I wanted to share about the new heroic, action-thriller The Finest Hours today. This is the extraordinary true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history. The movie will be presented in Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D so that you can be transported right into the action. Become immersed in the cinematic experience on an epic scale!
On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck New England, pummeling towns along the Eastern seaboard and wreaking havoc on the ships caught in its deadly path, including the SS Pendleton, a T-2 oil tanker bound for Boston, which was literally ripped in half, trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly-sinking stern. As the senior officer on board, first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) soon realizes it is up to him to take charge of the frightened crew and inspire the men to set aside their differences and work together to ride out one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast.
Meanwhile, as word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) orders a daring operation to rescue the stranded men. Despite overwhelming odds, four men, led by Coast Guard Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), set out in a wooden lifeboat with an ill-equipped engine and little, if any, means of navigation, facing frigid temperatures, 60-foot high waves and hurricane-force winds.
“The Finest Hours” is packed with thrilling, larger-than-life action sequences and it is anchored by the strong central theme that resonates throughout the story—the strength of the human spirit. The SS Pendleton rescue was front-page news at the time, but not everyone today is familiar with the story, including families of the men who were part of the rescue itself. Of the many people closely involved with the February, 1952 rescue mission, only two are still around today, Coast Guard engineers Andy Fitzgerald and Mel “Gus” Gouthro. Fitzgerald, who was the Coast Guard third-class engineer, stepped in for his friend and senior engineer Gouthro, who was sick the night of the rescue, remaining in the Chatham Coast Guard station. Both men, still friends to this day, were engaged by the filmmakers in the early stages of development to help ensure all the facts and details were authentic. Both men have never forgotten that historic night, remembering it like it was yesterday.
“Some people still look at the Pendleton rescue as a suicide mission, but I never saw it like that,” says Fitzgerald, who is now 84 and lives with his wife in Colorado. “Like we used to say back then, ‘You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.’ Our job was to save people and that’s what we did, and I’m damn proud of that.”
Adds Gouthro, “When people ask me about the Pendleton what I try to impress on them is that it really was no big deal to these guys. Those four men went out and did their job. They didn’t like it…it’s not like they were having a good time out on that lifeboat, but it’s what they were told to do so they went out and did it.”
An impressive roster of talent behind the camera was also set in place, including: Javier Aguirresarobe, ASC (“Blue Jasmine”) as director of photography; two-time Oscar® nominee Michael Corenblith (“Saving Mr. Banks”) as production designer; Louise Frogley (“Unbroken”) as costume designer; Tatiana S. Riegel, ACE (“Million Dollar Arm”) as editor; and Golden Globe® nominee Carter Burwell (“True Grit”) as composer.