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
Universal Pictures was originally set to make the film with Phil Alden Robinson directing but shelved it as it neared production. Kevin Costner was able to reactivate interest in the project at Sony Pictures. See more »
Neither General Maxwell Taylor (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) nor most of the other Army staff officers are wearing shoulder sleeve insignia on their uniforms. All should have had their current unit patch on the left shoulder, with the option of also wearing the patch of their former combat unit on the right shoulder. See more »
No, no, no! Now, there is more than one option here - and if one isn't occurring to us, it's because we haven't thought hard enough!
John McCone, CIA Director:
Bobby, sometimes there is only one right choice, and you thank God when it's so clear.
You're talking about a sneak attack. How will that make us look? A big country blasting a little one into the stone age. Yeah, we'll be everyone's favorites.
Come on Bobby, that's naive. This is the real world. You know that better than anybody.
John McCone, CIA Director:
And you weren't so ethically ...
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" 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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