Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson star in a thrilling drama about what many believe to be the most dangerous time in global history. Not unlike today, it was a time when the only mechanism for peace was mutually assured destruction, and people around the world felt tension on a daily basis.
The story is inspired by a chilling event that happened in 1961 during the Cold War when the Soviet Union had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world two times over and the United States had the nuclear power to destroy the world ten times over. As schoolchildren were taught to duck and cover under their desks and parents built bomb shelters in their backyards, each nation continued to add to its nuclear stockpile
waiting for who would strike first.
K-19: The Widowmaker is not a film about war but about the courage it takes not to go to war. It is about military muscle, mind and heart. It is also about a world in which technology is king and sacrifice in the name of national security is common. It exemplifies the duty a soldier feels toward his nation and his countrymen, and lays bare the burden of responsibility a leader feels for those under his command. And finally, it is about how easily tragedies can occur in wartime or anytime by accident, by machine malfunction
or by human error.
Inspired by a true story, the film follows the heroism of Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) who, at the height of the Cold War, is ordered to take command of the nuclear missile submarine K-19 away from its original commander Captain Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson). Vostrikovs mission is to quickly ready the ill-prepared sub for her maiden voyage -- no matter what the cost.
But Vostrikov, Polenin and K-19s loyal crew can never imagine all that is expected of them. Neither can they fathom what the price of failure might be for them and for the world when a nuclear reactor malfunctions, threatening a core meltdown and an explosion that will certainly kill all aboard.