The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
Dr. Alexander Brown (Martin Sheen) arrives in Las Vegas, awarded for his recent medical invention. An ex-G.I. tells Brown he was a test subject during the 1950's, exposed to atomic bomb ... See full summary »
Martin Sheen went on to play John F. Kennedy in Kennedy (1983)TV See more »
The Army General Maxwell Taylor was shown in several scenes, but most prominently around the Cabinet table in the oval office with the right epaulet end showing from under his collar. Military uniforms are purposefully made with adequate tab length to conceal it under the collar, so that members must be "in uniform" at all times. No member of such high rank would miss checking this action, to be certain of this placement before a mirror, prior to appearing at such important meetings. See more »
Excellent two-sided version of the near-catastrophe
This is probably the best filmed analysis ever of the events of October, 1962; as both a dramatic story and filmed history, it rises far above the recent Kenvin Costner movie "Thirteen Days", which was about the same cataclysmic event.
Significant in this version of the Cuban Missile Crisis is the portrayal of Nikita Khrushchev and his advisors, showing us some (though obviously not all) of the high level discussions on the Soviet side of the fence. The late Howard Da Silva is remarkably expressive as Khrushchev and Nehemiah Persoff excellent as Andrei Gromyko, his foreign minister.
Other cast standouts include the late John Dehner as Dean Acheson; Martin Sheen as Robert F. Kennedy; Andrew Duggan as JCS Chairman Maxwell Taylor; Ralph Bellamy as Adlai Stevenson; and, in a performance unmatched elsewhere by anyone, William Devane as John F. Kennedy.
Although anyone viewing this movie should be warned that this is docudrama and that the real history of the Cuban Missile Crisis is far more complex than even this movie shows us, it is one of, if not the, best historical recreation TV has ever given us. A definite must-see for anyone truly interested in cold-war politics.
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