USS Indianapolis — Mission of the Sharks — INACCURACIES

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dfrighini
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USS Indianapolis — Mission of the Sharks — INACCURACIES

Postby dfrighini » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:31 am

Recently watched the 1991 TV film USS Indianapolis — Mission of the Sharks.

Firstly I enjoyed the film, and think its a good movie, I wish they made more films about this sort of subject but I suspect money has something to do with it.

I think I noticed a couple of telling (major) inaccuracies with this film. Firstly the Japanese sub in the film fires only two torpedo's as the USS Indianapolis where I remember reading the real sub fire a spread of six torpedo's at the target. These a believe hit the ships bow section, yet in the brief sinking scene in the film the USS Indianapolis is depicted sinking from the stern?

I suspect this is a question of whether such mistakes really matter when making an movie adaptation of this kind. Personally mistakes like these do matter to me, and probably happen because of lack of research on the film makers account.
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Re: USS Indianapolis — Mission of the Sharks — INACCURACIES

Postby RF » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:59 pm

I share your sentiments concerning the precise accuracy of these films, as there is a grey area between inaccuracy by neglect and deliberate falsification. Another concern is that if you can pick up errors in the film, then how many more errors went by unnoticed?
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Re: USS Indianapolis — Mission of the Sharks — INACCURACIES

Postby dfrighini » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:55 pm

Had a look on IMDB and they only have one goof listed, so what I mentioned seems to have go unnoticed...

Anachronisms: In the scene where a seaplane lands at sea to rescue the crew, the plane used is a Grumman Albatross. However, this aircraft was not put into service until 1949. The real life aircraft that rescued the crew, was a Catalina PBY.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102455/goofs

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Re: USS Indianapolis — Mission of the Sharks — INACCURACIES

Postby jsk1969 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:55 am

As good as a made for TV movie will get I guess...a story definately worth re-telling on the big screen.

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Re: USS Indianapolis — Mission of the Sharks — INACCURACIES

Postby dfrighini » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:36 pm

jsk1969 wrote:As good as a made for TV movie will get I guess...a story definately worth re-telling on the big screen.


I like this film, and appreciate your point-of-view that it is as good as it gets for a TV drama. Likewise I'd like to see a big screen version of USS Indianapolis's story, as long as any potential film makers can maintain some historical accuracy, although I do appreciate some things need change for the sake of narrative.

Although I noted some inaccuracies in this film, I don't think they are a major issue, when compared to striking inaccuracies witnessed in other historical films (U571 being a good example). Regards.
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Re: USS Indianapolis — Mission of the Sharks — INACCURACIES

Postby aurora » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:28 pm

At 12:14 a.m. on July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was hit by two of six torpedoes fired by the Japanese submarine I 58 in the Philippine Sea and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,196 men on board, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remainder, about 900 men, were left floating in shark-infested waters with no lifeboats and most with no food or water. The ship was never missed, and by the time the survivors were spotted by accident four days later only 316 men were still alive.
The ship's captain, the late Charles Butler McVay III, survived and was court-martialled and convicted of "hazarding his ship by failing to zigzag" despite overwhelming evidence that the Navy itself had placed the ship in harm's way and despite testimony from the Japanese submarine commander that zigzagging would have made no difference, and despite that fact that, although over 350 navy ships were lost in combat in WWII, McVay was the only captain to be court-martialled. Materials declassified years later add to the evidence that McVay was a scapegoat for the mistakes of others.

In October of 2000, following years of effort by the survivors and their supporters, legislation was passed in Washington and signed by President Clinton expressing the sense of Congress, among other things, that Captain McVay's record should now reflect that he is exonerated for the loss of the Indianapolis and for the death of her crew who were lost.

In July of 2001 the Navy Department announced that Captain McVay's record has been amended to exonerate him for the loss of the Indianapolis and the lives of those who perished as a result of her sinking. The action was taken by Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England who was persuaded to do so by New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith, a strong advocate of McVay's innocence. The survivors are deeply grateful to Secretary England and Senator Smith and also to young Hunter Scott of Pensacola, Florida, without whom the injustice to Captain McVay would never have been brought to the attention of the media and the Congress.

Unfortunately, the conviction for hazarding his ship by failing to zigzag remains on Captain McVay's record. Never in the history of the U.S. military has the verdict of a court-martial been overturned, and there is no known process for doing so.

It can be stated unequivocally, however, that, if the Indianapolis had arrived safely at Leyte without incident, Captain McVay would never have been court-martialed. Thus, by exonerating him for the loss of the ship and the death of 880 of her crew members, the Navy Department has at last conceded that he was innocent of any wrong-doing. His exoneration is tantamount to an admission that he should never have been court-martialled in the first place.
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