All is Lost: *Spoilers / mistake list

*This thread is for those who have seen the movie. SPOILERS AHEAD*

I'm curious as to how many mistakes were made in the movie. I know I probably didn't catch all of them. But I thougth it might actually be educational to find the ones I'd missed. I'll start with the most obvious I remember, and we can take it from there.

By the way, I like this comment about the movie on another thread, and somewhat agree with it:

It's not a movie about sailing, so criticism at that level misses the point. It's an allegory, sailing as a metaphor for life. We travel through life solo, make good decisions, make bad decisions, have good luck, have bad luck, and die.

Step back and forget about sailing.
So I'd like this thread to be critical, but just about technical details, those which will be interesting and educational.

-The lack of radio equipment. Had they set the movie pre-gps, it would have been much more credible. But I'm just not sure the premise of the movie works today: If you're in the middle of an ocean and you don't have backup radios, epirbs, gps tracking services, satellite phones, VHF handhelds, etc, you're pretty much so stupid you deserve to die. The premise of the movie doesn't work. That's a problem.

-For a singlehander, he doesn't spend much time sailing. We never see an autopilot, he doesn't have a windvane, and we don't even see him rigging the boat to heave to. The movie gives the impression that boats don't need someone steering, or watching where they're going. That's counterintuitive even, I think, to non-sailors.

-The time to go to bare poles / storm sails is BEFORE the squall line gets to you, not DURING. Again, even non-sailors would sort of get to that conclusion.

-Granted, it's been 30 years since I've cracked open my Bowditch copy, but I don't think using a sextant to shoot the sun is any use unless it's sunrise, sunset, or high noon.

-It's very unlikely he could get any kind of accurate fix. If he wasn't familiar with the sextant, he had no reason to have his watch be accurate to the second, and even if it was accurate within ten seconds, and he's got clear skies and an accurate fix, that's 1200 miles of longitude that's ambiguous. Not to mention figuring out those friggin tables so close to the dateline, having relevant tables, etc. Not many could get a fix by reading the manual for the first time.

-The contrast between conditions that would roll a boat tethered to a sea anchor, and the bathtub conditions we see when he leaves the interior are way too high. I get that they shot it in a tank on a limited budget, but it just didn't work for me. You have to help me out with better effects.

-Again, we don't see him actually sailing. Like tuning the lenght of the line for the sea anchor to the length of the swells, or adjusting the angle of that line to the ship. Throwing it and forgetting it would be worse than useless.

-He doesn't know how to rig a tether. If you can go overboard, you've done it wrong.

-He's singlehanding in the middle of the Indian Ocean, but doesn't know how to set off a flare? And we're supposed to feel sorry for him?

-He's got a huge sunhat, with a chinstrap, yet gets badly sunburnt. Why?

-He's got yummy small sharks in the area of his raft, line, hooks, and a knife, but isn't interested in dinner? (granted, landing one and cleaning it without damaging the raft or dealing with larger sharks would be tricky).

-He rides out a squall in his raft at night, but doesn't turn his light off to conserve battery. Ultimately, he has to set his raft on fire for lack of a light. What's wrong with this picture?

-It bugged me that he didn't clear the line to his sea anchor when he's walking it off the container. Just one of those moments any experienced sailor would watch and have his hands twitch wanting to do it right...

What else?



Not here
it is hard to cheer for a guy who is so incompetent. but there are plenty of folks out there who know about as much as the redford character. with that in mind, the realism is pretty sick. And it's the first imagery I've ever seen that captures just how big a monster container ship is when you are on a little boat.


LB 15

Sailing movies are the same as anything else. They are made for entertaining a mass market and for turning a dollor. Remember 'wind'

Do Americias cup syndicates really test sails by pulling a truck? I liked the bit where the US skipper brought his girlfriend on as tactician.

And what about dead calm? At one point Nicole Kidman tacked the swan 65 single handed whilst standing on the second spreader.

But you did get to see her arse. And it has a far greater range of expressions than her face.



Super Anarchist
I've only seen a trailer, but any sailor with a radio should know the difference between using "SOS" and "Mayday."

If sending Morse code, I suppose it might be different. Isn't MAYDAY used on radios all over the world?

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Mistakes that bothered me:

What's the first thing you'd do when waking up and faced with water plunging in over the nav station?

Tacking onto port when he's still not patched the hole on his starboard side.

Leaving the cabin top open Every Single Time he went top sides no matter how hard it was raining.

Tether on much later than seemed reasonable given the conditions, same w/ foulies. Not to mention PFD.

Fancy new life raft, but no radio.

Getting onto the life raft when he could still (IMO) save his boat.

However many accidents at sea happen as a result of one bad decision and / or a cascade of failures, sometimes resulting in death. It's how you handle it that makes the story.



Hanging net full of nice fresh fruit in the middle of the ocean .....

Leaving the companionway open every single drove me nuts too



Super Anarchist
Well, the list of things can be a long one.

Skipper had to fish his harness out of a settee storage compartment.

6-8-man raft packed in a 2-4 man pack and stored in the forward wet locker not near the companionway.

Skipper clipped onto the lifeline, not a jackline.

No handheld GPS or VHF.

No ER water supply.

How did he fire up his propane stove with no electrics?

How do you plot a position on a folder chart where the lat/lon references are not visible?

The repair work deserves a thread of its own.

What kind of mast climbing gear was that?

How'd he clear the broken mast without snipping the stays with a bolt cutter? (Note: shrouds were torn out of the deck on stbd).

On the plus side, I thought using the drogue on the container was a smooth move, but why not tie the boat to the container and use it as a dock while doing repairs?



Super Anarchist
NA westcoast
If you're single handing offshore, what exactly is the purpose of a PFD?

You get to live an hour longer.

....once talked to an oldtimer who was s'handing at night,,,fell off his boat,,,,watched it sail away into the night.........

...........then somehow it self-tacked and sailed right back to him......what's th'chance??** :eek:

.......**..yes,,th'oldsalt was rather known for his tall-tales :mellow: .



Super Anarchist
Victoria, BC
He did have a wind vane steering system, and you can seen the line around the wheel axel. After the roll you can see the broken wing on the vane.

All of my criticisms are related to his ability to handle the problems. I felt that he had never been on a boat before this trip.

Why did he take no immediate steps at all to plug the hole? Even stuffing a seat cuishon into the hole would have been something, but he did absolutely nothing. Instead he tacked onto port and put the hole back underwater. NO sailor in the world would have done that.

Why did he use the hand pump for endless hours when he could have used a bucket to empty the cabin at 5X the rate.

Later, why did he not empty the cabin at all? He just walked around in chest deep water. Anyone would empty the cabin of water first. He was not taking on water at the time and he could easily have saved the boat.

Why did he climb the mast to fix the antenna. The radio was already fried at that point. We did not see him attempting to use the radio again after he climbed the mast.

In the opening monolog he says he has only 1/2 day's ration left. Why? He had a long, long time in the boat before abandoning. Why did he not take more food and cans of juice and beer.

Why did he have such trouble changing to his storm jib. This is normal sailing and has nothing to do with the hole in the side.

Why kind of idiot would start a fire inside a plastic container, inside his boat? Even a child would not do such a thing.

Why do they make liferafts that are flammible. It lit up as if it was covered in oil. I did not know that liferafts are made like this. (and I hope mine is not).

Why did he give up on life so soon after jumping off the liferaft? Considering that he wanted to get the attention of the boat, would he not realize that a big honking fire would do just what he wanted?

Lighten up. It's a movie. And the guy is a Downhill Racer. Not a sailor.

If you want to see where there is a lot if bullshit in movies, go watch any Oliver Stone movie based on a real historical figure.



Super Anarchist
If you watch this vid. you'll see a scene where the skipper is watching his boat go down. In that scene, there is no windvane affixed to the stern of the boat, so all the self-steering must be accomplished by tying the wheel down. And when the skipper is at the helm, there are several instances where he is going hard over from one tack to the other. One can only assume he's hoving to, eh?

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Super Anarchist
Victoria, BC
Lighten up. It's a movie.
I don't really agree. This was not presented as a fantasy - It was presented as a depiction of reality. With just a tiny bit of thought it could have been made much better. Inattention to details makes for a bad movie, just like it makes for a bad sailing voyage :wacko:

I concur with so many of these points. But one of the things that caught my eye in the first trip below was a 110v toaster on the counter under the companionway, plugged in. Loves his toast when in port?

I have met sailors with all kinds of skill levels and foolish habits. There have been times heading to the start of a multi-day race I know I have the equipment on the required list, but haven't quite managed to get it installed or tested. The brand-new sextant was both a foolish move and a not-untypical situation.

Still, I enjoyed the movie and am glad someone took a flyer on telling a story about a situation few movie-goers will see.


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