Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

  • Calendar

    April 2024
    S M T W T F S
  • Recent Posts

  • Tag Cloud

  • Archives

United 93

Posted by Richard on April 19, 2006

Universal’s United 93 is premiering next Tuesday, April 25th, at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. You’ve probably read or heard that some people aren’t happy that a film about the heroes of United Flight 93 has been made. When the trailer was first shown, people in a Hollywood theater audience reportedly shouted "too soon!" I wonder if those people thought Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11 was "too soon"? No, I suspect they lined up eagerly to see it.

We’ve been at war with Islamofascism for almost five years (consciously and explicitly, that is; they’ve been waging war on us for longer than that, but we didn’t recognize it as such). I think it’s high time that we had a major theatrical film about this war, and it’s only appropriate that it be about what is probably the most courageous action by a group of American civilians in our nation’s history.

Back in January, I saw A&E’s low-budget TV movie, Flight 93, and I was moved by it and spoke highly of it:

It’s a story we’re all familiar with, and we all know how it ended. But I found it compelling and moving and riveting. This is no hagiography to larger-than-life heroes — it’s presentation of the events is straightforward and relatively low-key — and it’s all the more powerful for it. I’m an atheist, but when Todd Beamer and Verizon call center supervisor Lisa Jefferson spoke the Lord’s Prayer together just before Todd and the others attacked the cockpit, I wept.

"Let’s roll" was spoken firmly, but without bravado, and I didn’t cheer — but I set my jaw and unconsciously tensed in anticipation, as if hoping and wishing for success. I suppose, in a sense, success is what we got.
… I strongly recommend it. I wish every American would see it.

My reaction and recommendation were driven, of course, more by the story itself than by some great achievement of the A&E production (nevertheless, it’s a decent and worthwhile depiction; it’s being rebroadcast this month, and I still recommend it). What actually happened on that flight is so compelling and inspiring that any serviceable, well-intentioned, and reasonably accurate portrayal of the events would have to be moving and riveting.

By all accounts, United 93 director Paul Greengrass has produced a film that’s far more than just serviceable, and it has the unanimous endorsement of the families of the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93.

Dennis Prager attended a preview screening of United 93 recently, and he was impressed. He, too, thought it was about time rather than "too soon":

Five years after the most devastating attack on American soil, people are asking if Americans are ready to see a film — not some fictional, politically driven, reality-distorting film by Oliver Stone, but a film based on the phone conversations of the passengers and flight attendants, on the flight recorder tape, and approved by the families of all 40 passengers — one of the most terrible and heroic events in American history.

Did anyone ask in 1946, five years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, whether Americans were prepared to see a film about the Japanese attack?

Hollywood’s lack of interest was especially odd, Prager noted, considering the values and goals of our Islamofascist enemies:

… For five years, America has been battling people who are dedicated to destroying every value that Hollywood claims to care most about — freedom, tolerance, women’s rights, secular government, equality for gays — and Hollywood has yet to make a film depicting, let alone honoring, this war.

Prager objected to a post-film bow to political correctness that Universal assured him would be removed, but otherwise strongly recommended this film:

I believe it is just about every American’s duty to see this film. There is no gratuitous violence — if anything, Universal went out of its way to prevent us from seeing the reality of the throat-slashing of passengers and crew — but there is unremitting tension and sadness, since we all know what will happen to these unsuspecting people, and we know this is real, not fiction.

There is also American heroism. People completely unprepared for an airplane flight to become their last hour alive rise to the occasion and save fellow Americans from death and from the humiliation of having their nation’s capitol building destroyed.

The only people likely to object to this film are those who don’t want Americans to become aware of just how conscienceless, cruel and depraved our enemy is, or those who think that our enemies can always be negotiated with and therefore object to depicting Americans actually fighting back.

Teenage and older children in particular should see this film. If the younger teens have nightmares, comfort them. But young Americans need to know the nature of whom we are fighting. If they are attending a typical American high school or college, they probably don’t know.

Congratulations to Universal Studios on making this film (presuming that, as assured to me, they removed the post-film politically inspired message). And shame on Hollywood for only making one such film in five years. 

United 93 opens around the country on Friday, April 28. I probably won’t see it right away because of some other things going on — personal and family matters. But I certainly intend to see it, probably more than once, as soon as I can. I fervently hope that many millions of Americans watch this film.

We need to remember what happened on September 11, 2001 — not just the tragedies, but also the triumph. We need to remember that on that day, a group of forty Americans thrown together by chance became the first to be fully aware of the nature of our enemy, and they chose to fight.

And they won. With no weapons, training, or special knowledge, and only the briefest period of time to fathom what was happening and determine what to do about it, they defeated our enemy’s best men carrying out their most sophisticated plan.

We need to let their courage and commitment inspire us and serve as an example of how free people act. Please make plans now to go see United 93

Subscribe To Site:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.