Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide (1995)

3 questions

Question: The disagreement between Hunter and Ramsey centers on the interpretation of the message that got cut off - Hunter says it might be a recall order so it has to be verified before they launch missiles; Ramsey says it is meaningless because it got cut off, so they should proceed with their original orders. I do understand that the captain was working within a scary time limit (one hour till the Russians could fire their missiles), but I don't understand how anyone could justify not spending part of that hour trying to confirm the cut-off message. Naval command would hardly have radioed them again to say "Yes, we really want you to fire your missiles, we're just telling you again for emphasis," so that means it was not just possible but extremely likely that the cut-off message was a recall order. Given that, how could anyone in their right mind want to cause a nuclear holocaust without first trying to find out what the cut-off message really said?

Chosen answer: In a war situation, the Captain is absolutely NOT allowed to try and contact anyone, lest it gives their position away, which is why he was unable to question or confirm the order.

GalahadFairlight

Question: I know that this film was set in the 1990s but even then, was smoking permitted on US submarines? It would seem a bit odd given that the crew are relying on recycled oxygen.

Chosen answer: In the most technical sense ("by the book") it is against policy. But then, the Marines do not allow tattoos and look how well that's enforced. It is up to the ship's Captain to enforce such regulations, and at sea, there's no one to penalize him if he chooses to let the crew smoke at certain times, given certain conditions.

johnrosa

Question: If the radio antenna was cut, how in the world did they get communication? It seems they were working on the radio on the sub, what good would that do if there was no antennae?

iceverything776

Chosen answer: The ship has a second antenna, but the radio is damaged during the torpedo attack. Therefore they have to fix it in order to use the backup antenna.

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Mistakes

When the Captain (Gene Hackman) is getting ready to address the crew, the Chief of the Boat (an enlisted man) is briefly shown barking orders to the crew wearing a combination cover with an officer's golden chin strap. A Chief Petty Officer wears a black chin strap. Contrary to popular belief, it's not illegal to wear an accurate uniform on film, in fact the military offer their help to ensure uniforms are accurate: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=516, so that's not the reason.

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Trivia

Quentin Tarantino did uncredited script work on this film.

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