Man in Red Bandana

Welles Crowther trades his shot at Wall Street glory for a chance to save lives when it matters the most.

He’s like the “Sully” of 9/11.

And he’s armed with nothing but guts and a red handkerchief.

This doc will rank high when I write my article on “The Best Documentary on 9/11”.

Trailer for “Man in Red Bandana”

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  • My Rating: 94/100
  • IMDB Rating: 8.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 94/100 (Users); 100/100 (Critics)

Release Date: September 8, 2017

Review of “Man in Red Bandana”

“Man in Red Bandana” kicks off with a gut punch.

Welles Crowther’s parents, Jefferson and Alison, recounting how they learned of their son’s fate.

It’s a scene that sets the tone for the entire 85-minute journey we’re about to embark on.

Weiss weaves together interviews, archival footage, and subtle reenactments like a master storyteller.

We get to know Welles as more than just a headline – he’s the kid who became a junior firefighter at 16, the Boston College lacrosse player who always carried his trusty red bandana, the young professional with a bright future ahead of him.

The film doesn’t shy away from the horror of 9/11. Survivors like Ling Young and Judy Wein recount the chaos in vivid detail – the smoke, the confusion, the fear. And then, like some sort of Wall Street Wolverine, enters our man with the red bandana.

Crowther’s actions are pieced together through these survivors’ accounts. We learn how he led people to a stairway, carried a woman on his shoulders, and then went back up. Multiple times. It’s the stuff of legends, except it’s all true.

The documentary takes a fascinating turn when it explores how Crowther’s identity remained a mystery for months. His mother’s “eureka” moment, recognizing her son’s actions in a news article, is both heartbreaking and inspiring.

Narrator Gwyneth Paltrow (yes, that Gwyneth Paltrow) lends her voice to guide us through the story, but it’s the raw emotions of the interviewees that really pack a punch.

President Obama makes a cameo, reminding us of the national impact of Crowther’s sacrifice.

Weiss doesn’t just focus on 9/11 – he shows us the legacy Crowther left behind.

The Red Bandana Run at Boston College, the young people inspired by his story, the family’s mission to keep his memory alive – it’s all there, reminding us that heroism has a long tail.

“Man in Red Bandana” isn’t just a biography or 9/11 doc.

It’s a testament to the ripple effect of courage, a reminder that in our darkest hours, there are those who will rise to the occasion, red bandana in tow.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc