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K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER
USA: Paramount Pictures
Cast: Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard, Joss Ackland, Tim Woodward, Sam Spruell, Christian Camargo, Roman Podhora, Sam Redford, Steve Nicolson, Ravil Issyanov, Lex Shrapnel, Shaun Benson, Kristen Holden-Reid, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Tygh Runyan, John Shrapnel, George Anton, James Ginty, Jacob Pitts, Christopher Routh, Lubomir Mykytiuk, Michael J X Gladis, Donald Sumpter, Steve Cumyn, Austin Strugnell , J J Field, Peter Oldring, Ingvar Eggert Siguršsson, Gerrit Vooren, Lev Prygunov, Jeremy Akerman, Lee J Campbell
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Countries: Germany / UK / USA
USA & UK: 138 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for disturbing images
UK Certificate: 12 contains sustained peril and grisly images
USA Release Date: 19 July 2002
UK Release Date: 25 October 2002
Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson star in a thrilling drama about what many believe to be the most dangerous time in global history. Not unlike today, it was a time when the only mechanism for peace was mutually assured destruction, and people around the world felt tension on a daily basis. The story is inspired by a chilling event that happened in 1961 during the Cold War when the Soviet Union had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world two times over and the United States had the nuclear power to destroy the world ten times over. As schoolchildren were taught to 'duck and cover' under their desks and parents built bomb shelters in their backyards, each nation continued to add to its nuclear stockpile...waiting for who would strike first.
K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER is not a film about war but about the courage it takes not to go to war. It is about military muscle, mind and heart. It is also about a world in which technology is king and sacrifice in the name of national security is common. It exemplifies the duty a soldier feels towards his nation and his countrymen, and lays bare the burden of responsibility a leader feels for those under his command. And finally, it is about how easily tragedies can occur in wartime or anytime by accident, by machine malfunction...or by human error.
Inspired by a true story, the film follows the heroism of Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) who, at the height of the Cold War, is ordered to take command of the nuclear missile submarine K-19 away from its original commander Captain Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson). Vostrikov's mission is to quickly ready the ill-prepared sub for her maiden voyage - no matter what the cost.
But Vostrikov, Polenin and K-19's loyal crew can never imagine all that is expected of them. Neither can they fathom what the price of failure might be for them and for the world when a nuclear reactor malfunctions, threatening a core meltdown and an explosion that will certainly kill all aboard. As they glide beneath the Arctic seas, it is the crew's collective bravery and Vostrikov's daring embrace of his duty toward his country and his men, which will ultimately save K-19 - and stave off what surely would have been a nuclear disaster.