Seven Days in May (1964)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  12 February 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 8,872 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 37 critic

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



(novel), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Helen Kleeb ...
Bart Burns ...


An unpopular U.S. President manages to get a nuclear disarmament treaty through the Senate, but finds that the nation is turning against him. Jiggs Casey, a Marine Colonel, finds evidence that General Scott, the wildly popular head of the Joint Chiefs and certain Presidential Candidate in 2 years is not planning to wait. Casey goes to the president with the information and a web of intrigue begins with each side unsure of who can be trusted. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The astounding story of an astounding military plot to take over the United States! The time is 1970 or 1980 or, possibly, tomorrow! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 February 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sieben Tage im Mai  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Larkin, who plays Col. Broderick, died suddenly less than a year after the film was released. Larkin had already shot many other films and TV episodes, which were released or aired posthumously. See more »


While it is obvious that the group of reporters at the press conference at the end of the film contains both male and female reporters (and he even takes a question from a female reporter), the president repeatedly refers to them as "gentlemen". See more »


[a terse note refers to "Site Y"]
Christopher Todd: That could easily mean another place. These military games... why, the multiplicity of our secret bases confuses ourselves more than the Soviets.
See more »


Referenced in São Paulo, Sociedade Anônima (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Seven Days in May Was Anything But Far-fetched
12 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The novel and the movie Seven Days in May were based on a very potential reality. See James Bamford's 2002 book, Body of Secrets, which is about the National Security Agency. General Edwin Walker, mentioned in another review, was only the least of what was going on in the higher echelons of the U.S. military near the end of the Eisenhower Administration and the beginning of the Kennedy-Johnson Administration.

At military bases, and even at the National War College in Washington, the most rabid preachings took place about the real threat of communism coming not from Russia or Cuba, but from high-ups in the domestic power structure, including the government. The entire Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), led by Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer, was very right wing and rabidly obsessed with the idea that American civilization could not endure unless Cuba was militarily conquered and occupied in the long-term. They repeatedly threw suggestions for this at Eisenhower, who never took the bit. When Ike left the Oval Office and Kennedy, who had never been a military higher-up, replaced him, Lemnitzer felt adrift and became very paranoid. There were all sorts of JCS contingency plans, never implemented, for creating an incident that could be blamed falsely on the Russians and/or the Cubans to justify an invasion - a sort of second sinking of the battleship Maine. The more far-fetched of these ideas included terrorism at home to be blamed on Cuba and an attack on a friendly Central American country that could be falsely blamed on Cuba, all without the President's approval. Lemnitzer, according to Bamford, had little use for the concept of civilian control of the military. In fact,enough of this atmosphere within the U.S. military was in the wind that there was a secret Congressional inquiry into the potential for a military takeover of the government, which was based on more than idle wonder. Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee (the father of the recent Vice President), a member of the investigating committee, called for Lemnitzer's firing. Kennedy did not fire him, but did not re-appoint him to a second term as Chairman, preferring the more rational Maxwell Taylor.

When the book came out, I stayed awake for 24 hours to finish it. I could not put it down. Mercifully, the film is shorter, but it is superbly acted and very well scripted. You won't be disappointed.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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