During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his remote 10th Century castle hoping a battle there against the advancing Germans will not lead to its destruction and all the heritage within.
Jimmy idolizes bootlegger Matt, and when he refuses to implicate his friend, he is sent to reform school. He befriends Shorty, a boy with a heart condition, and escapes to let the world know about the brutal conditions.
A renegade USAF general, Lawrence Dell, escapes from a military prison and takes over an ICBM silo near Montana and threatens to provoke World War 3 unless the President reveals details of a secret meeting held just after the start of the Vietnam War between Dell and the then President's most trusted advisors.Written by
Dave Jenkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Paul Winfield's character, while looking at the missile in the silo, remarks, "It's like "Star Trek" (1966) all over again!" Winfield would go on to play Capt. Terrell in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) five years later. See more »
At about 30 minutes into the movie, the officer giving a SAC briefing begins with "Good morning, gentlemen. 16 November 1981. Julian date 81215". Those are not the same date, and in fact are over three months apart. See more »
Twilight's Last Gleaming is a rather far fetched and fanciful tale about a rogue general taking over a missile silo, isolating it from remote control at the Pentagon and White House and having 9 Titan missiles with atomic warheads at your command. Burt Lancaster who was railroaded into a murder conviction to silence him escapes with Paul Winfield, Burt Young, and William Smith and they take over the missile silo and issue demands.
The film is fascinating in one respect how this crisis is isolated from the knowledge of the public. The deliberations over the Cuban Missile Crisis had nothing on this and even that went public. The closest real happening in our history was when Grover Cleveland went missing for about 5 weeks to have cancer surgery and that never came out in his lifetime. Of course it worked out far better for Grover than it did for this president.
Charles Durning plays the fictional president David Stevens and what Lancaster demands of him is not just the usual money extortion. He wants a document read from a National Security Council meeting from the Vietnam war years which would have a calamitous impact on a lot of people and our national credibility involving our very reasons for being in Vietnam. Durning did not even know the existence of it as his presidency is way in the future. But sly old time Defense Secretary Melvyn Douglas knows and as it works in these cases his reputation and national security seem to blend in.
Another sly man from the past is Air Force General Richard Widmark who was once Lancaster's superior. Other members of the cabinet include Secretary Of State Joseph Cotten and Attorney General William Marshall.
Despite Oscar winners and big box office names like Widmark and Cotten, walking away with the acting honors here is Charles Durning as the president who is thrust into a crisis involving the distant past for him. His scenes with military aide Gerald O'Loughlin have some real feel and poignancy for both men.
Twilight's Last Gleaming though far fetched is well worth a look.
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