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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
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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