The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a ... See full summary »
Rebecca De Mornay,
James Earl Jones
A television program is interupted by a news network announcing that three meteors have hit the United States, France and China. At first it seems natural but after interviews by scientists... See full summary »
A middle-aged woman frees herself from the spirit-crushing influence of her husband by refusing to remember what her age is. Her husband works long hours as an advertising executive and ... See full summary »
When petty thief Cosimo is given the plan for the perfect heist from a lifer in prison - the kind of job you dream about - he has to get out of jail, fast. But with Cosimo stuck in the ... See full summary »
William H. Macy
Your Childhood Shall Never Die is about a group of people and their complicated relationships to one another. Vera is trying to figure out how to relate to her sons irresponsible father, ... See full summary »
Remar and Attila are a couple of surfers who also deal drugs to make a living. They are trying to set up a final deal with local drug lord, Calavera, when their friend True Blue is busted ... See full summary »
H. Gordon Boos
The computer in the command center is made up from components of an actual IBM AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central, built in 1954 to protect the US from Soviet bomber attack. It was the largest and heaviest computer system ever built, the full system weighing 6000 tons and taking up an entire floor of a bomb-proof blockhouse. Components of decommissioned systems were sold for scrap and bought by film and television production companies who wanted futuristic looking computers, despite the fact they were built in the 1950s. The components used in this film were previously used in 'The Time Tunnel (1966)', 'The Towering Inferno (1974)' and 'Independence Day (1996)' amongst many others. See more »
At one point near the beginning a banner behind Hank Azaria is seen for an event dated 1975, well after this is set. 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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