The Finest Hours Brings True Heroism To The Screen

The finest hours poster

The Finest Hours brings movie viewers the true story of one of the most dangerous and heroic Coast Guard rescues on record.  Based on the February 18, 1952 rescue of 33 men trapped on a T-2 tanker, a crew from the Chatham, Massachusetts Coast Guard Station sets off on a mission that has the potential for disaster with every drop of rain and flake of snow that falls that fateful day.

The massive nor’easter storm that strikes New England and the neighboring towns brings chaos to the ships in the Atlantic waters off the coast.  Two T-2 tankers experience the same deadly situation when they are ripped in half due to faulty manufacturing.  The SS Fort Mercer sends out a distress signal which has the Chatham Station sending a crew out with the necessary equipment for a rescue mission.  When news of the SS Pendleton’s distress reach Warrant Office Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana), he send out a small crew of men on what can only be called a suicide mission to find the remains of the SS Pendleton.   Against impossible odds, a 4 man crew led by Capt. Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) set out in a wooden lifeboat that holds 12 in freezing temperatures.  Losing their navigational equipment and fighting hurricane force winds and 60 plus foot waves, the crew finds the 33 survivors aboard the grounded T-2 and manage to rescue 32 of them in one of the best adventure-thriller scenes this Entertainment Report has ever seen.

The film is actually divided into 3 sub plots.  Starting out with the relationship between Bernie Webber and his fiance, Miriam (Holliday Grainger), we are shown the personality and charm of Webber.  A captain in the Coast Guard, Bernie has always been a rule follower and never questioned authority.   Orders are to be followed even if it means he may not return from the mission.  Fiance, Miriam is a fiesty, modern gal that appears a bit forward and opinionated that is uncharacteristic for the times, making her appear a bit over the top.

The suspense and tension felt by the audience in the theaters as each scene unfolds is genuine.  Each misstep leads to the probability that even if Capt. Webber and his crew reach the SS Pendleton, how will they rescue and transport 33 men and themselves aboard a 12 man lifeboat in one of history’s worst storms?

The film, like the storm builds and quickly drifts into the remaining 2 subplots alternating between the scenes on the lifeboat with Webber and his crew and the scenes on the T-2, where 33 surviving crew members are understandably scared and unsure as to what to do to survive.  Quiet Senior Officer, first assistant engineer Ray Seybert (Casey Affleck) steps up at the advice of a fellow crew member and manages to not only inspire the crew but also comes up with a way to steer the remaining section of the tanker, grounding it with the hopes that it will stay afloat until help arrives.   Not without its share of drama on board the tanker, Seybert and the remaining survivors manage the impossible task of staying alive, while Webber and his crew miraculously find the tanker and through incredible courage, strength and team work manage to get the most of the crew on board his little lifeboat.

The Finest Hours shows once again the true heroes that exist in our world.  From the courageous crew on board the T-2 Pendleton to the Coast Guard teams and even the towns people who help out in their own small ways with support, food and prayers on the docks, this film will warm the hearts of viewers and continue to show the incredible heroic stories that are sadly not always recognized.

Unsung heroes that The Walt Disney Pictures brings to light.  Like McFarland USA where Coach White takes a group of young kids and turns them into champions and Million Dollar Arm where young men from India are given a chance to play in the major leagues,  Walt Disney Pictures takes true stories and brings them to the screen for all the world to learn and recognize the many regular folks whose stories inspire and give us hope.

Director by Craig Gillespie and producers by Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero,  bring this incredible true story in 3D at a theater near you, starting this Friday, January 29, 2016.

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