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In October, 1962, U-2 surveillance photos reveal that the Soviet Union is in the process of placing nuclear weapons in Cuba. These weapons have the capability of wiping out most of the Eastern and Southern United States in minutes if they become operational. President John F. Kennedy and his advisors must come up with a plan of action against the Soviets. Kennedy is determined to show that he is strong enough to stand up to the threat, and the Pentagon advises U.S. military strikes against Cuba--which could lead the way to another U.S. invasion of the island. However, Kennedy is reluctant to follow through, because a U.S. invasion could cause the Soviets to retaliate in Europe. A nuclear showdown appears to be almost inevitable. Can it be prevented? Written by
Numerous Kennedy administration officials, including Ted Sorenson and Robert McNamara, have said since the movie's release that Ken O'Donnell - far from being the central staff figure during the Cuban Missile Crisis - played almost no role at all. Moreover, numerous scenes - including O'Donnell's phone calls to Cmdr. Ecker and to Adlai Stevenson - never occurred. See more »
So... tell me about this military exercise that's going on down in Puerto Rico.
It's called "ORTSAC", I believe. "Castro" spelled backwards.
"ORTSAC"? I... I don't know what you're talking about.
Robert F. Kennedy:
Me either. Why?
Because maybe the President and Gromyko are gonna talk about it.
If you're trying to drum something up, Johnny, forget it. This meeting's been on the books for months. Far as I know, it's just a friendly talk on U.S.-Soviet relations.
[...] See more »
" I can wait till hell freezes over for your answer"
In the 1960's few realized how close the world came to Nuclear Winter. Even today, with all the resources at hand, fewer care who prevented the Third World War. One thing is certain, America was enormously fortunate to have had as President of the United States, John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) during those nearly fatal "13 Days." As the thinking man's president, Mr. Kennedy was lucky to have in his cabinet men of intellect and reason. His main confident was his younger brother, Robert Kennedy (Steven Culp) who proved invaluable as Attorney General. When the world learned of the Nuclear threat ninety miles away, Kennedy came to rely heavily on his political adviser Kenny O'Donald (Kevin Costner) who displayed cautious insight and prudent judgment in critical moments which could have proved disastrous had the Joint Chiefs of Staff gotten their way. Further, Kennedy was definitely fortunate to have selected as his ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson (Michael Fairman) who stood toe to toe with Russian's Valerian Zorin (Oleg Vidov) and did not back down. The film is dramatic and terrifyingly accurate with dated Black and White footage and actual verbal scripts from hidden recordings from the oval office. What we know today is; had the Administration followed the prodding of the military, they would have initiated the Third World War as the Russian military in Cuba, actually had short range Atomic warheads at their disposal. This is a frightening film for rational people. ****
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