Movie tackles subject that remains emotional

Friday, April 28, 2006
'United 93' testing America's readiness to relive Sept. 11, 2001

All the buzz about "United 93" has focused on two central points: Is it too soon, and is Hollywood just cashing in on an American tragedy?

The answer won't be clear until the dust settles from the weekend box office and those who watch the movie give their own opinions. Until then, it's anyone's guess how movie-goers in Southeast Missouri will take to the first feature film about Sept. 11.

Dr. Harvey Hecht, an English professor at Southeast Missouri State University who teaches classes on film, considers the movie a big gamble for Hollywood.

"Were I a studio executive with this project being pitched to me, I would be of a very, very torn mind," Hecht said. "I'm not sure that I would be convinced enough people would want to see this film because it would be too hard emotionally."

Local movie fan Bob Clubbs of Jackson wonders if Americans ever need to see a movie about those tragic events less than five years removed from the present.

"I don't know what good can come out of it," said Clubbs. "I don't even know it it's too soon, I just don't necessarily think that we ever need that.

"I remember that day, and thinking it felt like the plot to some horrible movie to begin with."

Kevin Dillon, general manager at Cape West 14 Cine, said the theater has already received some calls inquiring about the movie, but few tickets have been reserved.

But he thinks people's curiosity about what happened on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania will drive them to the theaters. And he's ready to see a lot of tears on the cheeks of those who sit through "United 93."

"I read that at one of the premieres, when the movie was over you could hear a pin drop, and there were people sobbing in the theater," Dillon said.

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