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Men of Honor (2000)

Men of Honor, is a 2000 drama film, directed by George Tillman, Jr. and starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr.It is inspired by a true story.


Robert De Niro — Leslie W. 'Billy' Sunday

Cuba Gooding Jr. — Carl Brashear

Charlize Theron — Gwen Sunday

Aunjanue Ellis — Jo

Hal Holbrook — Captain 'Mr. Pappy'

Michael Rapaport — GM1 Snowhill

Powers Boothe — Captain Pullman

David Keith — Captain Hartigan

Holt McCallany — MM1 Dylan Rourke

Joshua Leonard — PO2 Timothy Douglas Isert

Dennis Troutman — Boots

Joshua Feinman — DuBoyce

Theo Nicholas Pagones — FC Mellegrano

Ryan Honey — Surveyor 2nd Yarmouth

David Conrad — Lt./Cmdr./Capt. Hanks

Plot summary

Carl Brashear (Gooding Jr.) decides to leave his native Kentucky and the life of a sharecropper by way of joining the United States Navy. As a crew member of the salvage ship USS Hoist, where he is assigned to the galley, he is inspired by the bravery of one of the divers, Master Chief Petty Officer Leslie William "Billy" Sunday (De Niro). He is determined to overcome racism and become the first ever African American navy diver, even proclaiming that he will become a Master Diver. He eventually is selected to attend Diving and Salvage School in Bayonne, New Jersey where he arrives as a Boatswain Mate Second Class. However, he finds that Master Chief Sunday is the Leading Chief Petty Officer (LCPO) and head instructor, who is under orders from the school's eccentric commanding officer to ensure that Brashear fails.

Brashear struggles to overcome his educational shortcomings, a result of his leaving school in the 7th grade in order to help his family's failing farm. He receives educational assistance from his future wife, an aspiring doctor, who works part time in the Harlem (New York City) Public Library. Brashear proves himself as a diver by rescuing a fellow student whose dive buddy abandoned him during a salvage evaluation that turns into a near disaster. Unfortunately, due to the prevailing racism of the commanding officer, the student who fled in the face of danger is awarded a medal for his heroic actions. After many more challenges - both mental and physical - Brashear successfully completes the diving school earning the quiet and suppressed admiration of Master Chief Sunday.

The paths and careers of both Brashear and Sunday sharply diverge as the former rises quickly through the ranks, even becoming a national hero in recovering a missing atomic bomb, while the latter becomes a brooding alcoholic and is reduced in rank from Master Chief to Chief Petty Officer. The two eventually meet again after Brashear loses his left leg in the atomic bomb incident and must fight the navy in order to return to full active duty and fulfill his dream of becoming a master diver.


: History is made by those who break the rules.

Directed by George Tillman, Jr.

Written by Scott Marshall Smith

Starring Robert De Niro

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Charlize Theron

Cinematography Anthony B. Richmond

Distributed by 20th Century Fox

Release date(s) 2000

Running time 129 min


Robert De Niro's character was actually a sum of all the officers he had to deal with in his life, except when De Niro was in rehab he was actually representing Carl Brashear when he was in rehab.

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