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Thirteen Days (2000) Poster

(2000)

Trivia

After John F. Kennedy leaks the Walter Lippmann column to the press, and the representative from Russia is on the television expressing his concern, Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) struggles with his tie and clearly mouths an expletive that gets overdubbed as a sound of frustration to maintain the PG-13 rating. In his next line, he mouths that the representative is "fucking killing us," and again his line is overdubbed to remove the curse.
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In Boston, Kevin Costner's attempt at a Boston accent is so notorious that a "Kevin Costner accent" is an accepted slang term for a non-Bostonian's unsuccessful attempt at a Boston accent.
President John F. Kennedy very frequently set up recording machines during meetings at the White House. Much of the dialogue from the movie is taken directly from Kennedy's tapes.
The fact that President John F. Kennedy had secretly agreed to withdraw US missiles from Turkey and Italy did not become public knowledge until many years after the crisis.
(February 1, 2001) First film to be screened at the White House by President George W. Bush and Laura Bush. In attendance at the historic screening were members of the Kennedy family, members of Congress and personal friends of the President and First Lady.
The destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy was loaned to the movie company by the Battleship Massachusetts Foundation in Fall River, Massachusetts. In addition to being named for a Kennedy brother killed in WWII it was actually part of the Cuban Blockade. The ship was towed to Narragansett Bay for filming. The ship is normally on display in Fall River.
According to the filmmaker's commentary, Bruce Greenwood and Steven Culp, who portray John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, respectively, would engage each other in arguments off screen in their Kennedy personas to help keep in character.
While this movie carries the same name as the book "Thirteen Days" by former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, it is in fact based on a different book, "The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis" by Ernest R. May and Philip D. Zelikow. In contrast to The Missiles of October (1974), which was based on Kennedy's book, this film contains some newly declassified information not available to the earlier production, but takes greater dramatic license, particularly in its choice of Kenneth P. O'Donnell as protagonist.
The Soviets decided to place nuclear weapons in Cuba after the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion. President John F. Kennedy refused to provide air support for the invasion, unlike Dwight D. Eisenhower during the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état.
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The 1960s' vintage F-8s shown in the film are all real aircraft that were used by the Philippine Air Force.
In the early briefing scene where Arthur Lundahl, director of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center, shows a map of the missiles' range, the town of Oxford, Miss., is one of the targets. All other targets were major US cities. This was not an error. It's not clear whether the joke started with the Kennedys or the CIA, but in any case President John F. Kennedy was still smarting from the previous month's riots in Oxford, which put him at cross-purposes with a recalcitrant segregationist Gov. Ross Barnett of Mississippi and some US army generals -- notably Gen. Edwin Walker -- whose hesitation to dispatch troops to northern Mississippi bordered on insubordination. Kennedy was said to have quipped "Can they hit Oxford?" when told about the missiles.
Christopher Lawford is a real-life nephew of John F. Kennedy.
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The second movie about President John F. Kennedy in which Kevin Costner stars as someone other than Kennedy. The first was JFK (1991).
Although the F-8 aircraft used in the movie are real aircraft once used by the Philippine Air Force, they were, in fact, nonfunctional at that time. During the filming of the movie, the planes were actually being towed.
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The aircraft shown carrying the President to Connecticut is an actual VC-137 (Boeing 707) Presidential aircraft used by President John F. Kennedy. The 707 shown wasn't in service until a month after the Cuban crisis, though. At the time another 707 with a different color scheme was used.
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David O'Donnell who plays Lt. Bruce Wilhemy is the real life grandson of Kenny O'Donnell played by Kevin Costner...
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This was originally instigated as a project for Lawrence Kasdan.
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Steven Culp and Dylan Baker did their undergraduate study together at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.
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Universal 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 it at Sony.
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Bruce Greenwood plays John F. Kennedy and Steven Culp plays his younger brother Robert Kennedy. In actuality, Culp is one year older than Greenwood.
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Director Roger Donaldson and Kevin Costner previously collaborated on No Way Out (1986).
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President Kennedy (played by Bruce Greenwood) in this film was American. Greenwood is actually Canadian.
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