7.3/10
53,249
338 user 171 critic

Thirteen Days (2000)

Trailer
2:46 | Trailer
In October 1962, the Kennedy administration struggles to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Director:

Roger Donaldson

Writers:

David Self, Ernest R. May (book) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shawn Driscoll ... U-2 Pilot
Kevin Costner ... Kenny O'Donnell
Drake Cook Drake Cook ... Mark O'Donnell
Lucinda Jenney ... Helen O'Donnell
Caitlin Wachs ... Kathy O'Donnell
Jon Foster ... Kenny O'Donnell, Jr.
Matthew Dunn Matthew Dunn ... Kevin O'Donnell
Kevin O'Donnell Kevin O'Donnell ... NPIC Photo Interpreter
Janet Coleman Janet Coleman ... Evelyn Lincoln
Bruce Thomas ... Floyd
Stephanie Romanov ... Jacqueline Kennedy
Bruce Greenwood ... John F. Kennedy
Frank Wood ... McGeorge Bundy
Dakin Matthews ... Arthur Lundahl
Liz Sinclair Liz Sinclair ... Kenny's Assistant #1
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Storyline

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 <jgp3553@excite.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll Never Believe How Close We Came


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On February 1, 2001, this was the 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. See more »

Goofs

When the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. goes to battle stations, a gunners mate is shown loading a light blue-painted 5-inch round into the breech, an inert device used for training or firing practice, while the plot describes it as a star shell, which would be painted white. See more »

Quotes

President Kennedy: [the president has just ordered the military to prepare for the air strikes] Well, gentlemen, if anybody's got any great ideas, now's the time.
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Connections

Referenced in Inside the Actors Studio: Episode #8.5 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Virga Jesse Floruit
Composed by Anton Bruckner
Performed by John Scott & The St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
Courtesy of Hyperion Records Ltd., London, England
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User Reviews

 
The Godfather of political thrillers. Magnificent!
18 January 2001 | by WCS02See all my reviews

This is The Godfather of political thrillers. Magnificent! Until the final frames - when JFK addresses the White House staff - I expected another critical problem to emerge. These `wrinkles' kept me perched on the edge of my seat. I was naïve and 11 at the time. This is a movie not to be missed.

The President's Special Assistant (Kenny O'Donnell aka Kevin Costner) tells the story. He connects you intimately to the Kennedy White House, the early 60s military machinery … balanced against faith and family. Every emotion kicks into gear over the course of the film. At the end of the day, you're thankful the man in the oval office was a smart fellow. We need smart people in that office.

There's a thing called `heart' sprinkled liberally throughout. Performances are thoroughly believable, as though this is unfolding here and now. Greenwood and Culp are plausible Kennedy brothers after all their predecessors, a tough job given the liberal supply of Kennedy film. Your heart pours out for the insiders who knew how close the world came to the brink. Then please, join me in becoming a little cynical about the government's `world safety' report veracity going forward. Thirteen Days shows you why the government, the press, and the people need to be in constant check and balance to be effective.

A football metaphor weaves effectively through the film, though the teams are cliquish at best. Ex-Harvard quarterback Kenny O'Donnell now serves as a linebacker for the Kennedy team. He's an insider; close … a (near-family) friend. In a crisis, loyalty and teamwork to America's quarterback (JFK) is the prescription for sanity. War zealots surround and abound. Someone needs the cooler head – to be the wiser man – in a world where warfare is being redefined with weapons of annihilation.

Minutia: There's always something for a fanatic like me. I spotted a bowl of Post's fruity Pebbles cereal at the O'Donnell breakfast table in the closing minutes. I don't think these had been invented yet. The thing is: If I have to dig `that deep' to find flaws with the film's presentation quality, it's a pretty darned good. I am sure there are historical flaws, but this is close enough for government work.

I'm still naïve, but no longer 11 years old. Movies have to be well made / well told to satisfy. An entertainment adventure you will enjoy no matter your age, gender, race, religion or political persuasions. It rates 9 out of 10 possible points. But unlike its Godfather intensity, I hope there's never a sequel to this one.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Spanish | Romanian

Release Date:

12 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

13 Days See more »

Filming Locations:

Alhambra, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,668, 25 December 2000

Gross USA:

$34,592,089

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$66,579,890
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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