8.0/10
19,624
168 user 61 critic

Fail Safe (1964)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller, War | 7 October 1964 (USA)
Trailer
2:56 | Trailer
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:

The screen zeros in on the most suspenseful adventure drama of our age! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With one exception (see goofs entry), all shots of US Air Force "Vindicator" bombers are views of the same Convair B-58 Hustler, taken from a stock piece of film after the Department of Defense declined to cooperate with the filmmakers. See more »

Goofs

In the pool game between the two older pilots in Anchorage, they are striking random balls, not the cue ball as the game would dictate. See more »

Quotes

Defense Secretary Swenson: General Stark, are there any papers or documents in New York which are absolutely essential to the running of the United States? General Stark?
Gen. Stark: No sir. There are important documents, but none of them absolutely essential.
Admiral Wilcox: Will there be any warning given? A lot of lives could be saved if people had a few minutes.
Defense Secretary Swenson: On this short notice, an alert to a big city would do more harm than good. It only produces panic.
Admiral Wilcox: What about this?
[...]
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Crazy Credits

introducing Fritz Weaver See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sympathy for the Devil (1968) See more »

User Reviews

Intensely Powerful
7 November 2001 | by izzy4reelSee all my reviews

This movie was great. It may seem boring to many younger teenage crowds, but you need to take into consideration the era in which this was made. The SFX were terrific for 1964. It was heart pounding and very scary at times. The acting skills of the entire cast are superb. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to know more about the cold war. 4.5 of 5 stars!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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
See more on IMDbPro »

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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