7.8/10
794
35 user 6 critic

Special Bulletin (1983)

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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Writers:

(teleplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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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:
...
John Woodley
...
Susan Myles
...
...
Steven Levitt
...
Dr. Bruce Lyman
...
Dr. David McKeeson
...
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 if their demand isn't met. Written by Keith Chang <changk@ucs.orst.edu>

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

20 March 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boletín especial  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

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 (Hadashi no 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 »

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

John Woodley: Is it possible to compare the weapons deployed today, the kind of the Russians may have aimed at Charleston with what the terrorists have on that ship?
Arlen Surrey: John, tonight, people who are 5 miles from the harbor would survive the blast at least. If a Soviet 1 megaton bomb was dropped on the harbor, those people, 5 miles away, would be vaporized in the first three-fifths of a second.
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

 
Fascinating - Why no video release?
25 December 2005 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

Very ahead-of-its-time story, tremendous commetary on the media and politics among other things. Someone else referred to modern day disaster coverage by the media and disaster response by the federal government, and boy do those both come into play here, amazing for a telefilm made in 1983.

The dialogue was also pretty good, and if you look at some of the films that the writers/producers of this gem went on to make, definitely a lot of material there.

Also some good performances from great actors, which is always a good thing, of course! Why was this never released on video? The original (and excellent) "Brian's Song" came out on DVD, so certainly a TV movie could be doable for DVD.

"Countdown to Looking Glass" is another good one. IMO both of these are tons better than "The Day After" which I found cheesy even then. "Special Bulletin" almost has a surreal quality that is very hard to match.


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