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).