Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: 2001 Oscar Nominee "U-571" Great Historical Fiction for Men

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 111 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux

U-571 (2000)
Running time: 116 minutes (1 hour, 56 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for war violence
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Mostow
WRITERS: Jonathan Mostow, Sam Montgomery, and David Ayer; from a story by Jonathan Mostow
PRODUCERS: Dino De Laurentiis and Martha De Laurentiis
EDITOR: Wayne Wahrman
2001 Academy Award winner


Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi, David Keith, Jake Weber, Jack Noseworthy, Tom Guiry, Will Estes, Erik Palladino, Dave Power, Thomas Kretschmann, and Terrence “T.C.” Carson

It’s 1942, and Nazi Germany is decisively winning the Atlantic war. Their Enigma encoding device makes their ciphering system unbreakable, so the Allies cannot decipher Nazi messages they intercept. When the German submarine U-571 becomes adrift in the North Atlantic, Naval Command sends an American sub masquerading as a German sub to intercept U-571, in hopes of capturing the German’s sub Enigma machine. After disaster strikes, Lt. Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey) and the survivors commandeer U-571 and race for safety with a German warship right behind them.

U-571 is woefully inaccurate history. Apparently, the British Royal Navy was the first to capture the Enigma machine, and did so before the United States entered World War II. History aside, U-571 is a rousing old-fashioned submarine movie that keeps up the edge-of-the-seat suspense from start to finish. The performances are good, but the movie’s success as a thriller-at-sea is mainly because of director Jonathan Mostow and his creative crew: cinematographer, editor, sound and sound editing, etc. If only this effort had gone into making a historical accurate movie, but cinema doesn’t owe history the courtesy of being accurate. On its own terms, U-571 is a rousing sea-going adventure and an excellent “movie for guys who love movies.”

7 of 10

2001 Academy Awards: 1 win for “Best Sound Editing” (Jon Johnson); 1 nomination for “Best Sound” (Steve Maslow, Gregg Landaker, Rick Kline, and Ivan Sharrock)

Thursday, August 02, 2007



  1. Good sound and a good adventure story. However it upset me a great deal! The same story could have been done without mentioning Enigma.
    The Enigma story would have also been a great adventure and did not need to be completely accurate. The general public could have recieved a little history, a lot of adventure and entertainment ... in short all the things "U-571" and some accuracy.
    It's a great story! Capturing the Nazi code system, doing so while all the Germain crew is drowning, getting the equipment to the surface without killing yourself, creating the misinformation that nothing survived from the loss of the U boat. I guess the only problem with it was that this was accomplished by British servicemen, a few Canadians and an Austrailian.
    It doesn't matter what the nationality is of those who wrote "U-571" ... the producers were of the US persuasion so those who captured Enigma had to portrayed as American.
    My fellow Canadians who may have money only produce things that no one wants to buy.
    Its a tradition.

  2. Thank you for visiting this blog.

    I first tried to see this film back when it was initially released, but the projector at the movie theatre where I was watching it broke just after the American sub was destroyed. There were other aborted attempts to see it until 2007.

    In a way, I'm glad that it took me a long time to see U-571 because back in 2000, I was unaware of the controversy about it. It would have been embarrassing to have written a review not knowing of the historical inaccuracy.

    By the way, I have seen several Canadian films (on DVD, of course), and I wish more Americans would watch more Canadian films.