Tom Hanks’ new favorite playmate Paul Giamatti will next bring his disproportionate capacity for volcanic rage to the role of Nikita Khrushchev, starring in the HBO biopic K Blows Top (a perfect fit, since _____ Blows Top should be the title of just about everything Giamatti stars in). The film is an adaptation of Peter Carlson’s book K Blows Top: A Cold War Comic Interlude Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist, which documents Khrushchev’s 13-day tour of the U.S. during the 1959 heights of the Cold War.
While the travelogue boasts many hilarious scenes for Giamatti to lose his shit over, its centerpiece is an infamous cocktail party at 20th Century Fox’s Café de Paris, where—in front of stars like Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe— “Khrushchev famously blew up when he was informed that a planned trip to Disneyland had to be tabled because of security concerns,” growing “red-faced” and “punching the air.” The trip was dubbed by Carlson the “television debut” of the “multiday media circus,” and Khrushchev left the country feeling so insulted that the already-shaky U.S.-Soviet relations plummeted to the point where Khrushchev famously ended up banging his shoe at the U.N. and later setting off the Cuban Missile Crisis. In addition to allowing Giamatti plenty of opportunity to do his apoplectic thing, K Blows His Top should finally expose the truth behind the Cold War: that it might have ended swiftly had Khrushchev only been allowed to ride the Tea Cups.
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