All is Lost: *Spoilers / mistake list

Dixie

Reporters
3,626
0
SF
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?

http://www..com/2013/10/17/video-lost-behind-scenes/
More direct link here: http://movies.yahoo.com/video/lost-redford-interview-164102394.html?soc_src=mediacontentsharebuttons

 

Bump-n-Grind

Get off my lawn.
14,700
3,498
Chesapeake Bay/Vail
I could live with most of the inconsistencies but the one that frosted my ass was when he had the "storm jib" out of the bag and trying to raise it, there' s all this wind and weather going on around the boat. I mean the rain is going sideways but the sails just hanging there limp. Having put up a jib or two on a deck that is swinging up and down thru a range of about 15-20 feet while the wind is trying to rip the sail to shreds, I found this offensive LOL

I did rather enjoy the movie. Not in the same sense that I enjoyed Dr Strangelove or Pirates of the caribbean, or even Little Big Man.

but once I disengaged my automatic critic of the sailing/seamanship thing, I could get the story. I think non-sailors could get to that point earlier.

 
My biggest problem was that he was able to, with seeming relative ease, just climb back onto his boat during the middle of a storm. Unless the boat was way heeled over, getting back aboard is not a simple task.

Oh, and when he was thrown overboard during the second capsize, he just happened to be able to swim back into the cockpit right before the boat righted itself. Riiiiiighhhhhtttt

 

CrushDigital

Super Anarchist
2,885
5
New York, NY
My biggest problem was that he was able to, with seeming relative ease, just climb back onto his boat during the middle of a storm. Unless the boat was way heeled over, getting back aboard is not a simple task.

Oh, and when he was thrown overboard during the second capsize, he just happened to be able to swim back into the cockpit right before the boat righted itself. Riiiiiighhhhhtttt
I think a lot of people here are forgetting it's a movie, not some attempt to please all the pedants this site is populated with. The producers in all likelihood don't give a damn about any of these issues because creating a compelling story trumps realism 9 times out of 10 for the most part.

Of course he was able to get back into the cockpit just before the boat righted itself, because if he hadn't the film would have been over at the 50 minute mark and that comes in just a bit short for a feature release.

 
My biggest problem was that he was able to, with seeming relative ease, just climb back onto his boat during the middle of a storm. Unless the boat was way heeled over, getting back aboard is not a simple task.

Oh, and when he was thrown overboard during the second capsize, he just happened to be able to swim back into the cockpit right before the boat righted itself. Riiiiiighhhhhtttt
I think a lot of people here are forgetting it's a movie, not some attempt to please all the pedants this site is populated with. The producers in all likelihood don't give a damn about any of these issues because creating a compelling story trumps realism 9 times out of 10 for the most part.

Of course he was able to get back into the cockpit just before the boat righted itself, because if he hadn't the film would have been over at the 50 minute mark and that comes in just a bit short for a feature release.
I agree with your points. But if we're going to critique the movie on a sailing site, that's what irked me.

Overall it's a solid film and worth the masses taking a look.

 

BalticBandit

Super Anarchist
11,114
2
*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.

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

What else?
Not necessarily. a friend of mine almost drowned on a Mini 6.50 when he went in with his tether on. its quite possible to do if you are midships of your jackline on relatively low freeboard.

 
I think even non-sailors would be surprised about removing all the washboards every time he transited the companionway, not matter what the weather. Hatches can't be wide open in rough seas.

I don't know how that boat took so long to sink. But a high priority is stocking the the life raft. And any emergency water supplies should be checked for freshness in advance, especially considering the time he had.

 
and another thing....

let's say you get past the part where there's no EPIRB --maybe too expensive or something --but why no air horn, fog horn, or other signaling device? I have at least three on my boat and that's for day sailing. One runs on canned air, one has a manual air pump, and one is a mouth-powered fog horn.

 
Loco. said:
If a film showed a person sticking a piece of broccoli in their ear and chewing everyone would know something was wrong.

Film makers judge accuracy against production costs and storytelling for the 95% of their audience.
and there are threads like this for the other 5%

I liked the movie, and now I like discussing it

 

JustaBoat

Anarchist
I saw the movie last weekend. I was let down, I guess I was all worked up to see some good sailing shots. NOT. Dead Calm had some great shots, Morning Light well, duh. Even Capt Ron had some good shots. I can't think of really one shot in the whole film. In a way it was annoying as RR was so dull and sloth like...I know for sure I would be talking up shit if it were me. Was there a sailing consultant on the flick? If so, They should be fired.

Yeah, I know it was not really a sailing movie and all the man for himself in the face of oblivion stuff. But, shit, what if Jeremiah Johnson had pythons and cheetahs in it...

Jeeez.

 

silent bob

Super Anarchist
8,696
1,282
New Jersey
Loco. said:
If a film showed a person sticking a piece of broccoli in their ear and chewing everyone would know something was wrong.

Film makers judge accuracy against production costs and storytelling for the 95% of their audience.
and there are threads like this for the other 5%

I liked the movie, and now I like discussing it

Is Hot Rod going to watch it to learn how to sail?

 

TACNI

Member
190
3
Detroit
Why in the world would he climb up the mast to re connect the VHF antenna when the VHF radio is on the deck not connected to the antenna cable?

 

Atmo

Member
I wouldn't even bother, it's just a movie, but the writer and director made a Big Deal out of all the procedural stuff that was so wrong, so:

-"Storm's coming, I'd better shave!"

-Giant hole at the waterline, giant container he could use to heel the boat to port while applying fiberglass in slow motion,

but noooo.

I'll tack-around to recover my sea anchor, that's not going anywhere, while my boat swamps and I do nothing about it.

-Boat's stable and not yet sunk, but I'll get a good night's sleep on the life raft, tethered to the boat that I just abandoned because it's sinking, and I'll think about getting water, clothes and food off the sinking boat at a later date.

-The big-ass black-oxide industrial lifting ring bolted to the stbd. deck for moving the boat around on-set.

-After fixing the hole, constantly not-sailing despite the breeze and the need to get somewhere.

-Leaving the vent cap off his only source of water.

-Okay, maybe he had to light a fire in a plastic jerry can, but the sea was calm so, at least, float the can away from the raft!

-The tub hailed from Maine and, somehow, an incompetent doofus made it to the Indian Ocean without learning anything -

I know, there's a rich history of incompetent doofuses at sea.

-A big one: A fully-clothed geezer can't just will himself to sink in salt water.

All the other things y'all already cited.

 

SHNOOL

Member
327
0
NE PA
I had such high hopes for this movie... the trailer came out and with the radio call of "SOS" and I was like, oh no, I JUST can't watch this.

Didn't anyone consult an actual sailor? Shame, it could have been a helluva premise for a movie.

 
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?
-Giant hole at the waterline, giant container he could use to heel the boat to port while applying fiberglass in slow motion,

but noooo.

Damm, I'm hoping that would be obvious if it happened to me, but watching the movie it didn't occur to me. Now I feel as dumb as the filmmakers. Of course the container floating so high in the water was SO improbable maybe I just ignored it the way I'd ignore a swimming unicorn. Much more probable for it to be 99% submerged.

FYI - You can take a sun sight anytime you can see the sun and the horizon.
Really? Maybe with a computer in hand, but with the printed Sight Reduction Tables that came with the sextant? Wouldn't they be minimal? I'm actually curious about this, so do elucidate. Thanks.

I guess I really think you could have set the movie pre-GPS, and had a real sail consultant, a more competent character, and some real bad luck combine with bad timing, and make a much better movie. Specializing as much as this and getting so much wrong just seems lazy and dumb to me.

 

estarzinger

Super Anarchist
7,624
1,009
well . . . .there were some errors in the movie . . . . .but how many can we find in this post :)

*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.

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.

An eprib would have solved this entire problem, but looking at his nav station, this is a '80's or early '90's set up and epirbs were not so common back then and sat phones not available at all. There are still people out there sailing like that in a simple way with limited (vhf only) communications. Today it's a 'choice' and not an 'error'.

-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.

He does have a wind vane . . . its mounted off center on the port side of the transom. We see the control lines to the wheel in several shots, and the actual (broken) vane in the transom sinking shot.

-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.

mmmm . . . squall lines like that are very hard to judge. Usually they only have 25-30kts, but ocasionally much more. Most of us will put a couple reefs in just before it hits but not go to bare poles before hand.

-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.

Yes, you can get a LOP (line of position) any time you can see the sun. And you can do it with 'life boat tables', but in fact when he is feeding the fire some of the pages we see him burning are full tables.

-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.

Sextants are never 'accurate' like gps is, but a beginner could easily get a +-30nm fix (most people do on their very first fix) and with just a little practice a +-5-10 nm fix. YEs he needed an accurate watch, but he has an expensive watch on . . . .he could well have set it before he left for passage.

-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.

Waves are very very difficult to capture - they always look small/flat in first person video, even when in fact huge.

-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.

In the real world, one does not actually 'tune' the length of a sea anchor. The loads are too high to adjust it, and the wave lengths are too variable. In the real world you just put all the rode you have out.

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

95% of the jackline/tether set-ups in existence allow you to go over the side from the foredeck (or the side deck on most set-ups), particularilarly when using the 2m tether leg available on most 2 leg tethers.

-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?

I have set off flares in training but would definitely take a moment to read the instructions before doing it 'for real'.

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

Light reflected off the water surface. It is very bright out there.

-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).

You are suggesting you would land a 'small' shark . . . with a hand line . . . in an inflatable life raft . . . .with no easy way to knock it out !? Good luck with that.

-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?

The light gave him comfort at that moment. You ever been in a raft in the pitch black in a storm? As an aside near 100% of people are seasick in rafts in conditions like that. .

-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?

As New Morning said . . . this is a movie about struggle and not giving up. We all make mistakes along the way. Struggle and mistakes are simply part of life. The movie's message is to try as hard and as well (as you personally as able) with life, deal with both your own mistakes as well as the random stuff thrown at you . . . and then you die. . . . . so Redford making mistakes is NOT a filming 'mistake' . . . its an integral part of the plot (and the real world).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

born2sail

Super Anarchist
Estar...I saw the airvane, but I didn't see a windvane structure on the stern of the boat. I see a spar of some sort. Also, the skipper may have rigged jacklines but he clipped onto the lifeline.

 

blackjenner

Super Anarchist
well . . . .there were some errors in the movie . . . . .but how many can we find in this post :)

*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.

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.

An eprib would have solved this entire problem, but looking at his nav station, this is a '80's or early '90's set up and epirbs were not so common back then and sat phones not available at all. There are still people out there sailing like that in a simple way with limited (vhf only) communications. Today it's a 'choice' and not an 'error'.

-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.

He does have a wind vane . . . its mounted off center on the port side of the transom. We see the control lines to the wheel in several shots, and the actual (broken) vane in the transom sinking shot.

-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.

mmmm . . . squall lines like that are very hard to judge. Usually they only have 25-30kts, but ocasionally much more. Most of us will put a couple reefs in just before it hits but not go to bare poles before hand.

-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.

Yes, you can get a LOP (line of position) any time you can see the sun. And you can do it with 'life boat tables', but in fact when he is feeding the fire some of the pages we see him burning are full tables.

-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.

Sextants are never 'accurate' like gps is, but a beginner could easily get a +-30nm fix (most people do on their very first fix) and with just a little practice a +-5-10 nm fix. YEs he needed an accurate watch, but he has an expensive watch on . . . .he could well have set it before he left for passage.

-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.

Waves are very very difficult to capture - they always look small/flat in first person video, even when in fact huge.

-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.

In the real world, one does not actually 'tune' the length of a sea anchor. The loads are too high to adjust it, and the wave lengths are too variable. In the real world you just put all the rode you have out.

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

95% of the jackline/tether set-ups in existence allow you to go over the side from the foredeck (or the side deck on most set-ups), particularilarly when using the 2m tether leg available on most 2 leg tethers.

-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?

I have set off flares in training but would definitely take a moment to read the instructions before doing it 'for real'.

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

Light reflected off the water surface. It is very bright out there.

-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).

You are suggesting you would land a 'small' shark . . . with a hand line . . . in an inflatable life raft . . . .with no easy way to knock it out !? Good luck with that.

-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?

The light gave him comfort at that moment. You ever been in a raft in the pitch black in a storm? As an aside near 100% of people are seasick in rafts in conditions like that. .

-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?

As New Morning said . . . this is a movie about struggle and not giving up. We all make mistakes along the way. Struggle and mistakes are simply part of life. The movie's message is to try as hard and as well (as you personally as able) with life, deal with both your own mistakes as well as the random stuff thrown at you . . . and then you die. . . . . so Redford making mistakes is NOT a filming 'mistake' . . . its an integral part of the plot (and the real world).
Great response, Estar. In my review I saw it as less an opportunity to bash Redford and the movie to impress others with my mad skillz, and more of a series of lessons and an opportunity to learn.

It's funny how some have all the answers for all problems.

 




Top