During WWII, the death camp at Treblinka had an escape, causing the Commandant at a similar camp in Sobibor to vow that his camp would never experience the same thing. But those who were ... See full summary »
In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »
The movie was performed on live television in black and white and required two sound stages on the Warner Brothers studio lot. Harvey Keitel had to run between the two stages for some of his scenes. See more »
General Bogan refers to the enlisted missile technician as "Sergeant Collins" even though he is clearly wearing the stripes of a Chief Master Sergeant. In the A.F. a Chief Master Sergeant is always referred to as "Chief" and never as "Sergeant". See more »
I only heard about this program a day before it aired, and I am very glad I did. The acting was absolutely amazing all around. There was not a single performer who didn't rise to the occasion in this picture. It is all the more amazing since it was performed live on national television. Particularly strong were Richard Dreyfuss, Harvey Keitel, and Hank Azaria, but it is difficult to break away any actors from the strong ensemble.
The whole effect of the production very well captures the sense of a Cold War drama. From the set design, costumes, performances, direction, and the choice to air in black and white, the atmosphere is as much a player in "Fail Safe" as the actors. One really gets the feeling that they are watching a 1950's era live broadcast.
I must say, that I knew nothing of the original story or film, and I really feel I benefited from that. The story is amazingly suspenseful. I did not know the ending going in, and I won't ruin it for you either. Just trust me that it is unquestionably the best way to view this picture. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the film and was honestly moved by the ending. The script is excellent, and the story even better. While it is clearly a cautionary tale of nuclear war, it never tries to beat its purpose into the viewer. It lets the story tell the story, which is always the best.
If you missed the live broadcast, be on the look-out for a re-broadcast. This is a real accomplishment from CBS, and its a shame that it was not more widely promoted.
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