8.0/10
15,666
141 user 34 critic

Fail-Safe (1964)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller | 15 January 1965 (Finland)
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?

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (from the novel by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Fail Safe (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow.

Directors: Stephen Frears, Martin Pasetta
Stars: Walter Cronkite, Richard Dreyfuss, Noah Wyle
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Jewish pawnbroker, victim of Nazi persecution, loses all faith in his fellow man until he realizes too late the tragedy of his actions.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters
The Hill (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March
The Offence (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A burned-out British police detective finally snaps while interrogating a suspected child molester.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Vivien Merchant
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Treat Williams, Jerry Orbach, Richard Foronjy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Eddie Carbone, a Brooklyn longshoreman is unhappily married to Beatrice and unconsciously in love with Catherine, the niece that they have raised from childhood. Into his house come two ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Raf Vallone, Jean Sorel, Maureen Stapleton
The Sea Gull (1968)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Film adaptation of Anton Chekhov's story of life in rural Russia during the latter part of the 19th century. An aging actress Arkidana pays summer visits to her brother Sorin and son ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Mason, Vanessa Redgrave, Simone Signoret
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The lawyer Federico Fendi has reasons to believe that his wife Carla in secret is Rome's highest paid prostitute.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Omar Sharif, Anouk Aimée, Didi Perego
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Four Jewish intellectuals carpool to the funeral of their old friend Leslie Braverman, who died suddenly at age 41.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: George Segal, Jack Warden, Jessica Walter
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After winning a game show contest, a newlywed couple travels to New Orleans where the husband seeks to reclaim his ancestral plantation mansion from his biracial stepbrother.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Coburn, Lynn Redgrave, Robert Hooks
The Best Man (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The two front runners for their party's Presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the ex-President's endorsement.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Colonel Grady (as Ed Binns)
...
...
...
William Hansen ...
...
General Stark (as Russell Hardy)
...
...
Nancy Berg ...
...
Frank Simpson ...
...
Edit

Storyline

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 <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1965 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Fail Safe  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The large, metal phone the President uses to talk to the Soviet premier was actually a special phone used by explosives companies during blasting. See more »

Goofs

The Air Force master sergeant supervisor and a few other airmen in the command post are wearing their "U.S." collar insignia incorrectly. In addition, many of the airmen also wear Strategic Air Command shoulder patches on their tan Type 505 or 1505 shirts. In actuality, shoulder patches were not worn with that type of uniform. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Groeteschele: In my opinion they will take no action at all.
Gen. Stark: They're not going to just sit there, Professor
Prof. Groeteschele: I think if our bombers get through the Russians will surrender.
Gen. Bogan: Who's this professor, Mr. Secretary? What's he doing there?
Defense Secretary Swenson: Professor Groeteschele is a civilian advisor to the Pentagon, General. Will you explain your statement, Professor?
Prof. Groeteschele: The Russian aim is to dominate the world. They think that Communism must succeed eventually if the Soviet Union is left reasonably intact. They know that a war would ...
[...]
See more »

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 »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.14 (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Frightening
22 November 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm a child of the 1970s, but this movie still scared me. You didn't have to grow up during the 50s or 60s to appreciate this. Anways in the 1980s, when Reagan was in office, nuclear war seemed a very real prospect. This movie is deadly serious, NO humor at all, and lit very sparsely. The battles between Russian and US planes seen as blips on a huge screen, is just as scary as if we had seen it realistically. Frightening, harrowing...hard to believe this film still has that effect now. Well worth watching but it's very very grim. Also, Fonda is superb as the President.


35 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page