MOBILE, AL (WKRG) — The Nicolas Cage movie filmed in Mobile and Baldwin counties last year about the worst naval disaster in U.S. history is seeing a theatrical release, just not a very large one.
“USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage” opened Friday for Veteran’s Day in just twelve theaters across the country, the distributor Saban Films tells News 5. Although the film’s premiere is Saturday in Mobile, none of the theaters showing the movie are in the state of Alabama:
- New York City (Cinema Village, AMC Empire 25)
- Los Angeles (Laemmle NoHo)
- Chicago (AMC Woodridg)
- Houston (AMC Studio)
- Dallas (AMC Grapevine)
- Denver (MC Southlands)
- Detroit (AMC Southfield)
- Kansas City (AMC Barrywoods)
- Phoenix (AMC Arizona Center)
- Washington, D.C. (AMC Hoffman)
- Monte Vista (Vali 3)
The limited release is far short of what the film’s studio, Hannibal Classics, was hoping for when we last spoke with them earlier this year. The film generated considerable hype in Alabama last year, being called the largest movie production ever in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
“It’s epic,” said studio publicist Elizabeth Wolfe in April. “But most of all, it pays tribute to the men of the USS Indianapolis. We think they’ll be very proud of this movie.”
The movie has received mostly poor reviews since being released on iTunes, Google Play and other streaming services last month, weeks before its limited theatrical release. The film has a 10% favorability rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 37% rating among audiences.
“USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage”, starring Cage, Tom Sizemore and Thomas Jane, tells the story of the World War II Navy cruiser that was sunk by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine shortly after delivering the first parts of what would become the atomic bomb. Hundreds of sailors were stranded at sea for four days, many of them dying to dehydration or shark attacks.
The movie’s production sets in Mobile and Baldwin counties were the biggest for a locally-shot motion picture in decades. More than a thousand extras were called in for the movie, most of them coming from the Gulf Coast.
The USS Alabama at Battleship Memorial Park was used at a stand-in for the USS Indianapolis. The ship was among the biggest reasons the studio decided to shoot in Mobile, Alabama.
Similarly, the USS Drum, a submarine, was used to depict the Japanese submarine that torpedoed the Indianapolis.
In Baldwin County, scenes showing the stranded sailors were shot in open water off our local beaches. You might remember a vintage PBY Catalina being used for those scenes began taking on water and had to be beached. It became a casualty as salvage efforts failed and the plane broke apart.