This summer's U-571 brought the World War II submarine adventure back to the silver screen with stunning special effects and plenty of action. Inspired by real events, U-571's melding of fact and fiction angered many who thought the movie did a disservice to the real-life heroes it thinly tries to depict. Like so many of Hollywood's attempts at making history palatable to the masses, U-571 raises the issue of whether or not filmmakers have an obligation to get the facts right.
In search of credible cinematic enemies in the post-Cold War era, the movie U-571 returned to the classic Battle-of- the-Atlantic conflict between submarine and destroyer--but with a twist. Inspired by the 1941 British capture of a top-secret Enigma decoder from the German U-110, one of the pivotal events of World War II, director Jonathan Mostow reinvented history and extended plausibility beyond the limits of dramatic license. He also created the most exciting submarine movie Hollywood has ever produced.