Back in 1995, a lot of movie geeks went to see director Tony Scott’s submarine thriller Crimson Tide because of the rumors that Scott’s True Romance screenwriter Quentin Tarantino had punched up Michael Schiffer’s script—because then, as now, any kind of new Tarantino work was an event. There’s still some debate over which scenes in Crimson Tide bear Tarantino’s stamp. (The conversation about Silver Surfer? Almost definitely. The discussion of Lipizzaner stallions? Could be.) There’s very little doubt however that Crimson Tide is one of Scott’s best films: a taut, claustrophobic updating of The Caine Mutiny, with Denzel Washington playing a nuclear submarine officer who disagrees with his CO (played by Gene Hackman) over how to interpret an order to launch missiles. No matter who deserves credit for Crimson Tide’s script, it’s a humdinger, pivoting on a crisis of leadership in which both parties are right and wrong. And since those parties are represented by Washington and Hackman, it’s all the harder to settle on a side. The argument rages anew tonight on HDNet Movies, at 6:45 and 11:20 p.m. Eastern.
September 30, 2014 newsreel