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The Bedford Incident (1965)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,085 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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Title: The Bedford Incident (1965)

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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:

High adventure on the high seas, from the company that gave you "The Caine Mutiny"! 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

During one of the final scenes, Sonar operator Queffle arrives on the ship's bridge in a state of shock and exhaustion. The medical officer is called to examine him. The doctor quickly checks Queffle's eyeballs, apparently to view the condition of his pupils. But he performs this exam with Queffle's eyeglasses still in place. The glasses would have distorted the doctors view of the pupils somewhat, possibly resulting in an incorrect diagnosis. See more »

Quotes

Ben Munceford: I've heard a lot about you, Commodore, but I never expected I'd meet you.
Commodore Schrepke: Is that so?
Ben Munceford: Not aboard an American destroyer.
Commodore Schrepke: (Is) that so surprising in these times?
Ben Munceford: I guess not, if one can make the switch mentally. But I, uh... I still connect you with... Hitler's navy.
Commodore Schrepke: Your pardon: Admiral Dönitz's navy, sir.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A simply wonderful, chilling film that doesn't even seem that dated
2 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The film contains one (or more) of the great character studies of its period--and indeed, is one of the few films that can sustain itself principally on character interaction, irrespective of plot (and the plot itself builds steady tension, a la Hunt for Red October). The pacing is brilliant, the acting is top-shelf, the claustrophobic shipboard mood is electrifying, the escalating, multi-tiered sense of confrontation between the key characters is riveting, and the payoff--though admittedly predictable, by the time you get there--is effective and unnerving nevertheless, especially if one is able to toggle back to the Cold War mentality that birthed this film.

I too was a bit put off by the studied and self-conscious Widmark reactions at two or three points in the film--the tactic becomes a well to which Widmark/Lumet go back at least twice too often (the last time, I found myself almost wanting to scream, "We GET it!"). But that's a very small price to pay for the overall cinematic genius (not too strong a word) of this movie. The script alone--in particular the climactic riposte Portman delivers unto the increasingly pathological Widmark towards the end of the film--is a masterwork rivaled by few other films of the era (or any era, for that matter). If you've seen the film, you know the line to which I'm referring. If you haven't seen the film, do yourself a favor and rectify that shortcoming.


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Submarine class of 'Big Red'? saginaw1
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Commodore Schrepke sunkissed-1
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Sidney Portier Led The Way randyparr1952
similar story line cpattison
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