Seven Days in May (1964)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  12 February 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 8,858 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


"I'm suggesting Mr President, there's a military plot to take over the Government of these United States, next Sunday..." See more »


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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?


The story is set in the "not too distant" future. While viewing slides of pictures taken at the last naval inspection, the date 1970 can be seen. Although likely overlooked by modern audiences, the movie has many futuristic items that would have seemed state of the art at the time of release. The wall projecting slide viewer, the television based teleconference equipment, even the digital time/date display at the Pentagon were all touches meant at the time of release to reflect a high tech environment of the near future. See more »


When Senator Clark is driving in the desert outside of El Paso looking for the "ECOMCON" base, in a medium shot he can be seen with his left arm hanging outside the vehicle, resting against the driver's door. When the car stops and Clark looks around, a close-up shows him to have both arms inside the car and both hands on the steering wheel. The next shot is a medium shot as he begins to drive off and his arm is again hanging outside the car, resting against the door. See more »


General James Mattoon Scott: I think the signing of a nuclear disarmament pact with the Soviet Union is at best an act of naÔvetÈ, and at worst an unsupportable negligence. We've stayed alive because we've built up an arsenal, and we've kept the peace because we've dealt with an enemy who knew we would use that arsenal. And now we're asked to believe that a piece of paper will take the place of missile sites and Polaris submarines, and that an enemy who hasn't honored one solemn treaty in the history of its existence will ...
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User Reviews

" Do You Know Who Judas Was? "
7 June 2007 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

There are many movies directed by John Frenkenheimer which simply evolve over time into great works of art. In their own way, they exemplify his innate sense of mystery, suspense, and dark drama. Too many to list, one example would be "Seconds." In this film, "Seven Days in May" we have what will surely become one of the finest examples of his craft. In the story, we have Gen. James Mattoon Scott, (Burt Lancaster) (in what certainly became a custom tailored role for him) who firmly believes that the president of the United States has criminally endangered the country by agreeing to a nuclear disarmament treaty. So concerned for the safety of the U.S. that he and several Joint Chiefs of Staff, decide to remove President Jordan Lyman ( Fredric March) with a cleverly designed military alert, or Coup d'etat. Unable to confide in his own aid, Col. Martin 'Jiggs' Casey, (Kirk Douglas), Scott, arranges to keep Casey out of the loop, until the overthrow is complete. Unfornatuately for the Generals, Casey suspects their innocent "secret wagers" are more menacing than they appear and hopes the president will believe him when he shares his suspicions about the man he work's for and admires. Edmond O'Brien is Sen. Raymond Clark, one of the few men the president can trust. The late Rod Serling wrote the script and like his twilight Zone episodes, this classic film has one wondering who the real traitors are? *****

17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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