Anmeldelse af spillefilmen "Ice Station Zebra" fra 1968

Anmeldelsen er udført af Civilingeniør John Genart.



Hvorfor mon jeg anmelder denne film?

Jo, der er mange årsager:

1) For det første er det en utrolig flot film, når man tager i betragtning, at filmen er helt tilbage fra 1968 og altså før, at man kunne animere ved hjælp af computerkraft. Det er også en glæde at se de gode gamle top skuespillere fra den tid.

2) Ubåden, som man ser i filmen, er en ægte amerikansk atomundervandsbåd af samme type og klasse, som US-Navy's ubåd USS Nautilus, som var verdens første undervandsbåd, som sejlede hele vejen under isen og nordpolen på den nordlige iskalot i august 1958.

3) Filmen giver et ganske godt indtryk af de spændinger, der herskede imellem USA og USSR i slutningen af 1950'erne og i begyndelsen af 1960'erne, hvor det helt store kapløb om rummet var i gang. Introduktionen af spionsatellitter på begge sider var et faktum i begyndelsen af 1960'erne.

4) I filmen vises et eksempel på, hvor hurtigt, at det kan gå galt - selv på en avanceret amerikansk atomundervandsbåd - hvis fx det forreste torpedorum pludseligt bliver vandfyldt. Ubåden dykker næsten lodret ned mod bunden, og faldet er svært at stoppe.

5) På et tidspunkt i filmen bliver det forklaret, at den avancerede teknologi inden for den detaljerede fotografering foretaget fra spionsatellitterne - både fra USA's og USSR's side - er blevet udviklet af og muliggjort af tyske forskere.


Ice Station Zebra is a 1968 action film directed by John Sturges, starring Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown. The screenplay by Alistair MacLean, Douglas Heyes, Harry Julian Fink, and W.R. Burnett is loosely based upon MacLean's 1963 novel of the same name. Both have parallels to real-life events that took place in 1959 (see below). The film was photographed in Super Panavision 70 by Daniel L. Fapp, and presented in 70 mm Cinerama in premiere engagements. The original music score is by Michel Legrand.

A satellite reenters the atmosphere and ejects a capsule which parachutes to the Arctic (85N 21W). During an ice storm, a figure soon approaches, guided by a homing beacon, while a second individual secretly watches from nearby.
The scene shifts to Commander James Ferraday (Rock Hudson), captain of the U.S. nuclear attack submarine USS Tigerfish (SSN-509), stationed at Holy Loch, Scotland. He is ordered by Admiral Garvey (Lloyd Nolan) to rescue the personnel of Drift Ice Station Zebra, a civilian weather station moving with the ice pack. However, the mission is actually a cover for a highly classified assignment.
Ferraday welcomes aboard British intelligence agent Mr. "Jones" (Patrick McGoohan) and a Marine platoon. While underway, a SH-2 Sea Sprite helicopter delivers combat commander Captain Anders (Jim Brown), who takes command of the Marines, and Boris Vaslov (Ernest Borgnine), an amiable Russian defector and spy, who is a trusted colleague of Jones.
The Tigerfish makes its way under the ice to Zebra’s last known position. Ferraday decides to use a torpedo to blast an opening in the thick ice. However, the torpedo tube is open at both ends and seawater floods in, plunging the sub toward its rated crush depth. Jones helps to close the tube but even so, Ferraday and his crew are barely able to save themselves. During the investigation of the torpedo tube, Ferraday quickly determines that this malfunction should be impossible but Jones describes how someone could intentionally rig the tube to malfunction. Both Jones and Ferraday conclude that there is a saboteur aboard. Ferraday suspects Vaslov, while Jones suspects Anders, who is the least known member of the rescue team to Jones, Ferraday, and Vaslov, and universally disliked for his harsh methods. Jones demands Ferraday complete the mission regardless of the risk, and Ferraday refuses, unless he knows the purpose of the mission first. At that moment, an area of thin ice is located, and Ferraday surfaces the Tigerfish. (Intermission.)
Ferraday, Vaslov, Jones, and a rescue party set out for the weather station in zero visibility. They reach Zebra to find its buildings burned and the scientists nearly dead from exposure. Jones and Vaslov begin questioning the survivors. It becomes obvious that the two spies are looking for something.
Ferraday reveals to Jones that he knows more about the mission than he is supposed to, saying "We don't believe in going on a mission totally blindfolded". Jones reveals to Ferraday that an advanced experimental British camera was stolen by the Soviets, along with an enhanced film emulsion developed by the Americans. The Soviets sent it into orbit to photograph the locations of all the American missile silos. However, the camera malfunctioned and continued to record Soviet missile sites as well. A second malfunction forced re-entry in the Arctic, close to Ice Station Zebra. Soon after, undercover Soviet and British agents arrived to recover the film capsule, and the civilian scientists at Zebra were caught in the crossfire between them.
As the weather clears, Ferraday set his crew to searching for the capsule. Jones eventually finds a hidden tracking device. He is blind-sided and knocked unconscious by Vaslov, who is in fact a Soviet double agent. But before Vaslov can make off with his prize, he is confronted by Anders. As the two men fight, a dazed Jones shoots and kills Captain Anders due to Vaslov's manipulation of the scenario.
Tigerfish's radar picks up Soviet aircraft heading toward Zebra. Ferraday remains suspicious of Vaslov, but allows him to use the tracker to locate the capsule, buried in the ice. As Ferraday's crew extracts the capsule, Russian paratroopers land at the scene. Their commander, Colonel Ostrovsky (Alf Kjellin), demands the capsule. Believing that the Americans have already secured the canister, the Russian commander threatens to activate the self-destruct mechanism with his transmitter. Ferraday stalls while Vaslov defuses the booby-trapped capsule and takes out the film. Ferraday hands over the empty container, but the deception is revealed and a brief firefight breaks out. In the confusion, Vaslov makes a break with the film canister. Jones stops Vaslov, wounds him fatally, and retrieves the film.
Ferraday orders Jones to hand the film over to the Soviets. However, Ferraday had earlier found a device identical to Ostrovsky's. The Russians send the canister aloft by balloon for recovery by an approaching aircraft. Lieutenant Walker makes a desperate attempt to get Ostrovsky's detonator, but fails and is wounded. Commander Ferraday then activates his detonator, destroying the film.
Ostrovsky concedes that "the incident is closed" and leaves, allowing the Tigerfish to complete the rescue of the civilians. A dissolving segue shows a teletype machine churning out a news story hailing the success of the "humanitarian" mission as an example of superpower cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union.


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Med venlig hilsen,
John Genart