When Hell Was in Session (1979)

TV Movie   |    |  Biography, Drama, War


When Hell Was in Session (1979) Poster

In 1965, Navy Commander Jeremiah Denton's jet is shot down over North Vietnam and he is captured by the enemy who holds him in various brutal POW camps for more than seven years.


7.8/10
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10 October 2003 | dtucker86
a harrowing tale of a true American hero!
I am a Sergeant in the United States Army and I write to celebrities as a hobby. I am very proud to say that I have gotten two letters from Retired Rear Admiral Jeremiah Denton, a true American hero. Denton attended the US Naval Academy in Jimmy Carter's class of 1946 and from then until 1965, he built a brilliant career as a US Naval Officer. He was shot down over North Vietnam on June 18, 1965 and was a prisoner of war until February of 1973, seven and a half years of hell. They did everything to him except kill him. At one point, Admiral Denton was kept in a tiny isolation cell for over three and a half years. He and his fellow POWs are our greatest national treasure. They are men made more of steel then flesh. Hal Holbrook is an amazing actor (you only have to watch him playing Mark Twain to realize this simple fact!). He brings this quality to the role of Admiral Denton. He makes you feel this man's pain but also his courage, bravery and determination as the one prisoner of war that the North Vietnemese could not break no matter what. In fact, Admiral Denton performed a heroic act I wanted to mention. The Viet Cong tortured him horribly until he agreed to make a propaganda statement for them. While he was reading this statement, he blinked his eyes in Morse code to form out the words TORTURE. He told the US authorities about the horror that the POWs were made to endure, this amazing act earned him the Navy Cross when he was released. A word to the squemish, this movie is hard to watch especially during the torture scenes, but every American needs to hear Admiral Denton's incredible story. You will be much the better for it.

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Biography | Drama | War

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