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The Missiles of October is a 1974 docudrama about the Cuban missile crisis. Its name evokes the book The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman about the missteps among the great powers and the failed chances to give an opponent a graceful way out leading to the supposedly inevitable World War. The script is based on Attorney General Robert F Kennedy's book Thirteen Days.

Production Notes

Staged as a two and a half hour play, the production eschews detailed sets and wardrobes, as well as physical action, in favor of dialogue and emotions. It shows how the world came close to the brink of, and eventually stepped away from, global thermonuclear war. The work lauds President John F Kennedy, Attorney General Robert F Kennedy, Sovietmarker Premier Nikita Khrushchev, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson, and former Secretary of State Dean Acheson.

The Missiles of October takes us behind the scenes to see the inner workings, disagreements, and ultimate consensus of Kennedy's cabinet to blockade Cubamarker, rather than attempt to invade to dislodge the just discovered yet partially completed Soviet nuclear missile emplacements in Cuba. It also details US attempts to give the Soviets room to negotiate without appearing to capitulate. Although often dismissed by movie and television critics, the piece scores extremely well in viewer polls.

The made-for-TV movie was directed by Anthony Page with writing credits given to Stanley R. Greenberg and Robert Kennedy.

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