Nuclear Rescue 911 - Broken Arrows & Incidents
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Product Description

The U.S. government uses the phrase "broken arrow" to refer to an accident involving a nuclear weapon, and as Nuclear Rescue 911: Broken Arrows & Incidents makes chillingly clear, there have been many more such mishaps than the public realizes. Between 1950 and 1980, there were 32 accidents that involved a nuke, dire situations that featured crashing bombers, disappearing submarines, and even a deadly fiasco in Arkansas triggered when a hapless technician dropped a socket wrench down a missile silo. While some of these events were calamitous, none of them, thankfully, actually set off a nuclear explosion. This film, however, makes the point that some of these misfortunes came astonishingly close to wiping out millions of people. Using a combination of news footage and stock archival footage to portray real events, and a narration delivered by Adam West of Batman fame, the documentary is appropriately sober and tends not to be sensationalistic. Credibility is established by some interviews with participants in the various accidents, and a former Department of Energy spokesman appears throughout to provide details about particular events. An interesting DVD bonus item is an alarmingly upbeat 1950s vintage film short the U.S. Air Force made to showcase its safety procedures in handling nuclear weapons at the height of the cold war. -- Robert J. McNamara

Since 1950, there have been 32 nuclear weapon accidents, known as "Broken Arrows." A Broken Arrow is defined as an unexpected event involving nuclear weapons that result in the accidental launching, firing, detonating, theft or loss of the weapon. To date, six nuclear weapons have been lost and never recovered.Now, recently declassified documents reveal the history and secrecy surrounding the events known as "Broken Arrows". There have been 32 nuclear weapon accidents since 1950. Six of these nuclear weapons have been lost and never recovered. What does this say about our defense system? What does this mean to our threatened environment? What do we do to rectify these monumental "mistakes"? Using spectacular special effects, newly uncovered and recently declassified footage, filmmaker Peter Kuran explores the accidents, incidents and exercises in the secret world of nuclear weapons.

Customer Reviews:
  • Recycled footage, incongruent, amateurish
    I usually greatly enjoy anything with footage of nuclear weapons, nuclear tests, Manhattan project, etc. When I saw this DVD for sale, I was excited. After viewing it however, I was very disappointed.

    The story line is incongruent. Just seems to jump all around aimlessly. Very amateurish. The narrator seems almost bored with the film and strangely exaggerates the word "nuclear" almost every time he says it. Seems like he's trying to get your attention or something, but it just sounds silly.

    The nuclear weapon footage is almost all stuff I had seen before in the film "Trinity and Beyond" (which is very good film). You can get more images of lost nuclear weapons just with a google search than you will get in this film.

    Special effects are cheezy. For example, there is a special effect segment showing a large bomber crashing. This shows that the nose of the airplane stays completely intact throughout the crash, but the narrator goes on to say and the film later shows that the plane was completely smashed to bits. Maybe they felt compelled to use the animation because they spent a lot of money on it and not because it was historically accurate.

    Very little footage of any nuclear weapons, mostly old footage of planes, millitary bases and stuff and interviews with some weird people.

    There was some interesting footage of a people wearing special suits going into a missile silo while there was fuel leak and also a story of a nuclear weapon test that failed to fire. Those were interesting to me, but the rest was pretty poor.

    ...more info
  • Not entirely new, but interesting nonetheless
    Thankfully, Director and Special Effects Guru Peter Kuran has taken it upon himself to become a force for preservation of an important part of America's past - the nuclear age, and all of the trials, tribulations, horror, progress, humor, and stupidity that time entails. His other films, Trinity and Beyond, Atomic Journeys, and Nukes In Space all address various aspects of the atomic generation: Trinity is a general overview, Journeys a "tour" of sites around the US and the world, and Space studies in-depth the high-altitude nuclear detonations the US conducted. (Fans will also note that Kuran did a tribute film to the men who originally shot this footage called Atomic Filmmakers, which according to Peter himself will debut on DVD soon in an extended, "Director's Cut" version).

    Kuran's latest work, Nuclear Rescue 911, centers around the various accidents surrounding the use of nuclear weapons in the US program. Like the others, it is a documentary, comprised mostly of old restored footage, narration, and some interviews. Like the others, much of the restored footage is stuff we've seen before, either in Trinity or Journeys. Unfortunately, there is depressingly little new footage in this film, although the focus of the narration almost makes up for that problem. I suspect that Kuran is running out of usable source material, which is fine, and the voiceovers on the different subjects make these films equally as educational as the originals. Perhaps it is the romantic in me that wishes Peter could come across a lost archive of material, restore it, and cut an entirely new film as engaging as Trinity was.

    To be sure, the educational (and horror) value of Nuclear Rescue cannot be stressed enough. As always, the DVD is packed with supplemental materials, and expect your subwoofer to get a good workout from the bass-intense 5.1 track. Kuran fans will want to add this disc to their collection; others will want to check out Trinity and Beyond first, and perhaps Atomic Journeys, as many of the subjects in this film are introduced in those two as well. The value of Kuran's efforts at restoring these old films should be apparant to anyone who has any kind of historical sense, but, as indicated, there isn't a whole lot of new material here.

    Now, we just have to wait for Atomic Filmmakers and - dare I suggest it - The Atomic Cafe to find thier way to DVD....more info

  • life after half life
    Directer Peter Kuran scores another hit with Nuclear Rescue 911.As with his previous releases such as Trinity and Beyond, Nukes in Space and Welcome To Ground Zero he has managed to package together some beautifully restored declassified goverment footage combined with his own computer generated effects to re-create some of this nations near cataclismic nuclear accidents.Watching this dvd makes us cold war survivors realize how dangerous a game we were playing during the hieght of U.S.-Russian tensions.If you have seen Trinity and Beyond you will immediately notice that the narration is not the voice of William Shatner but that of Adam West who i found to be a bit distracting.The running time of just over 1 hour seems a bit short for such a profound subject and I would have liked more but considering how little info is available to the public concerning nuclear accidents i would definately reccommend buying this dvd due to the high quality production values and the great little "extras" contained on the disc.Note:this is not about nuclear reactor accidents, but rather it primarily explores aircraft crashes and "lost" atomic weapons.How can this happen? View the disc and find out.Related DVD reccommendation is The Phenonmena Archives series,specifically the disc covering the lost Savanna Hydrogen Bomb.I tip my hat to Mr. Kuran for his continuing efforts to complile and restore our nations decaying nuclear film archives.Keep up the great work Pete!...more info