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The Bedford Incident (1965)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,157 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 von Schreiber ...
Seaman 2nd Class - Bridge (as Stephen Von Schreiber)
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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

The name of the Bedford's captain, "Eric Finlander" (played by Richard Widmark) is an obvious reference to the nation of Finland, which has a long and troubled history with its much larger neighbor to its east, the USSR/Russia. Finland was actually part of Russia for more than a century and as an independent nation fought Russia in the Winter War and the Continuation War, which together cost Finland 10 percent of its population and in which Russia's war dead totaled more than 300,000. See more »

Goofs

After shooting down the doctor's plans for the crew, Captain Finlander lowers a brace holding books on a shelf to hand a few of them to the doctor. He doesn't return the brace to its secure position to hold the books - even as they are going to General Quarters status. See more »

Quotes

Captain Finlander: Trouble with that kid, he can't forget what a big hero he was. Star quarterback... voted Most All-Around, Most Likely, Most Popular... that one he's still bucking for. The only way to cut him down to size is to keep on him.
Commander Allison: Yeah, if he survives.
Captain Finlander: Well, I hammer too hard, you let me know.
Commander Allison: I'll try.
Captain Finlander: Yeah, it's a lot of work being a mean bastard.
Commander Allison: Hmm. Sometimes I can't help admiring how effortlessly you do it, captain. Almost as if it came naturally.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Good Ship Movie
9 February 2004 | by (Costilla, NM) – See all my reviews

I saw this film when it was released in the mid 1960s, again on VHS over the years and finally on satelite television. It holds up very well. The theme of obsession in the line of duty is as relevant today as it was when Melville wrote "Moby Dick". The acting is excellent. Hats off to Eric Portman as the West German Navy commodore advisor in submarine warfare. He sort of reprises his roles in the "49th Parallel" and "We Dive at Dawn". He is one Englishman who portrays a great German. Martin Balsam does his usual excellent work as the under appreciated ship's doctor. This also contains yet another of Sydney Poitier's race neutral rolls. Very revolutionary for the mid 1960s ("Lillies of the Field" being another).

The ship model and iceberg scenes seem a bit dated in this digital graphics era but I shudder with cold every time I there is an exterior scene. I sailed in Greenland waters once and I know what is feels like on that grey ocean under that grey sky.

Clearly, this is British production. One interior shot of the ship shows a rack of Enfield rifles, already obsolete by the time this film was made. Not a problem really.

The suspense and tesnion hold up well after several viewings and the inevitable ending is, well, inevitable.

If you did not grow up during the Cold War this film will have less impact than living with the bomb ("The bomb, Alexi, the Hydrogen bomb..." oh, that was another cold war film).


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