1990s Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (1991)

Published on January 15th, 2013 | by Chris

1

Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (1991)

Movie directed by:
Robert Iscove

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On January 15, 2013
Last modified:January 25, 2013

Summary:

A decent docu-drama about the USS Indianapolis' and a great homage to her crew.

Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (1991)

Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis is exactly what you would expect.  It is the chronicle of the legendary final mission of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, which was sunk by a Japanese submarine, and its surviving crew left to fend for themselves in shark infested water for five days.

The movie starts off with the earlier, and somewhat lesser known part of her mission.  That is, the delivery of parts and the all important uranium core for "Little Boy," the bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima.  (and featuring military adviser Dale Dye!)  Once this small portion of the film is completed, the film follows exactly what you would expect.  Captain McVay (Stacy Keach) takes the ship back out to sea, and then all hell breaks loose.

Things follow a predictable path, from the attack, the sinking, the ensuing 5 days on the open waters being randomly attacked by sharks.  The madness, the fear, death, dying....  Again, with the limitations that TV presented, I'd have to say they did what they could.

Instead of merely ending the movie when the remaining crew have been rescued, they go one step further.  Another little known fact is that Captain McVay was court martialed for this incident.  It would seem the Navy needed someone to blame.   Even going so far as bringing Commander Hashimoto (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) the captain of the Japanese sub who sunk her, to testify.  I, for one, am glad they chose to include this, as it did nothing but serve to further put you on the side of these guys.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately? I don't know) it doesn't go far enough, and does not include the fact that McVay committed suicide some years later, presumably over the incident.

For a TV-based docu-drama, I'm going to have to give Mission of the Shark a fair 7/10.

Honestly, for a made-for-TV movie (I'm assuming this was the case, judging from the 4:3 format) it was a decent way to blow an hour and a half, and an excellent and deserved homage to the crew of the Indianapolis, all of them.

Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis
Sale Price: $24.57
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Description

The true-life drama of the men serving on the USS Indianapolis in the summer of 1945 this film traces their mission of transporting the Enola Gay across the Pacific.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE Rating: NR UPC: 027616080288 Manufacturer No: M108028

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: Twentieth Century Fox
Manufacturer: MGM (Video & DVD)
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Stacy Keach
  • Richard Thomas
  • Steve Landesberg
  • Don Harvey
  • Robert Cicchini

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandson of WWII US Navy Veteran, July 11, 2010
By 
M. Steele (Florida) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (DVD)
I bought the DVD last spring before my grandfather died. He served in the US Navy in WWII. I thought the sinking and subsequent trial were very tragic. I know many Navy sailors did not survive WWII to see their grandsons. May they rest in peace. I know I was lucky to get to know my grandfather who survived WWII. He often shared his experiences with the US Navy in the South Pacific. His older brother served at Iwo Jima as a US Marine in 1945. The movie brings the USS Indianapolis and its historical characters to life. I miss my grandfather, but I know he was fortunate to live a long life. Many soldiers on the Indianapolis suffered a tragic ending from the blast, wounds, exposure, and shark attacks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Not to ship and aviation enthusiasts, April 25, 2014
By 
C. Andrews (Wentzville MO) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (DVD)
First 30 minutes leads up to the sinking, and last 20 minutes involve the aftermath. This is a general view of what happened, though I don't care for the lurid title.

Filmed aboard USS Alabama memorial. There are shots of a destroyer used without i.d., but a whale boat was marked DE368 to represent the Doyle that was the first ship to arrive and the last to leave. A post war Albatross substitutes for the Catalina that was the first to land. The Ventura report is not mentioned directly.

The I-58 is shown about three different ways: a different underwater model firing, a Uboat surfacing and a sail for the surface, which might be the USS Drum at the same memorial.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They took the Atom Bomb to where it would fly from, then were sunk on the way back., November 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (DVD)
The sinking and horror after, are presented in this film in a way, a lot of people who might have heard of this ship, can see the whole story of her end, and those who survived, to either be eaten by sharks, or go mad from drinking sea water. The real victim, was her Captain, Charles Butler McVey III . He was the scapegoat. The grief must have been too much. in 1968, he committed suicide. This is tragedy, on tragedy. It is a well made film
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Share your thoughts with other customers:
 See all 31 customer reviews...
Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (1991) Chris

Summary: A decent docu-drama about the USS Indianapolis' and a great homage to her crew.

3.5


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



One Response to Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (1991)

  1. the war movie buff says:

    I saw this when it was first on TV and need to revisit it. It is an example of one of the good things movies can do – bring life to a forgotten historical topic. Plus the movie does justice to a wronged person – Capt. McVay. It’s a shame he did not live to see it. In some ways this movie reminds me of “The Lost Battalion”. Interestingly, Maj. Whittlesey also committed suicide after the war.

Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑
  • Subscribe via E-mail!

    Get notifications, exclusive contests and offers, and more!
    * = required field
  • More War Movies

  • Large Association of Movie Blogs
  • Recent Comments

  • Facebook

  • Archives