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Movie Info

Telecast to coincide with the six-month "anniversary" of the horrific terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center, the powerful and poignant two-hour CBS TV documentary 9/11 grew out of an independent film project inaugurated by French filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet several months before the tragedy. Originally intending to produce an in-depth study of a "typical" American fireman, from the rookie training days to matriculation as a full-fledged firefighter, the brothers virtually lived in the headquarters of the F.D.N.Y.'s Engine Seven, Ladder One company. Thus it was that the Naudets were on hand to tape record the airliner "bombing" of both towers one and two on that fateful September 11 -- and even more dramatically, one of the brothers was able to record the hectic activities of the firefighters as they courageously went about their duties in the doomed lobby of tower one -- with only minutes to spare before both towers would collapse into a sickening mass of rubble. Although the more appalling examples of carnage are tactfully left unshown, such chilling vignettes as the offcamera sounds of crashing glass, indicating that another victim has jumped to his or her death from the uppermost heights of the twin towers, are left intact, obliging CBS to run a disclaimer in hopes of sparing the victims' loved ones any further anguish (too, the amount of understandable profanity spoken by the harried firefighters far exceeded anything ever heard before on mainstream American television). Telecast with only three commercial interruptions on March 10, 2002, 9/11 was dedicated to all the victims of the tragedy, with most of the proceeds going to the Uniformed Firefighter Association Scholarship Fund. The special garnered one of the highest ratings posted by CBS in years, with 38 million viewers tuning in.


Critic Reviews for 9/11

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

  • The quality of the filmmaking and the power of the images... leveled the political playing field immediately.

    Nov 7, 2018 | Full Review…

    Phil Gallo

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for 9/11

  • Sep 11, 2013
    An extraordinary documentary, 9/11 provides a firsthand account of the Word Trade Center collapse. While following a rookie New York firefighter during his first year on the job, documentarians Jules and Gedeon Naudet find themselves in the middle of the greatest disaster in American history. The footage is quite raw and heightens the intensity of the film. However, the editing is extremely poor, as is the narration. While 9/11 contains some incredible material, it's a haphazard documentary that lacks a clear focus.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 01, 2010
    For those that were too young to have watched this drama unfold, this accidental documentary is about the most compelling account of the day. What started as a film project by two brothers became a ground's eye view of the efforts of one firehouse. It's got everything in terms of images, and it tells the events from a single perspective that could be anyone's. Highly effective, and full of mind-numbing moments before, during and after the destruction of the towers. A good film to watch if you're studying film, and what happens when history overtakes you, and you happen to have a camera. Recommended.
    Mark K Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2010
    9/11 (2002). Very good doco showing some of the earliest footage taken on that fateful day in New York City. Obviously, because of the circumstances in which it was made, it is not a documentary of the traditional "information-based school". Purists may find this somewhat unsatisfying. However, as a record of what actually happened, then & there, it is unique. ***3 & a half out of 5 stars***
    mirabella 1 Super Reviewer
  • Dec 15, 2009
    For centuries they told us the terror would come from below. We've been looking the wrong way. When I think back 9/11 it feels as if the world stood still then.
    Wahida K Super Reviewer

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