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The Bedford Incident
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The Bedford Incident (1965) More at IMDbPro »

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The Bedford Incident -- Richard Widmark portrays the captain of a newly launched U.S. Destroyer who is obsessed with hunting down a particular Soviet submarine regardless of the great risks involved. His salty character clashes with a quick-witted journalist (Sydney Poiter) who is on board to cover the trip for a magazine.


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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Mark Rascovich (novel)
James Poe (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Bedford Incident on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 November 1965 (Japan) See more »
Now...In the North Atlantic...High Adventure in the High Naval Tradition from the Company That Gave You "The Caine Mutiny"! See more »
An American destroyer captain is determined to confront a Soviet submarine caught violating territorial waters. Perhaps too determined. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. See more »
(8 articles)
User Reviews:
Great Psychological Suspense See more (54 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Richard Widmark ... Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.

Sidney Poitier ... Ben Munceford

James MacArthur ... Ensign Ralston (as James Macarthur)

Martin Balsam ... Lieut Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N.

Wally Cox ... 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)
Ronald Rubin ... Seaman 1st Class - Bridge
Eugene Leonard ... Seaman 2nd Class - Bridge
Gary Cockrell ... Lieutenant Bascombe U.S.N. - C.I.C. (also as Gary Cockerell)
Roy Stephens ... Seaman 2nd Class - C.I.C.
George Roubicek ... Lieutenant Berger U.S.N. - C.I.C.
John McCarthy ... Seaman 1st Class - C.I.C.

Shane Rimmer ... Seaman 1st Class - C.I.C.
Glenn Beck ... Seaman 2nd Class - C.I.C. (as Glen Beck)

Brian Davies ... Lieutenant Beckman U.S.N. - Communications

Ed Bishop ... Lieutenant Hacker U.S.N. - Communications (as Edward Bishop)
Paul Carson ... Seaman 1st Class - Communications
Laurence Herder ... Petty Officer - Communications
Phil Brown ... Chief Hospitalman Mckinley - Sick Bay

Donald Sutherland ... Hospitalman Nerney - Sick Bay
Warren Stanhope ... Hospitalman Strauss - Sick Bay

Directed by
James B. Harris 
Writing credits
Mark Rascovich (novel)

James Poe (screenplay)

Produced by
Denis O'Dell .... associate producer
James B. Harris .... producer (uncredited)
Richard Widmark .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Gerard Schurmann 
Cinematography by
Gilbert Taylor (director of photography)
Film Editing by
John Jympson 
Casting by
James Liggat 
Art Direction by
Arthur Lawson 
Makeup Department
Eric Allwright .... makeup artist
Production Management
Victor Peck .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Clive Reed .... assistant director
Art Department
Lionel Couch .... associate art director
Sound Department
Leslie Hammond .... sound recordist
Bob Jones .... sound recordist (as Robert Jones)
Winston Ryder .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Derek V. Browne .... camera operator (as Derek Browne)
Editorial Department
Roy Benson .... assistant editor
Pamela Tomling .... assistant editor
Music Department
Gerard Schurmann .... conductor
Other crew
Ian Cox .... technical advisor (as Lieut. Commander Ian Cox D.S.O. R.N. Rtd.)
Phyllis Crocker .... continuity
J.D. Ferguson .... technical advisor (as Capt. J. D. Ferguson U.S.N. Rtd.)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:G | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Finland:S | Netherlands:AL | Norway:16 | Sweden:11 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1987) (2004) | USA:Approved | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

"Novosibirsk", the Russian submarine's escort ship (misspelled on its hull), is the name of an actual city in Russia. In English, the name translates to "New Siberia." This large city is located east of the Ural Mountains, in southern Siberia.See more »
Continuity: In the beginning of the movie the ship's identification on the stern is F-159. Chief medical officer Mckinley refers to the ships identification is DLG 113. Bow shots in the movie also show the id as 113.See more »
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 to say that, uh, you consider ME desperate.
See more »


Is the Bedford a real ship?
See more »
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Great Psychological Suspense, 12 July 2015
Author: garthbarnes-11100 from United States

Spoilers Ahead:

A much more subtle, more sophisticated movie than The Caine Mutiny, free of that film's naive stridency. It is not so jingoistic as befits a film from the counterculture of the 1960s when values where under assault. Widmark like Bogie has something not quite right with him. Bogie's Queeg had obvious dysfunctions that were, frankly, a bit too salient for believability. Queeg's love of mindless drilling, his obsessive cleanliness and cowardliness were drawn so broadly; it damaged the movie's credibility. What I love about this movie, besides the unrelenting tension, is the realism of the movie. You will really feel you are aboard the ship Widmark's beating upon MacArthur, coupled with his flinching visibly when the doctor makes the mistake of saying women, can you tell Freudianism was in its heyday? , all are early warning signs something is not quite right with Widmark. The trigger is when a Russian ship lowers it flag as a common sign of deference, when Widmark does not return the courtesy, they proceed to dump garbage in the sea while glaring at him. That does it, Widmark takes it as a personal insult. He stalks back into the bridge,"You still want to exchange courtesies with our Russian friends."

From this point on he begins to come apart at the seems, the reformed Nazi Commodore picks up on it right away. He begins watching him quietly and worriedly. Poitier gives such a great performance; what made him such a powerful actor is, like Brando, he says so much with his expressive eyes. You can tell right away Poitier senses Widmark is a time bomb; watch Widmark go Postal when Poitier gently suggests maybe this is why he has been passed over for promotion; his open contempt for civilian control which he makes no mystery about. The film builds gently to its powerful climax. The events which would have seemed ridiculous are rational consequences of Widmark's flaws carried to their logical conclusion. The movie echoes Dr. Strangelove, while totally humorless, human irrationality coupled with nuclear weapons has but one ineluctable, tragic outcome. In a WW2 ship, the consequences would have been prosaic, here they are cataclysmic. The director, like Kubrick, wants you to see the instrument of Armageddon: human irrationality combined with nuclear technology.

The acting in the movie is above average. Poitier steals the movie and is the best actor here including Widmark. At this point in his life he had been somewhat typecast as a dangerous loony; somewhat the 50s version of Bruce Dern. Widmark did play other roles but in his best movies he is crazy: Kiss Of Death, Road House, and here. This is such a hidden little gem that will surprise you. I am waiting for the blu ray; I may give up and buy the DVD. It is a great movie.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Bedford Incident (1965)
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Commodore Schrepke sunkissed-1
Ending is very close to reality during Cuban missile MrBoxertwin
Best Widmark performance I've seen keljor-1
Was Dumping Garbage Overboard? jbuckets
Sidney Portier Led The Way randyparr1952
Did anyone else spot a 30 year old Donald Sutherland danastarbuck
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