Released to theatres in 2000, the movie was about a swordfishing boat called the 'Andrea Gail'. It left Gloucester, Mass. and headed for the fishing grounds of the North Atlantic in the fall of 1991. Two weeks later, an event took place that had never occurred in recorded history.
This storm was so called because it was three storms combined into one. It created an almost apocalyptic situation in the Atlantic ocean, where boats encountered waves of 100 feet (30 meters) â the equivalent of a ten-story building.
History of The Storm
Back in October 30th through November 1st, 1991, there were a lot of weather events going on at the time. Meteorologically, there was an old hurricane that was beginning to die out in the Atlantic, which was Hurricane Grace. At the same time, there was energy coming across from the Great Lakes and an old frontal system that was around the New England area. As time went on, the energy caused the old hurricane to really regenerate itself, and it basically became another hurricane.
What made this storm so extraordinary was the fact that it had been an old hurricane which did regenerate itself, and you also had three things combining meteorologically to form what we now call the 'perfect storm' or the 'no-name storm,' because it wasn't given a name of a hurricane. Sometimes when storms interact, they can flip around each other or one can cause another one to die.
Both local meteorologists and the National Weather Service and the Hurricane Center were faced with a dilemma at that point; whether you rename the storm system, or whether you give it back the old name. It was late in the hurricane season, it was approaching November 1st, and it was also in an area where it really wasn't a danger to land per se â it was going into the shipping lanes.
Based on a book written by Sebastian Junger, the movie calls attention to how difficult and dangerous offshore fishing can be. We live in a time when athletes get huge amounts of glory, while people who are doing jobs that are actually much more dangerous â not to mention necessary â get ignored.
The part of the fishing boat Andrea Gail is played by the 'Lady Grace', a sister ship to the Andrea Gail, out of Ocean City, Maryland.
Captain Tyne (George Clooney) is convinced that he can change his run of bad luck by going beyond the normal reach of New England fishing boats to the Flemish Cap, a remote area known for its rich fishing prospects. Once out at sea, he hears about the storm building offshore. He thinks he can beat the storm back to Gloucester, taking an enormous catch with him. If he doesn't try, his crew will come away empty-handed on this last trip of the season. It is nothing out of the ordinary for fishermen to wager their lives against their livelihoods.
While the Andrea Gail and other vessels caught at sea struggle to make their way back to shore, another set of personnel carriers are following a course directly into the storm. These are the courageous Air Force and Coast Guard airplane, helicopter and cutter rescue teams who are fully and frighteningly aware of what they are up against.
With the help of George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic, the movie experience is on par with the reality of what the true life characters lived through. To keep things authentic, Gloucester's fishermen were an integral part of the filming process and their expertise was sought out by the filmmakers. They kept it authentic because they'd tell the filmmakers right away, âNo, you don't rig a boat like that.'
If you get the chance, see the movie on cable... or rent the DVD. You won't be disappointed!