They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

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I Am Not Howard Hughes

But I Love Ice Station Zebra

While eating lunch and listening to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me: The NPR News Quiz, I saw that one of my favorite movies, Ice Station Zebra, was starting up on Turner Classic Movies. Properly Letterboxed, and including the Overture, Intermission and End Music frames from the last of an era when Great Films had such things. Though the sound was off through the first half-hour, I did get to see that first half-hour. Every time I run into the film at random on TV, it is always towards the end. Also part of the documentary that showed how they filmed real subs diving, etc.

Sure, there are problems with the film. And by today's standards, the special effects and soundstage work are laughable as Big Budget Movie fare. The quartet of MiG-21s, I'm looking at you! But what a great cast -- Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, Ernest Borgnine and Jim Brown. And a real attempt at making a sub look like a working system.

Grown Up

Now that I am older and doing some serious writing, I can see things which I didn't notice before. Switching to interior red lights to protect night vision, and then surfacing in daylight. Huh? And that scene where the torpedo tube has been sabotaged? The two men in the scene are suddenly talking "life stuff", in particular the one guy's paperwork to get married to an instant family. Yeah, that's got Red Shirt pasted all over it. You know who's going to die. Chekhov put a loaded, er... flooded torpedo tube on the mantle and he just had to use it.

And Rock Hudson making sure it's all a stalemate with the Soviets? A golden moment. If only that wasn't a Soviet F-4 Phantom II making the run to pick up the satellite and the balloon. (sigh) (grin) That probably drove old Howard Hughes nuts. Oh wait.

Dr. Phil
Tags: comments, movies
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