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The Bedford Incident (1965)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,160 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:

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

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

As the movie opens the ship is the British destroyer HMS Wakeful (hull number F-159) but after the doctor and journalist are delivered, the vessel (as a model) becomes the US Navy's DLG-113, a fictional vessel apparently intended to represent a Farragut-class destroyer. Interiors are obviously a Royal Navy ship. See more »

Quotes

Captain Finlander: He didn't surface during the night, he couldn't, we must've been directly over him. So he's out of breathing air. Staying down, he couldn't charge his batteries, so he can't run. And there he is. So you see, Commodore, we've accomplished the most important step. We've made him desperate.
Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke, Deutsche Marine: He's certainly desperate. That is the danger. You are dealing with a desperate force.
Captain Finlander: And we're a determined force.
Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke, Deutsche Marine: YOU are in the power here, Eric. It is not a force, it is just you.
Captain Finlander: Uh, you mean you're trying...
[...]
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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