Disney’s latest live-action film, The Finest Hours starring Chris Pine, Eric Bana, and Casey Affleck, is based on the true story of what the US Coast Guard calls the greatest rescue by a small boat in its history. On February 18, 1952 during a harsh nor’easter, 503-foot oil tanker the SS Pendleton split in two off the Cape Cod coast. Four men from the Chatham Coast Guard set out in a wooden 36-foot motorized lifeboat—braving the winter storm and 60-foot waves—to save the Pendleton’s crew. Here are five things you need to know about the film, set to hit the big screen on January 29.
The Finest Hours is Based on a Book by Local Authors
The movie is based on the 2009 book of the same name by Massachusetts authors Casey Sherman and Mike Tougias.
The Film Was Shot Locally
All shooting for the The Finest Hours took place in Massachusetts in the fall and winter of 2014. Portions of the movie were filmed at the old Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. Other locations include spots in Duxbury—such as Duxbury Beach and Powder Point Bridge—and the town of Chatham.
The Rescue Boat Still Exists
That small lifeboat used to save the Pendleton crew was refurbished and now rests in Orleans on Cape Cod.
The Movie Features an Affleck
Massachusetts is well represented in the cast and crew of The Finest Hours. Behind the scenes, Worcester native Scott Silver worked on the screenplay and Watertown resident Dorothy Aufiero co-produced the picture. Boston-bred actor Ben Foster plays Coast Guard member Richard Livesey while Falmouth's own Casey Affleck (Ben's brother) took on the role of Ray Sibert—the SS Pendleton’s first assistant engineer and senior officer in charge of keeping the crew of the sinking ship safe.
One of the Original Guardsmen Was on Set for the Filming
Andy Fitzgerald, one of the four Coast Guardsmen and the last surviving member of the rescue team, was flown out from Colorado to visit the Quincy set.