World Trade Center (film)

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World Trade Center
A silhouette of the Twin Tower buildings of the World Trade Center
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by Moritz Borman
Debra Hill
Michael Shamberg
Stacey Sher
Written by Andrea Berloff
Starring Nicolas Cage
Maria Bello
Michael Peña
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Stephen Dorff
Jon Bernthal
Jay Hernandez
Michael Shannon
Donna Murphy
Frank Whaley
Jude Ciccolella
Danny Nucci
Music by Craig Armstrong
Cinematography Seamus McGarvey
Edited by David Brenner
Julie Monroe
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s)
  • August 9, 2006 (2006-08-09)
Running time 128 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Germany
Language English
Budget $65 million
Box office $162,970,275

World Trade Center is a 2006 drama film directed by Oliver Stone and based on the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center. It stars Nicolas Cage, Maria Bello, Michael Peña, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stephen Dorff and Michael Shannon. The film was shot between October 19, 2005 and February 10, 2006 and released on August 9, 2006. World Trade Center is one of two films released in 2006 based on the 9/11 disaster, the other being United 93.

Plot[edit]

On September 11, 2001, Port Authority Police officers John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno, are patrolling the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, when they see a plane fly dangerously low overhead. As all of the police officers return to the station, they see on TV that the North Tower of the World Trade Center has been hit by a plane. Sergeant McLoughlin assigns many of the officers to assist in a precautionary evacuation attempt of the North Tower and they board a Metropolitan Transit Authority bus. On the bus, they hear reports that the South Tower has also been hit. When they arrive at the World Trade Center, they realize the extent of the disaster and see one of the victims jump out of the towers to certain death. The men proceed to get safety equipment from Building 5 and enter the concourse between the towers.

The group consists of McLoughlin, Jimeno, Dominick Pezzulo and Antonio Rodrigues. Officer Chris Amoroso appears to inform them of other events, such as the attack on the Pentagon, the second plane's hit on the South Tower and an attack on Israel though the group does not accept any of these as true. As the men prepare to enter the North Tower, the buildings begin to rumble. McLoughlin realizes that the South Tower is collapsing onto them and that their only chance of survival is to run into the service elevator shaft. Amoroso trips and does not have time to get up. Rodrigues is unable to get to the shaft in time. McLoughlin, Jimeno and Pezzulo manage to escape the huge amounts of dust and rubble flying down from the South Tower. However, as the rubble continues to crush the elevator shaft, the three are trapped. As the cascade of debris subsides, Pezzulo realizes he can free himself and manages to move nearer to Jimeno who, along with McLoughlin, is pinned under rubble and cannot move. Pezzulo tries but fails to shift the debris covering Jimeno's legs and is ordered by McLoughlin not to leave.

As Pezzulo becomes optimistic that they will live, the rumbling begins again as the North Tower starts to collapse. Although Jimeno and McLoughlin are not further harmed, Pezzulo is fatally injured by shifting rubble. After he fires a gun through a gap in the rubble to try to alert rescuers to their position, he dies. Jimeno and McLoughlin spend hours under the rubble, in pain but exchanging stories about their lives and families. McLoughlin is particularly anxious to keep Jimeno from falling asleep and Jimeno also realizes that by straining to grab a metal bar above his body, he can make a noise that rescuers might hear. Two United States Marines, Dave Karnes and Jason Thomas, who are searching for survivors, do hear it and find the men, calling for help to dig them out. Jimeno is rescued first, and then hours later McLoughlin is lifted out of the debris, barely alive and in critical condition. They are then both reunited with their distraught families at the hospital. Two years after the attacks, McLoughlin and Jimeno attend a barbecue with their families: McLoughlin's wife Donna, Jimeno's wife Allison, daughter Bianca, and their newest addition Olivia.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The Port Authority police officers who are played by Cage and Peña, John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno, and their wives, played by Bello and Gyllenhaal, were involved with the writing of the screenplay and the production of the film. McLoughlin and Jimeno wanted to have a movie made to honor their rescuers and comrades who died on September 11, not for personal gain.

McLoughlin's wife Donna has said: "We got involved because we felt it needed to be done accurately. We wanted to do the right thing and I think the filmmakers wanted to do the right thing too."[1] Both John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno appear at the end of the film during the barbecue scene.

The real ESU (Emergency Services Unit) police from New York who are depicted in the film—Scott Strauss and Paddy McGee—were on set as technical advisers. In addition, the firemen in the film were played by real FDNY members who served on 9/11. All of them enthusiastically supported the film and its intention to accurately portray the rescue of McLoughlin and Jimeno.

Jeanette Pezzulo, the widow of Port Authority police officer Dominick Pezzulo (who died on 9/11 and is played by Jay Hernandez in this film), has expressed anger with the film, criticizing McLoughlin and Jimeno's participation in its production. She's quoted as saying, "My thing is: this man died for you. How do you do this to his family?"[1] Staten Island resident Jamie Amoroso, whose husband also died during the rescue operation, has also expressed her anger over the film and said she did "not need a movie" to tell her "what a hero" her husband was.[1]

There were initial concerns this film would examine 9/11 conspiracy theories because director Oliver Stone is known for examining similar theories in his films (JFK in particular), and some 9/11 conspiracy websites are promoting the idea that the film does contain hints of the conspiracy.[citation needed] Stone and the producers, and the real McLouglin and Jimeno, however, have said the film is a simple dedication to the heroism and sadness of the day with little-to-no political themes.[1][2][3]

The film has been accused of not providing a fair portrayal of the character and motives of rescuer Dave Karnes and paramedic Chuck Sereika. They did not participate in the making of the film and felt their roles of being the first rescuers to reach the trapped men did not receive enough screen time. Sereika began treating and extricating Jimeno a full 20 minutes before officers from the New York City Police Department's Emergency Services Unit arrived.[4]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

On opening weekend it made approximately $18,730,762 in the U.S. and Canada. In total, the film grossed $70,278,893 at the North American box office, and over $162,000,000 worldwide.[5]

Critical response [edit]

The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with a 68% "Fresh" approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes[6] and a score of 66/100 at Metacritic.[7]

The producers of the film met with all relevant September 11 victims groups before production began to inform them of the intention of the film. After its release, they, the NYPD and FDNY were very pleased with it. Former mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Governor George Pataki and then-Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scopetta, as well as representatives from the NY Port Authority, were at the premiere of the film at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan.

Media releases[edit]

The Region 1 DVD was released on December 12, 2006 with the Region 2 release following on January 29, 2007. A special 2-disc set was also released. A 3-disc deluxe edition was produced exclusively for Target stores. Although Paramount initially dropped its support of the Blu-ray format, it came to support Blu-ray again after HD DVD's demise. The film re-appeared on Blu-ray in May 2008.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Guardian Media Group (July 9, 2006). "A film too far for Stone?". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved July 19, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Oliver Stone shoots Sept. 11 movie in New York". USA Today. November 2, 2005. Retrieved July 22, 2006. 
  3. ^ Halbfinger, David M. (July 2, 2006). "Oliver Stone's 'World Trade Center' Seeks Truth in the Rubble". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2006. 
  4. ^ "Oliver Stone's World Trade Center Fiction". Slate. August 9, 2006. 
  5. ^ "World Trade Center (2006)". Boxofficemojo.com. Amazon. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  6. ^ "World Trade Center". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved March 22, 2009. 
  7. ^ "World Trade Center (2006): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved March 22, 2009. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]