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Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion explores the incredible true story of Halifax, Nova Scotia, a city devastated by a massive explosion and its aftermath—a historic tragedy that became a living metaphor for a worldwide conflict. In the early hours of December 6, 1917, the Mont Blanc, a French-owned freighter loaded to the gunnels with thousands of tons of TNT, collided with a Belgian relief ship and exploded in the Halifax Harbor killing 2,000 people and injuring more than 9,000 others. Shattered City brings a compelling combination of eye-popping special effects and memorable characters to recount the most catastrophic event prior to the advent of the atomic bomb.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Walsh, Shauna MacDonald, Ted Dykstra, Tamara Hope, Zachary Bennett
  • Directors: Bruce Pittman
  • Writers: Keith Ross Leckie
  • Producers: Floyd Kane, Gilles Bélanger, Heather Haldane, Jenipher Ritchie, Justin Bodle
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Rhi Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000U788X4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,219 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The Halifax Explosion happened during World War I, on the morning of December 6, 1917, when a ship loaded with munitions exploded in the harbor. Large sections of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia were destroyed. Thousands were maimed or killed. It was the largest man-made explosion in history until the detonation of the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima in 1945. This is a fictionalized, but realistic, movie about it. It's well done and definitely worth seeing.
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This is a good movie and if I had not read' " The Curse of the Narrows" by Laura M. MacDonald first I would have enjoyed it even more. The movie mostly follows the events of one family and so is limited in it's scope and you don't get the same depth of detail and suspense that you do in Ms. MacDonald's book but, if this is an event that draws you in then this should be part of your collection.

If this story intrigues you, you might want to read " Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 " by Daniel James Brown and /or "Fire and Brimstone: The North Butte Mining Disaster of 1917 by Michael Punke
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A decent adaptation of the history of the explosion, and the effect of war on communities. There are some sexual themes and language, as well as some moderately graphic scenes (parents beware). I felt that the graphic content was tastefully handled to bring across the horrors of war, especially in contrast to the ignorance of communities that were far removed from the fighting. The thing that was not as well represented as it could have been was the rash of fires that broke out as a result of overturned coal stoves. The film focuses more on the explosion debris and blizzard that slowed recovery and rescue operations, but big fires were also part of the problem, especially since the new fire truck and its crew were lost on the pier when the explosion occurred. I am not as well versed in this portion of nautical history as in others, but from what I know of it, the film is not entirely accurate, but Janet Kitz and other more informed people could shed better light on the film's authenticity. One moment that was a genuine treat might be considered a little mocking, though I don't think it was at all meant that way. It could not have been an accident that the boatman who pulls up next to the fiery Mont Blanc was...well, Red Green fans will get it. "Ka-boom!" Apart from the explosion, though, I think the film seeks to foster a greater appreciation for the common soldier and what the price of freedom really is. That is what I liked best about the lead character.
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I never knew about the Halifax explosion until I encountered this Canadian miniseries. The special effects were decent considering when the movie was made. Conversations among characters reveal what Canadians were thinking and feeling about the imminent U.S. entrance into World War 1, and the popularity of Marxism among young people. Most rewarding, though, was the depiction of the greatest man-made explosion ever experienced before the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.
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The 3 hour movie was okay. The screenplay centers around a single family. I suppose to provide a cohesive storyline rather than short segments of the lives of many people. Many occurences referenced in the book of the same name are portrayed; although, I don't believe the movie quite conveys the impact that the explosion had upon Halifax and its citizens. In an effort to provide a more "feel good" ending, one character is depicted as being within 200 yards of the ship and out in the open when it exploded and yet only sustained minor facial cuts.
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This movie does a pretty good job showing what every day people must have gone through when the huge explosion occurred on December 6, 1917. If you are a stickler for historical accuracy, which I am, then there will be some disappointment because the facts are not all there, nor are some things portrayed correctly. They also don't cover the tidal wave that struck the First Nations village across the water, although it is briefly mentioned.
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Few today remember Halifax, Nova Scotia, was almost wiped off the map in a ship collison during W.W.I which should never have happened. The acting is more than adequate and you can't tire of watching Tamara Hope, a Canadian actress clearly headed for the big-time.
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I liked it from the perspective that there is nothing about the Halifax Explosion out there. The stories of spying and and relationships as well as the quick rebuild of Halifax ruin the overall historic credibility of the movie. If you know nothing about the explosion this would be an interesting movie. If you know a scintilla about the actual events you'll be disappointed.
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