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, the power and peril of the American presidency is dramatically explored by director Roger Donaldson, who captures the urgency, suspense and paralyzing chaos of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 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 U.S. spy planes reveal the progressive missile build-up, and to the high seas, where a standoff between U.S. 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.
Audio Commentary by Director Roger Donaldson, Actor Kevin Costner, Writer David Self, and Executive Producer Michael DeLuca
Visual Effects Scene Deconstructions
Deleted footage With Director Commentary
Cast/ Crew Biographies
History Commentary, Including John F. Kennedy, Sergei Khrushchev, Ernest R. May, Philip D. Zelikow and Pierre Salinger
"Roots of the Cuban Missile Crisis Bringing History to the Silver Screen"
Historical Figures Biographies
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