Mayday - Tugs of War - Europe
 

Reviews

MAYDAY - TUGS OF WAR EUROPE
A Documentary Film By: Robin Williams
(DVD)

Overall Rating: Four Stars--Highly recommended. An excellent DVD.
Robin Williams (not the actor) has taken hours of original film footage and has captured the fascinating saga of the ocean-going tugs of WWII and of their dramatic rescues of men and ships at sea. The previously unsung heroes of the tugs worked under the same hostile conditions that damaged or sank the ships they were there to rescue, often themselves on the receiving end of attacks. The film shows in dramatic fashion the realities of tugboat duty in combat areas and does much to bring to light the bravery of the men who manned these small vessels. Regardless of what kind of ship a sailor served in he will want to see this video because his own ship might well have been in need of the courageous tug men. No one should miss an opportunity to see this video.

Terry Miller
Tin Can Sailors - The National Association of Destroyer Veterans
www.destroyers.org


MAYDAY - TUGS OF WAR EUROPE

If you only have the time to watch one documentary on World War Two in Europe, this should be the one. The first thing that impressed me was the quality of the archival footage. You feel like in a middle of a well-done action movie. I also liked the way the director used the archival footage in to illustrate the heart touching testimony of the World War Two survivors.

I also really liked the sound design for the battle footage. This is so rare. All archival footage of the era is silent, so the filmmakers had to design all the machine gun fire and cannons and airplanes. Makes it look and feel twice as realistic.

The graphics of the show were great looking, you always know where you are and they are not academic at all. I also liked the collection of folk songs sprinkled through the film; it really connects you to the way the sailors felt in those terrible days of World War two.

A great documentary for anyone with an interest in history and the human experience.

Mitch Anderson
Director, Anderson Productions
www.TWWUS.com


MAYDAY - TUGS OF WAR EUROPE

Dear Robin,

We met during your splendid visit to Hull to promote your work about the war tugs - 20 June 2008. It was really a pleasure to meet you. I have been meaning to email you for sometime now - but you know how it is. I thoroughly enjoyed the screening of your DVD and have since looked at it again. I am impressed by your work from a number of respects:

1. great commentary;

2. wonderful editing of the footage and blending together of images;

3. an enthusiasm for the subject and people;

4. good set of interviews and the ways you merged these with archive footage;

5. your captions were the best I have seen for years. Few producers know the benefit of clear captions / subtitles; and

6. thanks also for your creative filming of Hull.

In essence, I enjoyed and appreciated your work. In a sense, I wish your vitality had also been given to Hull's trawling history and war-time activities. Perhaps we will meet again sometime.

Good Luck with all your research - to you and your good lady.

Best Wishes,

ALEC GILL
Psychologist, Author / Producer
Study Advice Service Tutor + Web Designer
www.hull.ac.uk/studyadvice - my academic work
www.hull.ac.uk/php/cesag - my own research work


MAYDAY - TUGS OF WAR EUROPE

Last night, Harvest and I finished viewing disk 1 & 2 of Mayday.  Just saying WOW to describe our feelings is not enough and is rather trite.  One word that does come to mind, among a host of others, is ENRICHED.  Just what does this word mean? 

  1. The process of covering a subject in greater depth than is usual, or tackling subjects not usually covered.
  2. Act of making fuller or more meaningful or rewarding
  3. A gift that significantly increases the recipient's wealth

So many interesting stories and beautiful images have, indeed, enriched our lives.

When Jim Radford sang, "You are Beautiful" we just about became unglued. The photography and story of Trebah Gardens was exquisite. So many men embarking from this location to Normandy and death is heart wrenching. (I had to learn more and found this site:  www.trebah-garden.co.uk)

The photographic images of Omaha Beach and other locations are world-class work and the final images of the golden grass gently blowing in the wind was mesmerizing.  The music score was “Spot On” as the English would say.

The narration by those that lived it, and the present day Tugboat sailors, was just perfect. The tugboat rescuing the barge with rocks sure did put one in the action and I got just a bit queasy watching it.  

Outstanding!!! What a great gift you have given your public!

Congratulations,

Foster and Harvest Ubanks
Author & publisher of "Following Civil War Photographer"

www.JenningsSayre.com


ROBIN WILLIAMS’ “MAYDAY-TUGS OF WAR EUROPE”
PREMIERES IN BAKERSFIELD

The audience at Bakersfield Adult School’s Open Forum Winter Series was feted to a real treat on January 30th with the premiere showing of Robin Williams’ new film, “Mayday – Tugs of War.”  The film, which covers the heroic efforts of tug boat crews that rescued ships attacked by German submarines and planes and provided other services for the Allies in WW2, offered a valuable perspective to that period of history.

Our audience left the theater with positive comments and a reminder to the coordinator to book the second half of Williams’ film (“Tugboats of War – Pacific”) for our next season.  We plan to do so.

Laddie Kumelos
Coordinator
Bakersfield Adult School
Cultural Studies Program


MAYDAY! Tugs of War—EUROPE

I was riveted to my seat, and very impressed by war footage that I'd never seen before, and an aspect of the war I'd never heard of before. The narration and editing were splendid.  All in all it was very moving.

Thomas Price
Professor of English Literature
Claremont, California


MAYDAY! Tugs of War—EUROPE

You should be very proud of what you are doing.  You are making a difference.  Those tug boat guys and their families are true heroes who were lost in the memories of WWII until you came along and told their story.  Great!  Thank you.

You have touched a lot of hearts!

Chuck Herpick – Dana Point, California
www.tommorey.com
Audience member
CENTER of the ARTS
Torrance, California


MAYDAY! Tugs of War—EUROPE

Robin,

Outstanding compilation of film and photos on your part. Kept me riveted to the screen.

If the Pacific DVD is anywhere close to the European DVD, I think you will have a hit on your hands.

Jim Perkins
Author – Battle Stars and Naval Awards


MAYDAY! Tugs of War—EUROPE

Dear Robin,

Being a history buff, I greatly enjoyed your "Tug Boat" film presentation a
week ago at El Camino College. The Brits were an enduring people in WWII.
Your information regarding a follow up Film of the Pacific WWII War with the
same scenario should be ALSO outstanding to see.

Cordially,

Brian Markley
Audience member
CENTER of the ARTS
Torrance, California


MAYDAY! Tugs of War—EUROPE

 

MAYDAY is a wonderful film, an excellently put-together piece of cinematography that is full of history, and surprises. Nobody- but nobody- has ever given the TUGS their due.  Most of us never knew about their contribution to the war effort.  MAYDAY brought it all to light, as it properly should have been done long ago. A highlight of the film is the footage of the "tuggers" and listening to their stories as they talk with their different accents, and watching their emotions, their personalities and facial expressions unfold on the screen... all superb!  The singing of the tug man, Jim Radford, in the middle and at the end is an absolutely incredible touch.  Unbelievable!  So many details throughout the film are inspiring, especially the way the war footage is woven into the story bringing these personal histories to life as is rarely seen in war films.  I enjoyed it tremendously.

Luis Stephens
Artist and Art Lecturer
Mexico City


MAYDAY! Tugs of War—EUROPE

 

Robin Williams’  “Tugs of War” plugs a hole in the documentary film history of World War II.  It tells the little-known story of deep sea tug boats, the men who sailed them and the vital role they played in the Allied victory. 

Skillfully weaving rare archival footage from both British and German sources with interviews of surviving captains and crewmen, he graphically portrays the heroism of these unsung heroes.

Men who defied Nazi submarines to rescue seamen of torpedoed merchant ships in the icy waters of the North Atlantic and then towed portable harbors to the beaches of Normandy describe their ordeals and triumphs in their own words.

This remarkable production preserves their story for posterity.

 

Jonathan Hagar
Member of the Travelers’ Century Club


MAYDAY! Tugs of War—EUROPE

Dear Mr. Williams:

I finally got an opportunity to look at the MAYDAY - TUGS of WAR. I personally loved it - it is so true, these men had no recognition.  In all I have read about WWII related to naval and sea issues, I had not come across info on that service.

Thank you for making such a wonderful documentary honoring those brave men.  I look forward to having it be part of the Winter 2008 lecture series.

Sincerely,

 

Betty Ann Arink
Director
Long Island Maritime Museum
West Sayville, NY


MAYDAY! Tugs of War—EUROPE

Robin:

I just received the final DVD copy of the Tugs Of War and all the extra chapters.
I really did not know exactly what you had in mind until I viewed it today.  Unbelievable: Really a great piece of work and effort-leaving nothing undone.
Thank you and Rosetta very much.

Regards,

Doug Wilmer
World War II Glider Pilot


MAYDAY! Tugs of War—EUROPE

Robin Williams:

The Film is done with great passion - from the opening lyrics, dramatic interviews with surviving Tugmen, rare historic battle footage, to the powerful closing sequence - again to music and a moving ballad - MAYDAY is a must-see for history buffs, people interested in global issues, and especially anyone who has seen service, or close to Veterans of any campaign.

Today our major cities in the Western World are under attack by crime and terrorism; yet we see fewer acts of heroism these days than those captured on the MAYDAY screen.  I can highly-recommend MAYDAY - Tugs of War.

 

John Buchanan CFP
Chairman, Film Committee
Rotary Club of Upper Oakville Centennial -  CANADA


 

A film by Robin Williams. Filmed in High Definition
 

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Mayday - Tugs of War

Shores of Normandy

Hull Trailer (Disc 2)

 

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