Command and Control

2016

Documentary / History

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95% · 41 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 7.3/10 10 995 995

Director

Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
841.79 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
Seeds 9
1.53 GB
1920*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
Seeds 21

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mrbb-1 8 / 10

Scarier than any horror film I've ever seen!

There are some excellent detailed reviews available, so I'll just say that this is the chilling story of the 1980 near detonation of a nuclear warhead near Little Rock, Arkansas. The story is told in riveting fashion with many excellent eyewitness interviews. It is a stark reminder that the possibility of nuclear devastation is still with us, and the unpredictability of the human factors.

Reviewed by nicholasruddick 9 / 10

A Powerful and Timely Documentary about a Cold War Accident

You won't find much about the 1980 Damascus Titan Missile Explosion on Wikipedia. It was one of those minor Cold War mishaps that barely made it beyond the local news. A young airman was doing routine maintenance at an Arkansas ICBM site. He didn't fully appreciate the difference between a ratchet and a socket wrench (who knew there was a difference?) and accidentally dropped the heavy steel head of his tool into the silo of an aged Titan II missile. The head punctured the skin of the missile, resulting in a fuel leak and, a few hours later, an explosion that wrecked the silo, killing one airman and wounding 21 others. Fortunately, the Titan's nine-megaton thermonuclear warhead, the most powerful US bomb then in existence, did not explode.

This low-key but powerful documentary examines the chain of events that led to the accident and, more pertinently, looks at the wider significance of what did and didn't happen. There are interviews with the surviving site crew and some impressive re-enactments of the sequence of events, so realistic that at first you think it must be authentic historical footage. The investigative journalist Eric Schlosser, author of an acclaimed book about the Damascus accident, had a large hand in this production and appears periodically in the film.

Knowing little about Damascus, you might be tempted to chalk it up as a calamity avoided because the safety systems in place actually worked. By the time the film is over, you won't be so dismissive. The most serious nuclear threat to the US at this time (because it occurred on a frequent daily basis, and had little to do with international tensions) was from accidents within its own arsenal. (A similar situation must surely have prevailed in the Soviet Union.)

Are we safer now, given that there are far fewer nukes deployed and Command and Control organizations have learned from past experiences? The documentary has a clear answer, and it's probably not the one we hoped for.

Reviewed by metztex 5 / 10

Comprehensive but one sided

This documentary is a rather good run down of the tragic events which took place at one of the American Titian II missile silos near Damascus AK. This documentary clearly explains the reasons and the errors made during an maintenance cycle of the missile itself and the subsequent damage and consequences of that event.

Unfortunately, this documentary is rather one sided. The main interviews are with ex Air Force personnel that were disciplined for their actions when they felt they should have been rewarded. As one how served in the armed forces, this is difficult to swallow as the two disciplined were rightly disciplined despite the fact they worked very hard and risked their lives to correct the issue. The fact they did so is the reason they were not court marshaled and sent to prison. One was given a rather light punishment of an LOR as he was the individual who caused the accident in the first place. The second was given an Article 15 for breaking the two man rule when dealing with nuclear weapons (he was very lucky he as not given a 20 year prison term for that). While I salute his reasons for going in alone, you just don't do that period. I also salute his courage and gallantry in trying to resolve the problem. Again, this why he did not get prison.

All in all, this worth a look. Just remember it is one sided and the there is also an annoying drum beat of the risk of this weapon exploding in a nuclear fashion. Based on physics of these devices, that chance may not be zero but it is also not more than 1% either.

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