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The Bedford Incident (1965)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,198 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 14 critic

An American destroyer captain is determined to confront a Soviet submarine caught violating territorial waters. Perhaps too determined.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.
...
Ben Munceford
...
Ensign Ralston (as James Macarthur)
...
Lieut Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N.
...
Seaman Merlin Queffle
Eric Portman ...
Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke Deutsche Marine
Michael Kane ...
Commander Allison Executive Officer - Bridge
Colin Maitland ...
Seaman Jones - Bridge
Paul Tamarin ...
Seaman 2nd Class - Bridge
Frank Lieberman ...
Seaman 1st Class - Bridge
James Caffrey ...
Seaman 1st Class - Bridge
Burnell Tucker ...
Seaman 1st Class - Bridge
Michael Graham ...
Lieutenant Krindlemeyer U.S.N. - Bridge
Bill Edwards ...
Lieutenant Hazelwood U.S.N. - Bridge
Stephen Schreiber ...
Seaman 2nd Class - Bridge (as Stephen Von Schreiber)
Edit

Storyline

Richard Widmark plays a hardened cold-warrior and captain of the American destroyer USS Bedford. Sidney Poitier is a reporter given permission to interview the captain during a routine patrol. Poitier gets more than he bargained for when the Bedford discovers a Soviet sub in the depths and the captain begins a relentless pursuit, pushing his crew to the breaking point. This one's grim tension to the end. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The cold war just got hotter. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 December 1965 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Zwischenfall im Atlantik  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As the actions of the Captain become more obsessive, Munceford tells him "You're not chasing whales now!" This is a reference to Captain Ahab, the single-minded whaling captain in "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville, whose obsession leads to the destruction of his crew, and on whom the character of Captain Finlander was ultimately based. See more »

Goofs

Some of the crew members are wearing British 38 pattern webbing belts (with a pouch on the rear presumably to cover up the buckles for the webbing straps). See more »

Quotes

[after Finlander orders an anti-submarine rocket armed]
Commodore Schrepke: This is insane!
Captain Finlander: Now don't worry, Commodore. The Bedford'll never fire first. But if he fires one, I'll fire one.
Ensign Ralston: [launching the rocket] Fire One!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Masters: Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
" If He Fires One . . . . . I'll Fire One "
29 August 2007 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The Cold War is one of the world's most frightening conflicts ever as it nearly extinguished humanity. During this time, suspicious nations rattled atomic sabers at one another and secret agencies scurried about disseminating Ideological propaganda and psychological warfare, but for the most part the only thing accomplished was that Americans spent billions threatening a distant enemy who ultimately became our friend. One exceptional film which appear during this era, was " The Bedford Incident." It is the story of an American reporter Ben Munceford (Sidney Poitier) who seeks out a controversial naval officer, because he believes him to be a rare individual. That particular man is Captain Eric Finlander. (Richard Widmark) a no-nonsense commander who is determined to do his duty, even if it means destroying a stray Russian Submarine, armed with nuclear missiles. While Munceford is trying to fathom the Captain, he notices everyone under Finlander's command is being subjected to increasing pressure, enormous stress and intolerable strain to remain on high alert as if war could be initiated at any time. From an audience point of view, the tension on board the Bedford, mirrors the terrifying state of fear in the world. Helping the audience analyze the situation is Lieut. Cmdr. Chester Potter (Martin Balsam) a naval Doctor who warns the Captain of mounting psychological dangers of his crew. One such officer is Ensign Ralston (James MacArthur) who the doctor warns is wound 'too tight' to be on duty. Another is Seaman Merlin Queffle (Wally Cox) who believes he controls the ship. This is a remarkable film, for it's characters, it's drama and eventually it's inevitable ending. It's a reminder, the fears we create are as real as our nightmares. ****


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