Left at the mercy of mother nature, in 1952 oil tanker SS Pendleton was left stricken off the eastern seaboard in the face of a fierce nor’easter, tossed about like a kite dancing in hurricane-force winds and 60-foot high waves. Such an intense storm lead to one of the most daring small boat rescues in coast guard history, and it’s little wonder why it hasn’t been projected onto the silver screen long before Craig Gillespie and The Finest Hours appeared on the horizon.
Nevertheless, with little over two weeks until release, Disney has debuted a new promo for the real-life maritime thriller, placing first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) in the eye of the storm so to speak as the only senior officer on board. When disaster strikes, the crew quickly realize that they have three hours tops before the ravaged ship plunges to the depths of the North Atlantic, leaving the fate of 30 crew members in the hands of Chris Pine’s coast guard.
Leading the brave resuce mission as Captain Bernie Webber, Pine’s character risks his own life and the lives of those around him in order to save the stranded crew. A fine set-up for a drama, and we’re cautiously optimistic that Gillespie and the writing crew can balance character-driven drama with CG-laden set pieces – more so than, say, In The Heart of the Sea. Eric Bana, Graham McTavish, Kyle Gallner, Rachel Brosnahan, Josh Stewart, Abraham Benrubi, John Ortiz, and Beau Knapp are also on board for the film.
The House of Mouse is ready to set sail for The Finest Hours when Craig Gillespie’s gripping disaster drama docks in theaters in time for January 29.
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.