THE WORLD SAW EVIL THAT DAY. TWO MEN SAW SOMETHING ELSE.
Conservatives seemed genuinely surprised to see Oliver Stone make such a patriotic and moving film about 9/11. But they must have taken him for a simple political pundit when in fact he remains one of Hollywood’s finest directors. This is the story of two Port Authority policemen, John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and William Jimeno (Michael Peña), who were among the last to be rescued from the rubble. Stone has recreated the site to the best of his abilities, but never revels in the misery. A few details seem a little too schmaltzy to be true, but it was after all a day when the clichés of disaster movies became real life. Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal stand out in a strong cast.
2006-U.S. 129 min. Color. Produced by Oliver Stone, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg, Debra Hill, Moritz Borman. Directed by Oliver Stone. Screenplay: Andrea Berloff. Music: Craig Armstrong. Cast: Nicolas Cage (John McLoughlin), Michael Peña (Will Jimeno), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Allison Jimeno), Maria Bello (Donna McLoughlin), Stephen Dorff, Jay Hernandez… Michael Shannon, Viola Davis.
Trivia: Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson and John Travolta were allegedly considered for the part of John McLoughlin.
Last word: “John [McLoughlin] and Will [Jimeno] helped. Once they each came in, it became a very complicated technical thing because we had to re-write and re-write, and different departments were involved with the changes. When John came out of the hole, that documentary clip had 80 uniforms on it. Primarily it was NYPD and NYFD. Those three departments were heavily involved in getting him out. We used the real guy who rescued Will, Scotty Strauss. He was played by Stevie Dorff. And we used Scotty Fox, who rescued John, he played himself, the guy with the red helmet, as did all the guys with him.” (Stone, IGN)