When I see a movie that’s based on a historical event, I often wonder about the accuracy of the details. My question is always, “Did the producer take creative license to make the story more interesting or is this really what happened?” I am often torn between knowing what really happened (even if it’s not that interesting) and being entertained by Hollywood even if what I saw was a fabrication.

Such was my plight when I went to see “Sully” the other day.

You remember the incident. When a flock of geese fly “through” US Airways Flight 1549, both jet engines stall at once forcing Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) to attempt an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River. Miraculously, all of the 155 passengers and crew survive and Sullenberger becomes a national hero in the eyes of the public and the media.

I had remembered the hero part, but I didn’t remember that the pilot faced an investigation that threatened to destroy his career and reputation. Turns out, I didn’t remember it because that wasn’t really what happened.

According to an article in the New York Times, the movie was unfair in that the investigation was routine and not an attempt to frame the pilot. Yet the National Transportation Safety Board is made out to be “the bad guy” who was out to prove that Sully acted irresponsible in the way he handled the situation.

I get that movies need an antagonist to sell tickets. And I do hope you go see it. Just know that historically, Sully’s decision making was never really brought into question.

Despite this license taken by the writers of the script, most of the story line was spot on. The flight sequences were filmed with IMAX equipment and the command sequence between pilot, co-pilot and the air traffic controller brings you right into a window seat on the exit row.

(I’ll bet you a large buttered popcorn the next time your flight attendant goes into their spiel about an emergency water landing that you’ll pay attention!) 🙂

Clint Eastwood directed the film and really brought the 208 seconds from exploding goose feathers to splashdown to life! Finally, Tom Hanks in his lead role “hits it out of the park.” (What else would you expect? It’s Hanks being Hanks.)

Finally, I have a thought about 9/11. I hope that when you go see Sully that you will remember some of New York’s finest public servants in prayer. In the case of the deceased, I hope you will remember their families and that God would be ever so close to them in their pain and loss.

First Responders just “doing their job” by saving the lives of many on 9/11 were also significantly present in “Sully – the Miracle on the Hudson.”

Go see this flick. You won’t regret it!

Something to think about.

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