IMDb > Seven Days in May (1964)
Seven Days in May
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Seven Days in May (1964) More at IMDbPro »

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Seven Days in May -- US military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   7,977 votes »
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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for Seven Days in May on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 February 1964 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
"I'm suggesting Mr President, there's a military plot to take over the Government of these United States, next Sunday..." See more »
Plot:
US military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Spare the Rod See more (82 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Lancaster ... Gen. James Mattoon Scott

Kirk Douglas ... Col. Martin 'Jiggs' Casey

Fredric March ... President Jordan Lyman

Ava Gardner ... Eleanor Holbrook

Edmond O'Brien ... Sen. Raymond Clark

Martin Balsam ... Paul Girard

Andrew Duggan ... Col. William 'Mutt' Henderson

Hugh Marlowe ... Harold McPherson

Whit Bissell ... Sen. Frederick Prentice
Helen Kleeb ... Esther Townsend

George Macready ... Christopher Todd

Richard Anderson ... Col. Murdock
Bart Burns ... Secret Service Director Art Corwin
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Malcolm Atterbury ... Horace - White House Physician (uncredited)
Bill Baldwin ... Airline Announcer / Presidential News Conference Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
Frederick Brown ... Guard at Office of Joint Cheif of Staff (uncredited)
Robert Brubaker ... Gen. Diefenbach (uncredited)
William Challee ... Gen. Riley (uncredited)
Thom Conroy ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Mimi Dillard ... Mother at Dulles Airport (uncredited)
Kevin Gregor ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Tom Harris ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Minor Role (uncredited)

John Houseman ... Vice-Adm. Farley C. Barnswell (uncredited)
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. ... Capt. Ortega (uncredited)
Colette Jackson ... Bar Girl (uncredited)
Jim Jacobs ... Helicopter Commando (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Senate Commitee Man (uncredited)
John Larkin ... Col. Broderick (uncredited)

Michael Masters ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Tyler McVey ... Gen. Hardesty (uncredited)
Charles Meredith ... Senate Committee Member (uncredited)
Jack Mullaney ... Lt. (j.g.) Dorsey Grayson (uncredited)
Joyce Nizzari ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bill Raisch ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Irvin Richardson ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Joe Walls ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Charles Watts ... Stewart Dillard (uncredited)
Fredd Wayne ... Henry Whitney (uncredited)
Ferris Webster ... Gen. Bernard 'Barney' Rutkowski (uncredited)
Mike West ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Directed by
John Frankenheimer 
 
Writing credits
Fletcher Knebel (novel) &
Charles W. Bailey II (novel)

Rod Serling (screenplay)

Produced by
Edward Lewis .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
 
Cinematography by
Ellsworth Fredericks (director of photography) (as Ellsworth Fredricks)
 
Film Editing by
Ferris Webster 
 
Production Design by
Cary Odell 
 
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle  (as Edward Boyle)
 
Makeup Department
Dave Grayson .... makeup artist (as David Grayson)
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist: Miss Gardner
 
Production Management
Hal W. Polaire .... production manager (as Hal Polaire)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hal W. Polaire .... assistant director (as Hal Polaire)
Robert J. Anderson .... assistant director (uncredited)
Dale Hutchinson .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Frank Agnone .... property master
Ross C. Burke .... prop (uncredited)
Charles Gay .... prop (uncredited)
Philip M. Jefferies .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Gene Lauritzen .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
William Maldonado .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Joe Edmondson .... sound mixer
R.D. Cook .... recordist (uncredited)
W.C. Smith .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Darrell A. Anderson .... opticals (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Bill Catching .... stunts (uncredited)
Robert 'Buzz' Henry .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Borland .... key grip
John Mehl .... camera operator
Vaughn Ashen .... gaffer (uncredited)
Kyme Meade .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Sterling Smith .... still photographer (uncredited)
Paul Weddell .... camera assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Wesley Jeffries .... costumer (as Wes Jefferies)
Angela Alexander .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Sid Mintz .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Bill Brame .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Jerry Goldsmith .... conductor
 
Other crew
Thom Conroy .... dialogue coach (as Tom Conroy)
John Franco .... script supervisor
Patrick J. Palmer .... location manager
Maggie Smith .... production secretary (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
118 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-8 | New Zealand:G | Norway:12 (1964) | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | USA:TV-14 | USA:Approved (certificate #20565) | West Germany:12 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Some film reference works (e.g., the multivolume set, "The Motion Picture Guide") incorrectly list Jack Mullaney's character as "Lt. Hough". "Hough" is the last name of this character in the novel upon which the film is based.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: In the scene at Blue Lake (the Presidential retreat), we see a hidden Secret Service motion picture camera that is supposedly recording the movements of a suspicious motorboat offshore. But the camera is aimed nowhere near the boat.See more »
Quotes:
Senator Raymond Clark:Ah, don't get your nanny up; you knew there'd be some dislocations. You can't gear a country's economy for war for 20 years, then suddenly slam on the brakes and expect the whole transition to go like grease through a goose. Hmph. Doesn't work out like that...
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003)See more »

FAQ

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29 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
Spare the Rod, 21 November 2002
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA

A fascinating movie. I have it on tape and watch it regularly. I'm not sure why. The story is a primitive one. "There is a plot to take over these United States." (Even the tag line is incorrect. Douglas says "the" United States.)

The script, by Rod Serling, is full of his trouvees. Ava Gardner says to Douglas: "I'll give you two things. A steak, rare, and the truth, which is very rare." (I'm laughing out loud as I write this.) Frederick March is always referring to his physician as "the good doctor." A cabinet member, played by George Macready, is a yachting freak so he's always interjecting ejaculations like, "Look out, Mister President! These are deep waters we're sailing in!" He tells Douglas that he, Douglas, gets credit for whatever taste of victory they have in their mouths, just after Kirk has been forced through an immoral act. "The taste in my mouth, Mr. Secretary, isn't exactly victory." But Rod isn't to blame for all of the script. Some is lifted from the novel, in which the president is referred to as "Jordy." The novel's prose is, let us say, clumsy and a little hard to swallow sometimes.

Yet I like this film a lot. The stilted dialogue is enjoyably comic. The photography has a pleasantly washed out diluted quality, particularly noticeable in the scenes in El Paso, where the featureless desert seems almost blindingly white. The performances are about as good as they get. Lancaster has made several movies with John Frankenheimer and I suppose they get along, their interests being as much alike as they are, and it shows in Burt's performance. Kirk Douglas, who made even more movies with Burt, looks snazzy in a bird colonel's summer uniform. The rest of the cast is simply fine. Edmond O'Brian is pretty old and tubby and looks the part of an alcoholic pol with backbone. His Southern accent is neatly done. His eyes sort of bulge out and look in two slightly different directions, lending his part a comedic undertone, regardless of circumstances. George Macready -- has anyone ever played an icey standoffish cold fish as well as he? Is that what going to Brown does to you? I've always admired Martin Balsam's style. He has a gift for draping ordinary lines in a kind of sonorous tinsel -- very New Yorkish, but quirkily so. The gift is on full display in this film. His exchange with John Housmann aboard the aircraft carrier is priceless. There is nothing "dramatic" about it. It's simply done very well. Housmann has a small part, but he's very effective in it. Frederick March, a reliable actor, is reliable here. The Secret Service guy is dispensable and seems dumb compared to the other characters. The politicians, except for the president and secretary, are pretty slimy, as you'd expect in a movie about a plot to take over these United States, and Hugh Marlowe, as the ranking politician conveys that sliminess. Ava Gardner I admire as a woman but have never found her much of an actress. Andrew Duggan ditto. Richard Anderson in a small part exudes his usual class. Richard Anderson is from the New Jersey shore. Everyone from the Jersey shore has class. Look at Norman Mailer. Look at Jack Nicholson. Look at Abbott and Costello.

I'm certain that anyone who knows the politicomilitary bureaucracy could poke so many holes in this story that it would look like the brain of a cow that had died of bovine spongiform disorder, but it doesn't matter. It's a left-wing fantasy, and an enjoyable one. The only truly disturbing scene is when March is making his victory speech at the end. Something about "marching out of the dark tunnels of ignorance into the bright sunshine of freedom." Absolutely nothing more than a collage of platitudes and clichés, totally content free. It's as if Rod had done some acid before writing it and kept getting lost along the way. It's like listening to "Jeepers creepers" over and over again without ever getting to "Where'd you get those peepers?" But that's okay. It's an enjoyable film. Very dramatic score, with lots of CLANGS -- ominous bells. Eleventh-hour-type bells. See it if you have a chance.

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