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Men of Honor (2000)

2:25 | Trailer
The story of Carl Brashear, the first African-American U.S. Navy Diver, and the man who trained him.


George Tillman Jr.
4,471 ( 712)
11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Master Chief Billy Sunday
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Chief Carl Brashear
Charlize Theron ... Gwen Sunday
Aunjanue Ellis ... Jo
Hal Holbrook ... 'Mr. Pappy'
Michael Rapaport ... GM1 Snowhill
Powers Boothe ... Captain Pullman
David Keith ... Captain Hartigan
Holt McCallany ... MM1 Dylan Rourke
David Conrad ... Lt. / Cmdr. / Capt. Hanks
Joshua Leonard ... PO2 Timothy Douglas Isert
Carl Lumbly ... Mac Brashear
Lonette McKee ... Ella Brashear
Glynn Turman ... Chief Floyd
Dennis Troutman Dennis Troutman ... Boots


The story ultimately revolves around two "men of honor"; their relationship, their individual and joint failures and triumphs. Carl Brashear is determined to be the first African American Navy Diver in a time where racism is rife. Leslie Sunday is his embittered trainer, determined to see him fail. Fate, challenges and circumstances eventually draw these two men together in a tale of turbulence and ultimately triumph. Written by Filmtwob <webmaster@filmfreak.co.za>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


History is made by those who break the rules.


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

10 November 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Navy Diver See more »

Filming Locations:

Washington, USA See more »


Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,339,465, 12 November 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film's working title was "Navy Diver". See more »


Carl Brashear recovers a Hydrogen bomb. The newspaper that Billy Sunday reads says "A-Bomb recovered." In civilian and military parlance, a Hydrogen bomb is called H-bomb, and an Atom Bomb is called an A-bomb. See more »


Carl Brashear: Sir, you may not remember me but we served together in the South Pacific.
Billy Sunday: Oh Yeah, I remember you now... So What's for Chow Cookie?
Carl Brashear: Sir I am reporting here for diving school!
Billy Sunday: I sure hope your food is better than the last cook's. Last cook's food could kill a man's dog.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The woman in the detox center is listed as "Pinch-Faced Woman at Detox Center" See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD includes several deleted scenes cut from the final film:
  • Billy lies drunk on a beach and is caught by Military Police; the film then cuts to the opening scene showing just why he is in handcuffs.
  • Carl finds Pappy's dog and he makes a white officer wash the poor animal in lye because carl touched it.
  • an alternate ending showing just what exactly happened to Billy
See more »


Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 23 August 2016 (2016) See more »


You'll Never Know
Written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
Performed by Sue Raney
Arranged by Shelly Berg
Produced by Tom Halm and Shelly Berg
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Exciting and enjoyable film based on a true story concerning the first African-American to break the color barrier in the US Navy's diving
16 August 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

An epic story inspired by the life of Carl Brashear, a man who battled the obstacles of racism, and intolerance , in spite his lack of education . The film starred Oscar winning actors Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert De Niro with a well ensembled support cast . This is the stirring story of Carl Brashear (Cuba Gooding Jr , his magnifent acting certainly does the man justice) , being a straight-forward tribute to this historical hero , the first African-American U.S. Navy Diver in line of duty who broke barriers in the diving program . Regarding his problematic existence , being shown his rise from a simple sharecropper's son to a brave military man . Embodying the strength of will never to take for an answer , and furthermore , dealing with the man (Robert De Niro as coach captain Sunday) who trained him , a racist training officer whose discrimination nearly kills him on several occassions before Carl earns Sunday's respect . Carl come across the very embodiment of perseverance and he goes on his advanced career with a big success until a fateful accident . Tough enough for any able-bodied man , but even the loss a limb on a shipboard accident doesn't deter Carl from his dedication into line to duty .

This is a solid biography and old school biopic with fine performances at a tale of fight and self-improvement ; as he battles obstacles as well as the loss of his leg to become the United States Navy's first African-American Master deep sea diver. As Carl often uses pig-determination and guts , this farmer's son signed up for the US Navy in the early 50s and worked his difficult way to improve oneself through the entrance exam to train as a tough , savage driver , becoming the first ever blackman to qualify . Wonderful acting and interesting screenplay by Scott Marshall Smith lend the proceeding its sturdy narrative fibre . A moving real story of overcoming in which the main role surmounting difficulties, as Carl understands what it means to work your way up , even when he loses his half a leg and the now-recovered Sunday helps him retrain using a prosthetic leg . This is an attractive , charming story in which an African-American getting better oneself to surpass his competitors and contenders ; and by the way he has to overcome the institutional racism . It is hardly a surprise to deal with ordinary bigotry against blackmen and this occassionally stodgy movie offers the striking reminder of the terrible conditions under which underwater divers worked . Excellent interpretation by Robert De Niro as Sunday , a rigid commander , a hard-nosed master captain Instructor under pression to fail Carl , declining his pursuit due to insubordination as well as drunkenness and along the way growing of respect between two ordinary adversaries . Sunday role results to be actually a composite drawn from various men in Carl Brasher's life . Elsewhere the secondary characterisation is less sure with the regular abandoned wife well played by Charlize Theron , Hal Holbrook's racist commander-in-chief , a too-obvious looney , Carl's faithful colleague : Michael Rappaport , his wife : Aunjanue Ellis ; besides : Holt McCallany , David Keith , Powers Boothe , Glynn Turman ,Joshua Leonard , Carl Lumbly as father , Lonette McKee as mother , among others .

It contains an adequate and evocative cinematography by Anthony B Richmond . As well as a rousing , sensitive and epic musical score by Mark Isham . This better than average motion picture produced by Bill Cosby was competently directed by George Tillman Jr . He is a good writer , producer and filmmaker . His first feature film, Scenes for the soul , it was shot entirely in Chicago, using local talent and resources. Following the momentum of this success, George began to write a script, loosely based on his own life , Soul Food . George's next directorial effort was Men of honor . Going on other successes as Faster , Roll Bounce , Inevitable defeat of Mister and Pete . In addition to directing features, George helmed the pilot Love is a four letter world for NBC, along with episodes of Starz' Power , Netflix/Marvel's Luke Cage , and NBC's dramedy This is us , among others . Rating : 7.5/10 , above average .

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