Though all these events trouble the crew of K-19, their objections are reduced to a few stoic grumbles as though improvising in the face of errors and inefficiencies is part of their Russian heritage. Indeed, the film shows, as does history, that the strength of this heritage is also their weakness. The men rally with pride when the missile is successfully fired under very difficult circumstances. But when everything that could go wrong on this doomed ship, nicknamed The Widowmaker, finally does, itís this stoicism coupled with their comradeship for their fellow crew members that enable a few of the men to expose themselves to nuclear radiation in order to save the ship and crew.
This heroism in the face of extreme danger makes this drama worth seeing. Men and women who have served the military of any nation will identify with the crew of K-19 and the obstacles they faced and heroically overcame. My only warning is that some of the scenes can be disturbing. As a Vietnam vet (Vietnam being a war full of errors and inefficiencies), I felt troubled by this film for several hours after seeing it. This is not a criticism but more of a tribute to the dramaís realism and a word of caution to war veterans.
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