7.9/10
11,281
103 user 47 critic

Seven Days in May (1964)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller | March 1964 (Austria)
Trailer
3:42 | Trailer

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United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

Fletcher Knebel (novel), Charles W. Bailey II (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Gen. James Mattoon Scott
Kirk Douglas ... Col. Martin 'Jiggs' Casey
Fredric March ... President Jordan Lyman
Ava Gardner ... Eleanor Holbrook
Edmond O'Brien ... Sen. Raymond Clark
Martin Balsam ... Paul Girard
Andrew Duggan ... Col. William 'Mutt' Henderson
Hugh Marlowe ... Harold McPherson
Whit Bissell ... Sen. Frederick Prentice
Helen Kleeb ... Esther Townsend
George Macready ... Christopher Todd
Richard Anderson ... Col. Murdock
Bart Burns ... Secret Service White House Chief Art Corwin
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Storyline

An unpopular U.S. President manages to get a nuclear disarmament treaty through the Senate, but finds that the nation is turning against him. Jiggs Casey, a Marine Colonel, finds evidence that General Scott, the wildly popular head of the Joint Chiefs and certain Presidential Candidate in 2 years is not planning to wait. Casey goes to the president with the information and a web of intrigue begins with each side unsure of who can be trusted. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The astounding story of an astounding military plot to take over the United States! The time is 1970 or 1980 or, possibly, tomorrow! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1964 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Seven Days in May See more »

Filming Locations:

Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The director, John Frankheimer, wanted a more futuristic rifle for use by the military, given the movies, occurring in the near future and chose the Colt M16 for this purpose. The M16 was subsequently chosen as the replacement for the aging and overly heavy M14, then in service. See more »

Goofs

When Col. Casey is talking with Col. Henderson right after he first learns about ECOMCON. While he's fishing around for information about this unit he's never heard of. He asked Henderson if he's up to strength. Col. Henderson replies that he has a "full T.O." That's an incomplete acronym. It should be TO & E, a term common to the military in the time frame of the film. TO & E is used to refer the Table of Organization & Equipment. No one, right down to a private would leave the E off this acronym. See more »

Quotes

General James Mattoon Scott: And if you want to talk about your oath of office, I'm here to tell you face to face, President Lyman, that you violated that oath when you stripped this country of its muscles - when you deliberately played upon the fear and fatigue of the people and told them they could remove that fear by the stroke of a pen. And then when this nation rejected you, lost faith in you, and began militantly to oppose you, you violated that oath by not resigning from office and turning the country over to ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Time of the Apes (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Prophetic warning
14 August 2000 | by mermattSee all my reviews

An excellent cast, a well-crafted script, and a talented director add up to one of the great films.

This movie captures the paranoia of the cold war and how that paranoia tested the strength and definition of a democracy. The importance of civilian control over the military is well illustrated in this chilling story of a plot by the Pentagon to overthrow the US President because the military disagrees with his disarmament policy.

Use of black & white gives the film the look of a documentary, emphasizing the sense of realism for the story. If you have the chance, see this movie.


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