In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the Coast Guard set out to rescue more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel.Written by
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The USCGC Bernard C. Webber (WPC-1101) was the first of the new Sentinel class of 58 Coast Guard cutters, each 154 feet in length. She was built in Lockport, Louisiana and commissioned in 2012, some two years after the passing of Bernard Webber. She serves the Port of Miami, Florida. See more »
Once the bow of the Pendleton split from the stern, the lights in this section should have gone out instantly. In the film they remain on until the bow sinks. See more »
What Bernie Webber, Richard Livesey, Andy Fitzgerald and Ervin Maske accomplished on the night of February 18, 1952 is still considered the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history. Bernie and Miriam were married on the date she planned. And they remained married for 58 years until Bernie's death in 2009 at the age 81. All four Coast Guardsmen were awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for their heroic actions.
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The Most Daring Rescue of a Crew with a Small Rescue Boat
In 1950, in Cape Cod in Massachusetts, the US Coast Guard station in Chatham receives a distress signal from the oil tankers SS Pendleton and SS Fort Mercer. Commander Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) assigns the crew formed by Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), Richard Livesey (Ben Foster), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner) and Ervin Maske (John Magaro) to rescue the crew of the SS Pendleton in a small enclosed lifeboat. Cluff is warned about the intensity of the storm by Bernie and also by his girlfriend Miriam (Holliday Grainger) but he keeps the order. Meanwhile the SS Pendleton has broken and lost his forward part and his skilled and experienced engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) assumes the command of the survivors. He uses his abilities to steer the stern in a safer position, grounding it on an unstable bank of sand to avoid sinking.
"The Finest Hours" is based on the most daring rescue of a crew in a blizzard with a small enclosed lifeboat-rescue boat. The heroic work of the US Coast Guard crew is impressive, saving thirty-two survivors from the SS Pendleton. The ability of the engineer Ray Sybert is also praiseworthy. The film is technically impressive with breathtaking action scenes of the rescue operation. The romance is silly and only completes the running time. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Horas Decisivas" ("Decisive Hours")
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