Fail Safe (1964)
"Fail-Safe" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  15 January 1965 (Finland)
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Reviews: 130 user | 33 critic

American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted?



(screenplay), (from the novel by), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Colonel Grady (as Ed Binns)
William Hansen ...
Russell Hardie ...
General Stark (as Russell Hardy)
Russell Collins ...
Nancy Berg ...
Frank Simpson ...
Hildy Parks ...


A series of human and computer errors sends a squadron of American 'Vindicator' bombers to nuke Moscow. The President, in order to convince the Soviets that this is a mistake, orders the Strategic Air Command to help the Soviets stop them. Written by KC Hunt <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The screen zeros in on the most suspenseful adventure drama of our age! See more »


Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

15 January 1965 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Fail Safe  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau; and one Oscar nominee: Dan O'Herlihy. See more »


At the beginning of the meeting in the War Room at the Pentagon, while everyone is milling around and providing "small talk", general Stark mistakenly calls general Black "Whitey", when his actual nickname is "Blackie". See more »


[last lines]
Brigadier General Warren A. Black: The Matador, the Matador... me... me
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Crazy Credits

[FINAL CREDIT]: The producers of this film wish to stress that it is the stated position of the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force that a rigidly enforced system of safeguards and controls insure that occurrences such as those depicted in this story cannot happen See more »


References Mondo cane (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the very best movies ever made.
5 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just bought a copy of this movie after hemming and hawing for several years. I have both read the book and seen the film several times.

This is without a doubt one of the very best motion pictures ever made. The cast is exceptional and features actors that went on to be type cast as either comic or hack, Dom De-louis, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman, in some unbelievably well done dramatic parts.

Along with Henry Fonda as the most realistic president ever put to film, The entire cast is magnificent.

Just as an aside try getting both this film and Kubricks Dr. Strangelove and watch the both. Fail Safe first the Strange Love and enjoy the juxtaposition. Basically the same story, but with a wildly divergent take on the situation.

Get some popcorn and enjoy.

Btw: 1. FAIL SAFE is a very intense film. watch it early in the evening.

2. Dr Strangelove is a comic masterpiece but pails in comparison.

3. Read the book of FAIL SAFE as well. It will chill your soul.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I don't buy one of the underlying premises in the film robert3750-92-607013
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