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Eva Marie Saint,
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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 <email@example.com>
Both the book and the movie suggest that the story takes place in the near future -- that is, after the early 1960s. Using the day-date combinations featured on screen, as well as a conversation in which the next Presidential election is "a year and nine months" hence, the most likely setting for these events is May 1975. See more »
When the President sits down waiting for General Scott to enter his office, he does not have his hand to his chin, but in the next shot, he does. See more »
President Jordan Lyman:
The next step should be to your liking, Chris. Esther, call the Pentagon. Tell General Scott I want to see him right away.
I think it's time we faced the enemy, Mr. President.
President Jordan Lyman:
He's not the enemy. Scott, the Joint Chiefs, even the very emotional, very illogical lunatic fringe: they're not the enemy. The enemy's an age - a nuclear age. It happens to have killed man's faith in his ability to influence what happens to him. And out of this comes a sickness, and out of sickness...
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An excellent cast, a well-crafted script, and a talented director add up to one of the great films.
This movie captures the paranoia of the cold war and how that paranoia tested the strength and definition of a democracy. The importance of civilian control over the military is well illustrated in this chilling story of a plot by the Pentagon to overthrow the US President because the military disagrees with his disarmament policy.
Use of black & white gives the film the look of a documentary, emphasizing the sense of realism for the story. If you have the chance, see this movie.
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