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Thirteen Days (2000) Poster

(2000)

Trivia

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.
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.
(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.
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 1960s' vintage F-8s shown in the film are all real aircraft that were used by the Philippine Air Force.
David O'Donnell, who plays Lt. Bruce Wilhemy, is the real life grandson of Kenny O'Donnell, who is portrayed in the film by Kevin Costner.
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.
Actor Christopher Lawford, who portrays Commander William B. Ecker, is a real-life nephew of former President the late John F. Kennedy.
Some historians believe the Yom Kippur War in 1973 was the closest the world came to nuclear conflict. They have asserted that DEFCON 2 was secretly enacted as the USSR moved nuclear weapons into Alexandria Harbor.
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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.
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 second movie about President John F. Kennedy in which Kevin Costner stars as someone other than Kennedy. The first was Oliver Stone's JFK (1991).
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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General Curtis LeMay said the Kennedy administration giving in to the Soviet demands was the worst defeat the United States had suffered in it entire history.
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Director Roger Donaldson and star Kevin Costner previously collaborated on the espionage film No Way Out (1987) around thirteen years earlier.
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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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When John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) consults with Dean Rusk (Henry Strozier) about air strikes, he is seen holding a note. In a piece of the scene that was cut from the film, Robert F. Kennedy passes the note to Kenny O'Donnell, who passes it to John F. Kennedy. The note reads: "Now I know how Tojo felt planning Pearl Harbor".
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The film was made and released about three years after its source book "Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis" by Ernest R. May and Philip D. Zelikow had been first published in 1997.
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This motion picture was originally instigated as a project for writer-director-producer Lawrence Kasdan who had helmed The Big Chill (1983) which had contained a soundtrack full of 1960s Motown classics and featured a story-line about a reunion of 60s graduates.
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The Kennedy administration was heavily criticized for allowing Soviet missiles to reach Cuba.
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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 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.
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Actors Bruce Greenwood and Steven Culp play John F. Kennedy and his younger brother Robert F. Kennedy respectively. In real life though, Culp is actually one year older than Greenwood.
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Star Kevin Costners theatrical feature film be to set around former American president John F. Kennedy. His first was Oliver Stone's JFK (1991) which had been made and released around nine years earlier.
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This motion picture's opening title card states: "October, 1962".
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President John F. Kennedy, who is played by Bruce Greenwood) in this film, was American, whereas Greenwood is actually Canadian.
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The film's closing credits state that the picture was "filmed in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Rhode Island and the Philippines."
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The real Ted Sorensen, President Kennedy's speech writer is in the scene standing during the first cabinet meeting.
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Actor Bruce Greenwood played Democrat U.S. President'John F. Kennedy' in Thirteen Days (2000). He and William Devane, who plays JFK in The Missiles of October (1974), are two actors who have both portrayed this American President, and both worked together on the long running show Knots Landing (1979).
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When Bruce Greenwood and Steven Culp were cast as JFK and RFK respectively, weeks ahead of the start of filming, they would call each other on the phone to practice their Boston accents. They called it playing "Dueling Kennedys", according to special features in the DVD version of the film.
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