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USA: New Line Cinema
UK: Buena Vista International
Cast: Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Steven Culp, Henry Strozier, Dylan Baker, Charles Esten, Alan Francis, Lucinda Jenney, Marya Kazakova, Tim Kelleher, Bill Smitrovich, Oleg Vidov, Caitlin Wachs, Peter White
Director: Roger Donaldson
USA & UK: 145 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for brief strong language
UK Certificate: 12 contains one use of strong language
USA Release Date: 12 January 2001
USA Release Date: 25 December 2000 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 16 March 2001
For thirteen extraordinary days in October of 1962, the world stood on the brink of an unthinkable catastrophe. Across the globe, people anxiously awaited the outcome of a harrowing political, diplomatic and military confrontation that threatened to end in an apocalyptic nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union.
In Thirteen Days, director Roger Donaldson, who captures the urgency, suspense and paralysing chaos of the Cuban Missile Crisis, dramatically explores the power and peril of the American presidency.
The alarming escalation of events during those fateful days brought to the fore such public figures as Robert McNamara, Adlai Stevenson, Theodore Sorenson, Andrei Gromyko, Anatoly Dobrynin, McGeorge Bundy, Dean Acheson, Dean Rusk, and General Curtis LeMay. In addition many others -- politicians, diplomats and soldiers -- were on the front line of the showdown. In Thirteen Days, we see all of these people, -- and, above all -- President John F Kennedy and his brother Bobby, through the eyes of a trusted presidential aide and confidante, Kenneth P. O'Donnell (Kevin Costner).
O'Donnell, who served as Special Assistant to the President, was a key White House insider with a birdseye view of the crisis. His office was next door to the President's Oval Office, and he was a major behind the scenes figure in the Kennedy White House. In the film, O'Donnell serves as a conduit to this gripping dramatization of one of the most dangerous moments in modern history.
The film moves from the bitter debates that lingered within 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the skies above Cuba, where US spy planes reveal the progressive missile build-up, and to the high seas, where a standoff between US and Soviet ships threatens to trigger war.
While mounting evidence suggests that the risk of a nuclear exchange was far greater than previously imagined, no one will ever know everything that happened behind closed doors at the White House. But, drawing on numerous historical sources, including White House tapes, memoirs, oral histories, CIA documents and personal interviews, screenwriter David Self has dramatized and woven together a story inspired by the events of October 1962 into a memorable thriller. Thirteen Days is, at its heart, a story of men who, through a stunning and bold combination of force and diplomacy, attained their shining moment in what appeared to be the nation's darkest hour.
New Line Cinema and Beacon Pictures present THIRTEEN DAYS. Produced by Armyan Bernstein, Peter O Almond and Costner, executive producers are Ilona Herzberg, Tom Bliss and Michael De Luca. Paul Deason and Mary Montiforte are co-producers. The film features a memorable ensemble that includes Kevin Costner as Kenny O'Donnell, Bruce Greenwood as John F Kennedy, Steven Culp as Robert F. Kennedy, Dylan Baker as Robert McNamara, Michael Fairman as Adlai Stevenson, Henry Strozier as Dean Rusk, Frank Wood as McGeorge Bundy, Kevin Conway as Gen. Curtis Lemay, Tim Kelleher as Ted Sorensen, Len Cariou as Dean Acheson, and Bill Smitrovich as Gen. Maxwell Taylor.