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By Roger D Bernier

GENRE: Adventure
LOGLINE: A survivor of the bombing of the battleship Maine is rescued by Cuban gun-smugglers who help him escape to safety, while his best friend sets out on an emergency run to search for him, on the eve of the Spanish-American War.


"Emergency Run" is based on the novel by Edward Buell Hungerford. It’s 1898 and Cuba is an island nation ravaged by more than twenty years of rebellion. Desperate to retain its crumbling colonial empire, Spain builds concentration camps, jails suspected revolutionaries, and starves its citizens. Cuba is a country in chaos, yearning for freedom. Rob Dark, 23, a street-smart, sailor from Boston who left home to join the Navy at age 16, is transferred to the USS Maine. Sent to Havana, Cuba in a peacekeeping effort, the battleship is suddenly destroyed by an explosion, killing over 260 of Rob’s fellow sailors. He survives the blast, but is washed out to sea and is rescued by Cuban gun-runners who take him back to their headquarters. Disguised as a Chinese cook, Rob sets out on a gun-smuggling sloop through the cays, using his wits and sailing skills to dodge the Spanish gunboats. Rob’s new best friend Chad Harper, 16, reads about the bombing of the Maine and decides to join the Navy to seek retribution. His ship, the USS Oregon sets out on an emergency run to reach Cuba before war breaks out, while Chad hopes for a chance to find his lost (and presumed dead) friend. Rob comes ashore to deliver the smuggled guns and meets the clever daughter of a Cuban aristocrat rebel. She and her family devise a plan to help him return to the safety of U.S. forces. Rob joins a group of Cuban cowboys driving a herd of cattle and contraband through the mountains to the rebel camp. His flight to freedom continues, and he is ambushed by Spanish soldiers who take him to the infamous Morro Castle as a prisoner of war. There, he meets Alvarez, his witty cellmate who helps him plot an escape. The USS Oregon and Chad Harper arrive in time to join a blockade of the Spanish navy, thus inaugurating the Spanish-American War. Chad grows from farm-boy to sailor-man on the trip around the Horn, all the while holding out hope for Rob Dark’s survival. The Spanish navy runs the blockade and the climactic battle ensues between the seasoned veterans and the untested American fleet. Chad is tested in the heat of battle and witnesses one of the greatest naval victories in history, as well as the fall of the mighty Spanish empire. While searching for survivors, he spots someone signaling on the beach and leads a rescue party to the scene. In an amazing twist of fate, Chad is reunited with his Navy pal Rob, and returns triumphant. It is a story of an enduring friendship, hope, and the birth of a nation. This movie also resonates with several current day themes: Terrorism and the bombing of a U.S. ship in a foreign port, as well as the question of intervention in another country’s revolution.


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