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Saturday, December 9, 2023


Those "Thirteen Days" in October 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis, are right up there in permanent memories with the Kennedy assassination a year later. For those of a certain age, that is.
For 13 unbelievable, extraordinary days the world waited for word of possible extinction as President John F. Kennedy held a steel-nerved showdown with Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Director Roger Donaldson has made what some call the best movie of his career of those days which held the very real threat of apocalypse.
Starring Kevin Costner as Kenny O 'Donnell, Kennedy's special aide, the story is related through O 'Donnell's unique insider view of the crisis. Bruce Greenwood as Kennedy, and Steven Culp as Robert Kennedy, are said to have given the two best male performances of the year.
The film was written by David Self who drew on White House tapes, memoirs, oral histories, CIA documents and personal interviews all of which suggest the risk of nuclear exchange may have been even greater than previously suggested.
You'll recognize all those White House names from the Kennedy era – Robert McNamara, Adlai Stevenson, Theodore Sorenson, Andrei Gromyko, Dean Acheson and what has been described as a "foaming at the mouth," General Curtis LeMay.
The film moves from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the Cuban skies and the high seas where U.S. and Soviet ships lie prepared for mass destruction.
Greenwood's JFK is called as "close to a perfect portrayal" as possible. Though Greenwood doesn't look like JFK, or even sound like him, Newsday critic John Anderson says, "with Kennedy's measured cadences, closeted emotions and cunning, he's more than convincing."
The two hour and 25 minute movie is rated PG-13 for brief strong language.
It starts Thursday at Market Square East.

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