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Special Bulletin (1983)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  20 March 1983 (USA)
7.8
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Reviews: 33 user | 4 critic

A TV reporter and cameraman are taken hostage on a tugboat while covering a workers strike. The demands of the hostage-takers are to collect all the nuclear detonators in the Charleston, SC... See full summary »

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(teleplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Special Bulletin (TV Movie 1983)

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Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Flanders ...
John Woodley
...
Susan Myles
...
...
Steven Levitt
...
Dr. Bruce Lyman
...
Dr. David McKeeson
Rosalind Cash ...
Frieda Barton
...
Jim Seaver
...
Diane Silverman
Robert Kay ...
George Takashima
J. Wesley Huston ...
Bernard Frost
Frank Dent ...
Dr. Jason Halpern
Charles Lanyer ...
Merritt Cunningham
Mie Hunt ...
Ellen Stevens
Bruce Fields ...
Walter S. Letteau
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Storyline

A TV reporter and cameraman are taken hostage on a tugboat while covering a workers strike. The demands of the hostage-takers are to collect all the nuclear detonators in the Charleston, SC area so they may be detonated at sea. They threaten to detonate a nuclear device of their own of their demand isnt met. Written by Keith Chang <changk@ucs.orst.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

20 March 1983 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When this film was first broadcast, the network superimposed the word "dramatization" on the bottom of the screen every few minutes and ran disclaimers after every commercial break, to remind people it was only a movie. That didn't stop some people in Charleston, S.C. from panicking anyway. See more »

Goofs

When the RBS newsroom transfers to their reporter Megan Barclay in Charleston, she begins her report saying; "The situation began approximately 1 hour ago". The report then screens some video from their reporting team and then shows some Super-8 footage which was filmed by a tourist on a sightseeing boat. Super-8 is a film, not video, format. Normally the cost of the film cartridge included postage to a Kodak laboratory where it would be developed and then mailed back to the owner. In this instance, After the boat had reached shore, it would have been necessary to take the film to a Kodak developing facility to be processed, after which it could be taken to the news studio. Due to the time required to get the film to a laboratory for processing and then to get to the news studio it would have been impossible to do this within the time allowed. See more »

Quotes

Susan Myles: Good evening, this is News Watch. Emergency efforts continue in Charleston, South Carolina, where 3 days ago a nuclear explosion destroyed the heart of the city. Estimated at an yield of 23,000 tons of TNT was seen and heard up to 400 miles away and created a firestorm that is still burning in several areas. Due to early evacuations, the number of dead is estimated at less than 2,000, but at last count there were more than 25,000 injured. Many of those are burnt and have been flown to hospitals...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opens with a commercial advertising shows for the fictional RBS network, followed by the title "Special Bulletin" as the commercial is interrupted. There are no opening credits, making this one of the first TV movies ever produced without some sort of opening credits. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well Done
22 September 2003 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

The first time I saw this, I initially thought that this was happening, only because I caught it when the movie was already in progress. The characters were believable and the realism was well done. It took a couple of minutes when I figured out that this was a movie; At the time I thought it was odd that only one channel was covering this and the others had their normal programing when I checked the other stations to see if they were covering this.

The more I watched, the more it drew me in. I was fascinated over the realistic quality and it was scary to think this could happen. I remember hearing on the news and in the papers, many people panicked when they saw this movie; They too thought this was happening, despite the disclaimers shown during the commercial breaks.

A few years later one of our local stations had shown this for their daily "One O'clock movie" feature and I made it a point to watch it in it's entirety. Once again, I was fascinated.

On a side note, I heard that they day the local station had shown this, many people once again thinking this was happening and phoned their loved ones living in Charleston SC (where the movie took place), to see if they were okay, despite the disclaimers. Maybe this is the reason why no one has shown this movie for years.


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