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Every World Leader Should Be Required to Watch this Once a Year
This is the best docudrama, and quite possibly the best drama, ever made. Forget the blatant revisionism of the Kennedies that's come in vogue, The Missilies of October is the real story of how Jack Kennedy and Nikita Khruschev faced down their generals and conservative wings and pulled the world back from the brink of Armageddon.
Just before the missile crisis breaks, Kennedy read The Guns of October an historical work about how the great powers simply stumbled into World War I. It wasn't inevitable; it could have been avoided, but no country would give another room to back down without appearing to capitulate.
Bobby Kennedy plays the whip to bring the powerful and contentious men who make up JFK's cabinet, political allies and military leadership into an uneasy consensus around a blockade of Cuba, instead of an invasion. JFK gives Khruschev room to maneuver at every turn, and Khruschev is smart enough to see these openings and take them. Neither side gets what it wants; both sides get what they can live with.
Ralph Bellamy, Nehemiah Persoff, John Dehner, Andrew Duggan, Peter Donat, Dana Elcar, Stewart Moss, Harris Yulin and more give excellent performances. William DeVane as JFK, Martin Sheen as RFK and Howard DaSilva as Khruschev are absolutely brilliant. The script and direction are equal to the fine performances of the cast.
Watch this movie and ponder where we'd be if the Bush cabinet had learned these lessons before they started playing power politics.
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