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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?

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

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

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1965 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Fail Safe  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dana Elcar's first film role. See more »

Goofs

Before the bombers enter Soviet airspace the fighters that attempt to shoot them down change type to include F-101s, F-102s and F-104s. See more »

Quotes

Defense Secretary Swenson: General Stark, are there any papers or documents in New York which are absolutely essential to the running of the United States? General Stark?
Gen. Stark: No sir. There are important documents, but none of them absolutely essential.
Admiral Wilcox: Will there be any warning given? A lot of lives could be saved if people had a few minutes.
Defense Secretary Swenson: On this short notice, an alert to a big city would do more harm than good. It only produces panic.
Admiral Wilcox: What about this?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The sounds of a bullfight crowd is heard in reference to Black's matador dream. Then, the squeal of the Russian ambassador's melted phone which the President stated would be heard when New York City was bombed. See more »

Connections

Featured in Genius on Hold (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superior Cold War drama
10 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

I was thoroughly in suspense throughout this magnificent film. I almost felt as if I was watching World War III unfurl like the Gulf War did on CNN, it was that convincing. Fonda as the President and Matthau as the Professor, in truly memorable performances, are superb in their roles and indeed the entire cast is strongly competent. Besides the unforgettable ending, by way of the President's unthinkable concession, are the arguments and attitudes of the Professor and Colonel Cascio. At the time it must have been very tempting to many hawks in Cold War administrations to end the deadlock whenever a seemingly decisive opening presented itself. I strongly recommend this film for its believablity and realism and even the final credits! 10/10.


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Recent Posts
Very moving conversation between Gen. Bogan and his Soviet counterpart mase-6
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
Would YOU sacrifice New York City ...? blubb06
What does 'I hear you five by five' mean? Lukerdog
More terrifying than any horror film I've seen mase-6
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