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Roger Donaldson maintains that meticulous attention to historical accuracy was paid for the film. However, several members of the Kennedy administration who were still living at the time the film was released took exception with the depiction of Kenny O'Donnell's role during the crisis. In a PBS interview, Robert McNamara stated that O'Donnell had no role in the crisis, and that it was in fact Ted Sorensen who pulled the administration together.
Director Roger Donaldson wanted to create a historical feel to the film reminiscent of the famous black and white photographs of the Kennedys that appeared in Life Magazine.
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