Disney has a long tradition of delivering well-made true stories of inspiration, achievement and peril. Their true stories are some of the best out there with films like McFarland, Million Dollar Arm, The Rookie, Miracle and Remember the Titans. But it isn’t just sports stories that can enthrall an audience. Out this month is The Finest Hours, and incredible story of survival and courage that keeps the trend of well made Disney true stories alive.
Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) is a coast guard sailor in 1952 New England. When an oil tanker gets caught in a violent storm and the ship is literally torn in half, Bernie is ordered by superior Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) to take out a small motorboat with a crew of three men, Richard Livesley (Ben Foster), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner), and Ervin Maske (John Magaro) to help. Leaving his love Miriam Penttinen (Holliday Grainger) behind, Webber sets off to face one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast and rescue the men desperately trying to keep their half of the tanker afloat.
The Finest Hours is quite the incredible story and is also two unbelievable tales in one. The first story of the SS Pendleton is harrowing on its own, a huge oil tanker sheared in half by the storm and the amount of water the ship had taken on. The fact that the ship split right where there was a supporting wall enabling the one half to remain afloat was just astounding. The remaining crew began the exhaustive task of keeping the half ship afloat while waiting for help. The second story, of a very small boat not only braving the storm with four men aboard to get to the Pendleton to help, but having to overcome a huge bar in the water caused by a series of shoals that were dangerous even in good weather, is just as incredible. The production value here is excellent, the special effects stunning and quite terrifying, and the cast is a fantastic ensemble. Watch The Finest Hours on the biggest screen you have access to with the surround cranked as high as you can. This one is as immersive an experience as you could want. Highly recommended.