The Final Countdown

The other day I spotted a DVD that I just HAD to buy.

The movie is a World War II classic. It’s a retelling of the attack on Pearl Harbor and features John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Carroll O’Connor, Slim Pickens, James Mitchum, Barbara Bouchet, Larry Hagman, Henry Fonda, Patricia Neal, and a bunch of other classic actors. I’ve seen it once or twice, but never planned on owning it.

Until I saw the cover.

Click To Embiggen

It just stopped me cold. And once I stopped laughing, I had to buy it. (It was only seven bucks.)

Mad Wizbang Bonus Bucks (redeemable for absolutely NOTHING) to anyone who can see what had me convulsing with laughter in the middle of a Best Buy without reading the extended section.

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As I said, the movie is set during World War II, in the years 1941-1943 or so. It was filmed in 1965. John Wayne died in 1979.

And the ship featured on the cover is the USS Deyo, DD-989, one of the last of the amazingly useful and versatile and capable Spruance-class destroyers.

Commissioned March 1980, stricken April 2004, sunk in a weapons exercise August 2005.

In fact, if you follow that link to the Wikipedia page, it looks like the artist just took that photo, reversed it (note that the Phalanx mount — that’s the white dome just in front of the mast — has changed sides from starboard to port), and lowered the angle just a little.

No, I don’t think that so easily identifying the ship makes me too much of a Naval geek. The hull number is very clear, and the US Navy has only had a couple of classes of ships reach the high 900’s — destroyers and LSTs come to mind. Further, it’s obvious a relatively modern warship — the single gun on the bow, the aforementioned Phalanx mount (introduced in 1978), the ASROC launcher behind the gun, and the sheer number of antennae and whatnot on the masts clearly demonstrate that it was NOT a World War II-vintage vessel.

The artist obviously just grabbed an image of a destroyer and slapped it on the canvas, not bothering to notice — or care — that the ship he chose didn’t even exist until almost 49 years after the movie was set, 15 years after the movie was made, and 1 year after the star died.

And, probably, didn’t care.

But dammit, I do.

ACORN: We'll Get Back To You January 30th
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