New 'The Finest Hours' Trailer: Chris Pine Leads the Greatest Coast Guard Rescue in History

New 'The Finest Hours' Trailer: Chris Pine Leads the Greatest Coast Guard Rescue in History

Nov 11, 2015

Appropriately dropped on Veteran's Day, the trailer for The Finest Hours showcases the bravery of one of the most unsung branches of the U.S. Armed Forces: the Coast Guard. Based on a true story, the movie depicts what it claims in its tagline was "the most daring rescue mission in U.S. Coast Guard history." Here are the facts behind the film:


It's about the SS Pendleton rescue

On February 18, 1952, both the former Marine Corps tanker Pendleton and the oil tanker Fort Mercer broke in two off the coast of Massachussetts during a nor'easter storm. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 70 of the 84 officers and crew of the two vessels, which were 40 miles apart. They initially responded to only Fort Mercer, as Pendleton's radio was busted during the wreck, but the latter was discovered via radar set up for the former's rescue. The movie is focused on the Pendleton part of the mission.


It's based on the book of the same name

A lot of books have been written about the Fort Mercer and Pendleton rescues, but this movie is specifically based on 2009's The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman. Sherman also wrote the book Boston Strong, about the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, which is also being turned into a movie. 

Chris Pine stars as Boatswain's Mate First Class Bernard C. Webber

Webber was the coxswain of the Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat CG 36500, with which he led the rescue of 32 crew members of the sinking Pendleton. He received the Gold Lifesaving Medal for that mission and a Coast Guard ship was recently named for him. He also served in both World War II and Vietnam and died in 2009. See a short video about him here.


Ben Foster, Kyle Gallner and John Magaro portray Webber's crew

Foster (Lone Survivor) plays Seaman Richard Livesey, Magaro (Unbroken) plays Seaman Ervin Maske and Gallner (American Sniper) plays Engineman Third Class Andrew Fitzgerald, who is the last surviving member of the events (Livesey died in 2007; Maske in 2003). The real men behind the characters also all were awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal.

Here's a photo of the four CG 36500 heroes (l-r: Webber, Fitzgerald, Livesey, Maske) via the USCG website:


Eric Bana portrays Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff 

Cluff was the officer-in-charge at the Chatham Lifeboat Station and led the entire operation involving both ships' rescues. He was the one to realize that there was a second vessel in distress while focused on the Fort Mercer efforts. He then dispatched Webber and his men, Maske being a volunteer addition who was passing through Chatham. He was honored with a letter of commendation. See the real Cluff here


Casey Affleck portrays Pendleton Chief Engineer Raymond L. Sybert  

Sybert was actually the first assistant engineer, but during the rescue he happened to be the chief surviving officer of the sinking ship and had to lead his men for hours before the Coast Guard was even aware of their situation. 


The Finest Hours is directed by Craig Gillespie 

Gillespie's previous movies include the quirky indie Lars and the Real Girl, the remake of Fright Night and another Disney feature based on a true story, last year's Million Dollar Arm. As for the screenplay, that's by the trio of Oscar nominees who previously penned The Fighter, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson.


It opens on January 29, 2016

Okay, now you're all set up. Here's the trailer:



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