Check It Out: The Finest Hours

Jun 19, 2018

This is Jessi Wakefield with the Sioux City Public Library and you are listening to Check it Out. Today I would like to recommend the Disney produced movie, The Finest Hours starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Casey Affleck. This movie is based off of true events of what is still considered today the most daring sea rescue ever attempted by the United States Coast Guard. It is the story of heroism, sacrifice, and love for your fellow man. In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal nor'easter in years. The weather was dreadful on shore, but it was deadly out to sea. In the early hours of Monday, February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, found themselves in the same horrifying predicament: their ships had split in two by the raging winds and waves. Chris Pine plays Bernie Webber, a meek, unassuming member of the Coast Guard who, with a small crew of three men, and on a 36-foot boat, braved the terrible storm in a harrowing attempt to save the remaining men on the Pendleton. There are many reasons that I fell in love with this movie. It harkens back to the movies of the 1950s, both in its rich visual texture, practical special effects, and wholesome values. There is no real “bad guy” in this movie. It is man vs. nature and the bravery of men who went out, thinking certainly that they would die, but did it anyway. As Bernie says in one line, “Coast Guard is told to go out, they’re never told to come back.” This being a true story only made the experience of the film more enjoyable. I am in awe of true unassuming heroism, and the men that went out on that day in 1952 is a shining example of this. The Sioux City Library has this movie as well as the book based off the same event by Michael Tougias and Casey Sherman entitled The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue. I was pleasantly surprised by this feel good movie, and was very glad I was introduced to this event.

Support for Check It Out comes from Avery Brothers.