K-19: The Widowmaker

July 19th, 2002


more trailers K-19: The Widowmaker

Still of Liam Neeson in K-19: The WidowmakerStill of Harrison Ford in K-19: The WidowmakerWilliam Friedkin and Sherry Lansing at event of K-19: The WidowmakerK-19: The WidowmakerStill of Harrison Ford in K-19: The WidowmakerStill of Harrison Ford in K-19: The Widowmaker

When Russia's first nuclear submarine malfunctions on its maiden voyage, the crew must race to save the ship and prevent a nuclear disaster.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 6.5/10 (28,496 voted)

Critic's Score: 58/100

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Stars: Harrison Ford, Sam Spruell, Peter Stebbings

The story of USSR's first nuclear ballistic submarine, which suffered a malfunction in its nuclear reactor on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic in 1961. The submarine's crew, led by the unyielding Captain Alexi Vostrikov, races against time to prevent a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster which threatens not only the lives of his crew, but has the potential to ignite a world war between the super powers.

Writers: Louis Nowra, Christopher Kyle

Sam Spruell - Dmitri
Peter Stebbings - Kuryshev
Christian Camargo - Pavel
Roman Podhora - Lapinsh
Sam Redford - Vasily
Steve Nicolson - Demichev
Liam Neeson - Capt. Mikhail Polenin
Ravil Isyanov - Suslov
Tim Woodward - Partonov
Lex Shrapnel - Kornilov
Shaun Benson - Leonid
Kris Holden-Ried - Anton (as Kristen Holden-Ried)
Dmitry Chepovetsky - Sergei
Christopher Redman - Kiklidze
Tygh Runyan - Maxim

Taglines: Fate has found its hero.


Official Website: Filmax [Spain] | OFFICIAL SITE |

Release Date: 19 July 2002

Filming Locations: Gimli, Manitoba, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $100,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $12,778,459 (USA) (21 July 2002) (2828 Screens)

Gross: $35,168,966 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The meter used in the scene where the ships doctor is checking the radiation dosimeters by inserting them into a dosimeter reader is not actually a reader at all. It is a modified Hewlett Packard (now Agilent) HP3555A/B Transmission Level/Noise test set used by telephone and communications technicians. This actual meter was not developed by HP until several years after the K19 incident. The method for reading dosimeters at the time was to look through them (like you would a telescope) and read the progression of an indicator on a ruler like scale.

Revealing mistakes: The CGI helicopter that flies close over the two soviet submarines doesn't cause a wake on the ocean.

[first lines]
Capt. Mikhail Polenin: All compartments: report readiness!

User Review

It is funny to see how most, if not all comments, except the American ones regarding K-19 really praised it and really enjoyed it. It must be half a century of propaganda, not Harrison Ford's accent.

Rating: 10/10

K-19 is a unique entry with a poignant portrayal of the other side of the Iron Curtain, showing the rest of the world the courage and the honour of the Russians to their mother land. Those who think of Russians, usually think of blood thirsty killing beasts who drink Vodka all day, but clearly this is just propaganda. I have Russian background and I have grown up around ethnics, and Russians are no different than the general public. It is American propaganda that has taken the rest of the world from understanding the Russian people. In K-19, the Russians are finally portrayed as human beings in the most harshest of all circumstances. This is not an action movie and it was not intended to be one. Most of the American comments shown here on Imdb are ridiculous. They clearly show the American expectations in a movie: It has to be a blow up, explosion filled, guns and bullets, kill your enemy blockbuster to make it into their best films ever list. K-19 however did not want to impress the Americans with special effects (it seems to the general American public that special effects are all that make quality movies these days) but instead wanted to show the world that Russian soldiers were not cold blooded murderers and were not war thirsty, but were soldiers under extreme circumstances - to show the struggle on the other side and to show the fear of death and the courage and heroics in preventing nuclear war, subsequently sparking World War III.

I was really impressed that at least some of the American comments were realistic, for anybody who understands cinema would classify this as a "masterpiece". I have come across many hilariously stupid and ridiculous American comments where they think they know what they are talking about and the thing is, they don't. Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson pulled off a brilliant realistic performance. In my opinion, their accents were very well done (I am Russian, so I would know) and the direction was splendid (a benchmark in sub film history with its claustrophobic sense and close direction). I felt really sorry for the characters, especially for the Nuclear Reactor Officer. The Kirov Orchestra pulled off one of the greatest soundtracks that I have ever heard (really powerful and striking pieces) and the general Russian feel throughout the film was "Authentic".

I was truly struck by this film. It sent shivers down my spine. The settings, the story telling, the performances, the direction, the music, the tension, the interaction and chemistry between the characters, the authenticity and best of all the cast truly made this film a "masterpiece". Thank you to one great "American" film director (Kathryn Bigelow) for waking up and seeing the Russians in a different light.

This movies is certainly a 10/10.