Moviegoers seem to love maritime disaster movies, and Hollywood has obliged by giving them hits like The Perfect Storm, Titanic and In the Heart of the Sea. Disney entered the niche genre with, The Finest Hours, a movie based on the amazing true story of a small U.S. Coast Guard crew and a daring rescue during the Winter of 1952 off the frigid coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The small crew is tasked to save engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) and the rest of the 30+ man crew of the SS Pendleton, a T-2 oil tanker that has been split in two during the stormy winter night. Chris Pine (Star Trek) stars as Coast Guard Captain Bernard “Bernie” Webber who was given what appeared to be an improbable mission to save the members of the tanker crew using a 12-seat rescue boat and his 3 man crew.
There are a number stories packed into this one film. It opens with the start of a romance between Bernie and Miriam Pentinen (played by Holiday Grainger). They’ve been talking for weeks on the phone and have their first date and it quickly progresses to the point where they are they are engaged. The second portion of the film details the large storm and the tanker splitting in half. There was actually a second tanker that was damaged as well, but the Coast Guard immediately responds and rescues that tanker. The SS Pendleton, which takes center stage in the film, does not immediately get assistance as the Coast Guard was unaware of the situation they were in due to a damaged radio. Eventually, the Coast Guard finds out about the other tanker and they send out the small boat and crew. I’m sure I wouldn’t be spoiling much, but I’ll let you find out exactly how the rescue mission plays out when you see it for yourself.
The movie was adapted by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson from a book by Michael Tougias and Casey Sherman. As I’ve mentioned, it’s a rather straightforward nautical-action-rescue mission, with a large amount of drama sprinkled in. There’s not much in the way of shocking story twists, and the visuals are likely the highlight of the film as the stormy weather and churning sea really come to life onscreen. Overall, I really liked it and could see myself watching it again. It makes for a great family movie night at home, and it is available to purchase today!
The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes the 117-minute movie in Blu-ray, Digital HD, and Disney Movies Anywhere. Although it was released to 3D for theater goers, there is not a 3D version available for home viewing. We always enjoy the Bonus Features, and the most interesting on this Blu-ray was the one titled “Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story”. This is a blu-ray only bonus. The other Bonus Features are interesting too, but are actually very short and include:
- Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story (14:10) – Information about the real mission focusing on Bernie Webber.
- Deleted Scenes (4:28) – There are two deleted scenes — “A Desperate Idea” and “The Story of How They Met”. You can see a clip of them below
- Brotherhood (1:49) – Small feature about the actors and their real-life characters.
- Two Crews (2:02) – Details from the rescue crew and the crew aboard the Pendleton. It’s kinda short but interesting.
- What is Your Finest Hour? (1:02) – Coast Guard Captain Jennifer Williams provides details on one of her rescue missions.
- The Finest Inspiration: The U.S. Coast Guard (1:42) – Information about the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Story of How They Met – Deleted Scene