MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,468 this week

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

8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 13,224 users  
Reviews: 126 user | 31 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?

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (from the novel by), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 14 Apr 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 16 Aug 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 4 months ago
 
War
a list of 32 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Fail Safe" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Fail Safe (1964)

Fail Safe (1964) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Fail Safe.

User Polls

3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Vu du pont (1962)
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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 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 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Coburn, Lynn Redgrave, Robert Hooks
The Sea Gull (1968)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
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
The Group (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

It's 1933, and eight young women are friends and members of the upper- class group at a private girl's school, about to graduate and start their own lives. The film documents the years ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Candice Bergen, Joan Hackett, Elizabeth Hartman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Author Eugene O'Neill gives an autobiographical account of his explosive homelife, fused by a drug-addicted mother, a father who wallows in drink after realizing he is no longer a famous ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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 5.7/10 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
Stage Struck (1958)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young woman arrives in New York City determined to become a great theatrical star, but discovers that her goal may not be as easily attainable as she had hoped.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Henry Fonda, Susan Strasberg, Joan Greenwood
Edit

Cast

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 ...
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:

It will have you sitting on the brink of eternity! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1965 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Fail Safe  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has no music - either score or source music - whatsoever. See more »

Goofs

The interior shots of the bombers, Convair B-58 Hustlers (see Trivia), actually were shot inside of a commercial airline simulator then under repair at a a New York airport. The three crew members sit within feet of each other, in an open cockpit layout. In an actual B-58, the world's first supersonic bomber (and capable of twice the speed of sound), the three-man crew of pilot, bombardier/navigator, and defense systems specialist were separated by banks of equipment, and had no physical contact with one another. To make survivable ejection possible on such a high-speed aircraft, each compartment was specifically designed as wholly contained clam-shell "pod" that would disengage intact if the need arose. As a result, the crew had to rely on an internal telecommunications system to talk, or a string-and-pulley system that ran along the cabin wall to exchange notes if those systems failed. It's speculated that this early "jettison pod" design was incorporated as a presidential safeguard on modern 747 versions of Air Force One, as implied in the 1997 Harrison Ford movie thriller "Air Force One", and that it also inspired the crew containment compartment of the space shuttle. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Groeteschele: [after recommending an unprovoked attack by the U.S. on Moscow] And the Lord said, gentlemen, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."
See more »

Crazy Credits

introducing Fritz Weaver See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fonda on Fonda (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Serious As a Crutch
9 April 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Interesting that both Failsafe and Dr. Strangelove both came out in 1964 the year that Barry Goldwater and his candidacy brought up the nuclear issue. After seeing both those films together with the flip comments Goldwater made about nuclear war, he was never to be anything other than a Senator from Arizona.

Everyone remembers Stanley Kubrick's black comedy Dr. Strangelove about a nuclear exchange. Failsafe which is as serious as a crutch is less remembered. Still viewed today it still has an important message, maybe more important now than when it was a bi-polar world. At least everyone then seemed to be on one side or the other.

My favorite performer in this film is Frank Overton who worked mostly in television. On the big screen he's probably best known as the small town sheriff in To Kill A Mockingbird. Though he did a lot of television work until he died in 1967, Failsafe turned out to be his last big screen performance. Overton does a great job as the general in charge of the Strategic Air Command in Omaha who is very reluctantly trying to help the Russians shoot down SAC bombers who've had one squad of them accidentally given the go ahead for nuclear war.

Henry Fonda is the beleaguered president of the United States who is issuing commands from a deep underground bunker beneath the White House with only Russian interpreter Larry Hagman there. The whole claustrophobic atmosphere adds to the desperation of Fonda's performance. By the way note the large closeups of Fonda as he's trying to order the SAC bombers back from their mission.

You might also note in a tiny role at the SAC command center Dom DeLuise in a very serious role as a sergeant. This may be the only time DeLuise ever had a serious part.

At the Pentagon is Defense Department consultant Walter Matthau also in a serious role as a Herman Kahn type, looking to 'win' a nuclear exchange. He's one frightening fellow.

The world is no longer bi-polar, but the lessons of Failsafe have yet to be learned.


19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I don't buy one of the underlying premises in the film robert3750-92-607013
Dan O'Herlihy: harmless old man, or left-wing nut? Bob_Schuka
What does 'I hear you five by five' mean? Lukerdog
Would YOU sacrifice New York City ...? blubb06
Did he pick New York because they did not vote for him? sprinter1610
The speed of light is pretty darn fast lanlguy
Discuss Fail Safe (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page