who had been guarding the boat. He continued to sail the boat until 2000, and she remains in use today.[4] The story is often used as an example of how yachts are frequently far more capable than their crew in extreme conditions. Leonard says the bad publicity from the accounts of the storm lost him most of his work delivering boats, and said that he is "not bitter, but I don't think the book or movie explained what sailing's all about. Bluewater sailors are sharp, self-reliant, and proud."[5]

Reception[edit]

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound (John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, David E. Campbell and Keith A. Wester).[6]

The Perfect Storm received mixed critical consensus, holding a 47% approval rating on critic site Rotten Tomatoes with a consensus of, "While the special effects are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers from any actual drama or characterization. The end result is a film that offers nifty eye-candy and nothing else." [7]

The Perfect Storm was a huge box office success. On its opening weekend, the film debuted with $42 million ahead of Sony's The Patriot and eventually brought in over $182.6 million in the United States, and $146.1 million around the world to a total of $328.7 million worldwide.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Welkos, R.W., 2000. Prepare for Good, Sick Fun. Los Angeles Times, [internet] 7 May p.4. Available at http://articles.latimes.com/2000/may/07/entertainment/ca-27305 (page4) [Accessed 11 August 2010].
  2. ^ Berardinelli, James, The Perfect Storm Film Review – reelviews.net, 2000 (Retrieved on 2007-01-25)
  3. ^ Unger, Howard M. (2002-05-31). "Judge sinks 'Perfect Storm' lawsuit". Sarasota Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Satori - Perfect Storm". Westsail Owners Association. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b McCormick, Herb. "THE BOATING REPORT; In the Real Storm, the Skipper, the Crew and the Boat All Survived". New York Times. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "The 73rd Academy Awards (2001) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  7. ^ The Perfect Storm on RT
  8. ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=perfectstorm.htm

External links[edit]