A technical malfunction sends American planes to Moscow to deliver a nuclear attack. Can all-out war be averted?

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Walter Bernstein (screenplay), Eugene Burdick (from the novel by) | 1 more credit »
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan O'Herlihy ... Gen. Black
Walter Matthau ... Dr. Groeteschele
Frank Overton ... Gen. Bogan
Edward Binns ... Col. Grady (as Ed Binns)
Fritz Weaver ... Col. Cascio
Henry Fonda ... The President
Larry Hagman ... Buck
William Hansen ... Secretary Swenson
Russell Hardie ... Gen. Stark (as Russell Hardy)
Russell Collins ... Knapp
Sorrell Booke ... Congressman Raskob
Nancy Berg ... Ilsa Wolfe
John Connell ... Thomas
Frank Simpson Frank Simpson ... Sullivan
Hildy Parks ... Betty Black
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Storyline

A series of human and computer errors sends a squadron of American 'Vindicator' bombers to nuke Moscow. The President, in order to convince the Soviets that this is a mistake, orders the Strategic Air Command to help the Soviets stop them. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It will have you sitting on the brink of eternity! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bullfight footage at the start of the movie was stock footage. See more »

Goofs

When Buck is interpreting the Russian premier he speaks English to the President with a strange clipped Russian accent. This was intentional, implying that the interpreter was partially in Russian language mode. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Groeteschele: [viciously slapping a beautiful young woman who has tried to seduce him after a cocktail party] I'm not your kind.
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Crazy Credits

introducing Fritz Weaver See more »

Connections

Featured in Watchmen (2009) See more »

User Reviews

 
Superior Cold War drama
10 February 2004 | by perfectbondSee all my reviews

I was thoroughly in suspense throughout this magnificent film. I almost felt as if I was watching World War III unfurl like the Gulf War did on CNN, it was that convincing. Fonda as the President and Matthau as the Professor, in truly memorable performances, are superb in their roles and indeed the entire cast is strongly competent. Besides the unforgettable ending, by way of the President's unthinkable concession, are the arguments and attitudes of the Professor and Colonel Cascio. At the time it must have been very tempting to many hawks in Cold War administrations to end the deadlock whenever a seemingly decisive opening presented itself. I strongly recommend this film for its believablity and realism and even the final credits! 10/10.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fail Safe See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,924,000
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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