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Special Bulletin (1983)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  20 March 1983 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 656 users  
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
...
Megan 'Meg' Barclay
...
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

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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

The film was part of a 1980s cycle of films about atomic bombs and nuclear warfare which had started in 1979 with The China Syndrome (1979). The films included Silkwood (1983), Testament (1983), Threads (1984), WarGames (1983), The Day After (1983), The Atomic Cafe (1982), The Manhattan Project (1986), Whoops Apocalypse (1982), Special Bulletin (1983), Ground Zero (1987), Barefoot Gen (Barefoot Gen (1983)), Rules of Engagement (1989), When the Wind Blows (1986), Letters from a Dead Man (Pisma myortvogo cheloveka (1986)), Memoirs of a Survivor (1981) and The Chain Reaction (1980). See more »

Quotes

Dr. Neils Johanssen: There is about a hundred pounds of explosives in there. geared to set off the chain reaction. They have just put a match under the WHOLE PILE.
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

 
Incredible recreation of a news event
2 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There is no doubt in my mind that SB was one of the best tv movies ever made.

It was the first of a series of "nuclear war/nuclear confrontation" movies that aired within about a year of each other, including "The Day After", "Threads", "By Dawn's Early Light", and the sadly now-oft-forgotten "Countdown To Looking Glass".

But where all of those dealt with nuclear war or the onset of it, SB was about domestic terrorism. Ed Flanders, David Clennon, and David Rasche were excellent in their portrayals of the harried anchorman and two of the terrorists he spoke with on the live coverage of the event.

Shot to look like an actual news telecast, NBC freaked when they first saw it and put disclaimers everywhere, but people who tuned in late flooded local stations asking if it was real, though not on a scale that Orson Welles and company had happen when War Of The Worlds was broadcast in the thirties - and that's the difference between television and radio for you...

It's hard to believe that this movie, which won several Emmy awards including best TV Movie or Miniseries that year, was put together by the same team that later produced the intensely annoying "Thirtysomething" (and Clennon was also on that show). But when they do something right, they DO IT RIGHT.

As Leonard Maltin's review book puts it, "Way Above Average".

Now if we can just get them to release it on DVD....

My score: 12 on a scale of 1-10 (yes, that's how much I think of this movie...)


15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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