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The Bedford Incident (1965)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller | 12 November 1965 (Japan)
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An American destroyer Captain is determined to confront a Soviet submarine caught violating territorial waters. Perhaps too determined.

Director:

James B. Harris

Writers:

Mark Rascovich (novel), James Poe (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Widmark ... Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.
Sidney Poitier ... Ben Munceford
James MacArthur ... Ensign Ralston (as James Macarthur)
Martin Balsam ... Lt. Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N.
Wally Cox ... Seaman Merlin Queffle
Eric Portman ... Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke Deutsche Marine
Michael Kane Michael Kane ... Commander Allison Executive Officer - Bridge
Colin Maitland ... Seaman Jones - Bridge
Paul Tamarin Paul Tamarin ... Seaman 2nd Class - Bridge
Frank Lieberman Frank Lieberman ... Seaman 1st Class - Bridge
James Caffrey ... Seaman 1st Class - Bridge
Burnell Tucker ... Seaman 1st Class - Bridge
Mike Lennox Mike Lennox ... Lieutenant Krindlemeyer U.S.N. - Bridge (as Michael Graham)
Bill Edwards ... Lieutenant Hazelwood U.S.N. - Bridge
Stephen Schreiber ... Seaman 2nd Class - Bridge (as Stephen Von Schreiber)
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Storyline

Richard Widmark plays a hardened cold-warrior and captain of the American destroyer USS Bedford. Sidney Poitier is a reporter given permission to interview the captain during a routine patrol. Poitier gets more than he bargained for when the Bedford discovers a Soviet sub in the depths and the captain begins a relentless pursuit, pushing his crew to the breaking point. This one's grim tension to the end. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

High adventure on the high seas, from the company that gave you "The Caine Mutiny"! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

12 November 1965 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Zwischenfall im Atlantik See more »

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

For Dr. Potter's ( Martin Balsam ) insults made against CAPT Finlander ( Richard Widmark ), the Captain could technical charge the physician for violations of UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice): Article 89, Disrespect toward a superior commissioned officer; possibly Article 133, Conduct unbecoming an officer and gentlemen, and the catch-all Article 134 General article.

The charges would be judged at a Special or General Court-martial. However, in real world practice, Lieutenant Commanders, especially a physician, would have other less public career adverse actions taken. Only in a very public and extremely egregious situation would an actual charge leading to a court-martial and even then a diversion would occur. See more »

Goofs

Ensign Ralston (MacArthur) could not fire the ASROC by himself. Any nuclear weapon requires two people to coordinate the launch, including ASROCs, confirmed by a 1960s naval officer. See more »

Quotes

Captain Finlander: It's a lot of work being a mean bastard.
Commander Allison Executive Officer - Bridge: Sometimes I can't help admiring how effortlessly you do it, captain... almost as if it came naturally.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Reportedly, there are two versions with different endings. One version ends with a missile being fired and a torpedo being released from the sub seconds before. In another version the sub is destroyed, and later that evening the German commodore is found aiming a .45 at the nose cone of a live missile. The captain asks why, the commodore gives some reply and pulls the trigger. Mr. Munceford is blown over the side, but survives. See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Masters: Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
" If He Fires One . . . . . I'll Fire One "
29 August 2007 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

The Cold War is one of the world's most frightening conflicts ever as it nearly extinguished humanity. During this time, suspicious nations rattled atomic sabers at one another and secret agencies scurried about disseminating Ideological propaganda and psychological warfare, but for the most part the only thing accomplished was that Americans spent billions threatening a distant enemy who ultimately became our friend. One exceptional film which appear during this era, was " The Bedford Incident." It is the story of an American reporter Ben Munceford (Sidney Poitier) who seeks out a controversial naval officer, because he believes him to be a rare individual. That particular man is Captain Eric Finlander. (Richard Widmark) a no-nonsense commander who is determined to do his duty, even if it means destroying a stray Russian Submarine, armed with nuclear missiles. While Munceford is trying to fathom the Captain, he notices everyone under Finlander's command is being subjected to increasing pressure, enormous stress and intolerable strain to remain on high alert as if war could be initiated at any time. From an audience point of view, the tension on board the Bedford, mirrors the terrifying state of fear in the world. Helping the audience analyze the situation is Lieut. Cmdr. Chester Potter (Martin Balsam) a naval Doctor who warns the Captain of mounting psychological dangers of his crew. One such officer is Ensign Ralston (James MacArthur) who the doctor warns is wound 'too tight' to be on duty. Another is Seaman Merlin Queffle (Wally Cox) who believes he controls the ship. This is a remarkable film, for it's characters, it's drama and eventually it's inevitable ending. It's a reminder, the fears we create are as real as our nightmares. ****


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