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 -- Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas star in this thriller about a Marine Corps colonel who accidentally discovers a plot to take over the government by a high-ranking general.
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.


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7.9/10   9,528 votes »
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Up 209% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Seven Days in May on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
March 1964 (Austria) See more »
"I'm suggesting Mr President, there's a military plot to take over the Government of these United States, next Sunday..." See more »
United States 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 »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
" Do You Know Who Judas Was? " See more (91 total) »


  (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 White House Chief 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
Kirk Douglas .... co-executive producer (uncredited)
John Frankenheimer .... co-executive producer (uncredited)
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)
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
Location Management
Patrick J. Palmer .... location manager
Music Department
Jerry Goldsmith .... conductor
David Amram .... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Dale Anderson .... musician: drums, percussion (uncredited)
Israel Baker .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Larry Bunker .... musician: drums, percussion (uncredited)
Gene Cipriano .... musician: woodwinds (uncredited)
Manuel Compinsky .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Ingolf Dahl .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Vince De Rosa .... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Jim Decker .... musician: french horn (uncredited)
James Getzoff .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Benny Gill .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Caesar Giovannini .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Alan Harshman .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Wally Heglin .... music copyist (uncredited)
Paul Horn .... musician: woodwinds (uncredited)
Maxine Johnson .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Carmell Jones .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Manny Klein .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Harold Land .... musician: saxophone (uncredited)
Edgar Lustgarden .... musician: cello (uncredited)
Shelly Manne .... musician: drums, percussion (uncredited)
Jack Nimitez .... musician: saxophone (uncredited)
Emil Richards .... musician: drums, percussion (uncredited)
Eleanor Slatkin .... musician: cello (uncredited)
Milton Thomas .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Other crew
Thom Conroy .... dialogue coach (as Tom Conroy)
John Franco .... script supervisor
Maggie Smith .... production secretary (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
118 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
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?

An important plot point in the film involves the attempted coup taking place on the same day as the Preakness Stakes horse race. However, the seven-day timeline for the film would have had the coup taking place on Sunday while the Preakness is always run on a Saturday. John Frankenheimer said that the problem was solved by a scriptwriting acquaintance of his. This man worked as a script doctor and liked to gamble but wagered his professional services instead of money. Frankenheimer had won some work from the man and gave him the problem. The solution? In one scene a character walks by a poster which says "First Ever Sunday Running of the Preakness".See more »
Plot holes: The main conspirators are the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is never shown among them or mentioned. He would be of four star rank like the others.

Vice-Adm. Barnswell holds a three star rank and based at Gibraltar. Above him would be at least three four star officers, Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, Vice CNO, and the CNO. Barnswell would be too be a main conspirator, representing the Navy.See more »
Christopher Todd:This stuff you unearthed, Colonel Casey, is dynamite. Very revealing of General Scott's extracurricular love life. Any taste of victory we have in our mouths, Colonel, is due in no small measure to your efforts.
Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey:The taste I've got in my mouth, Mr. Secretary, is unmentionable.
Christopher Todd:I can understand that feeling, Colonel. But when you deal with a jackal like your general...
Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey:Mr. Todd, this is a full Air Force general. Six times wounded, wearing only half the medals he deserves. Whatever else he is, he's no jackal.
See more »
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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
" Do You Know Who Judas Was? ", 7 June 2007
Author: thinker1691 from USA

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? *****

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This film is crying out for a modern remake ... norwell-services
March + Douglas Both... powersroc
Someone explain to me how....(SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!) tgibbs279
Ava Gardner bumpy01
Why Was Casey Out of the Loop? cmasia
General Scott, suicide? bbwoof2000
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