The frightening story of the weeks leading up to and following a nuclear strike on the United States. The bulk of the activity centers around the town of Lawrence, Kansas.Written by
Anthony Ventarola <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The scenes of Air Force personnel aboard the Airborne Command Post, in the command center receiving news of the incoming attack, the B-52 crew, and the crew in the silo launching their missiles, are footage of actual military personnel during a drill, and had been aired in a CBS documentary, First Strike (1979). In the original footage, the silo is "destroyed" by an incoming "attack" just moments before launching its missiles, which is why the final seconds of the launch countdown are not seen in this movie. See more »
When Dr. Oakes is listening to the radio on the freeway, the interior shot shows that his car is in the right lane. In the next exterior shot, he is in the left lane and crosses the right to exit the freeway. There is also no traffic heading in the opposite direction at all. See more »
The thing that bothers me is that damn "launch-on-warning".
That's when one side tells the other that they're gonna fire their missiles as soon as they think the other guy's missiles are already on their way.
You know. Use 'em or lose 'em.
What do you really think the chances are of something like that happening way the hell out here in the middle of nowhere?
There's no "nowhere" anymore. You're sitting next to the Whiteman Air Force Base right now. ...
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[After movie has ended, before end credits.] The catastrophic events you have just witnessed are, in all likelihood, less severe than the destruction that would actually occur in the event of a full nuclear strike against the United States. It is hoped that the images of this film will inspire the nations of this earth, their peoples, and leaders to find the means to avert that fateful day. See more »
Originally filmed at 3 hours, the original release version (which ran in European theatres and later worldwide on home video) ran 126 minutes. The network telecast version (available for a time on LaserDisc) ran 120 minutes. Heavily edited for later telecast showings. Most current video cassette and disc versions run the full 126-minute length. See more »
I, like many of my age, saw this when it originally aired as a class assignment. It had a great impact on me, as the cold war was still going strong and the threat of a nuclear war was something that people still thought about. The movie may not be the greatest ever made, but the acting is more than adequate, especially from Jason Robards, and the script was far better than any other movies made for television at that time. I recommend it to anyone, even those with a low tolerance for grossness (radiation sickness is shown in progressive stages, and it is not pretty). It's dark, depressing, and if you get into it you will definitely need to follow it up with a musical or cartoons just to lift your spirits again. Still, the subject matter is not something that can be portrayed positively even at a tv-movie level of realism.
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