7.7/10
946
36 user 7 critic

Special Bulletin (1983)

A TV reporter and cameraman are taken hostage on a tugboat while covering a workers strike. The demands of the hostage-takers are to collect all the nuclear detonators in the Charleston, SC... See full summary »

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

Marshall Herskovitz (teleplay), Edward Zwick (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Countdown to Looking Glass (TV Movie 1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Dramatic doomsday scenario in which the Cold War fully escalates. The story is told through a live news report that follows the apocalyptic world-ending nuclear exchange between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.

Director: Fred Barzyk
Stars: Scott Glenn, Michael Murphy, Helen Shaver
Without Warning (TV Movie 1994)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A television program is interrupted by a news network announcing that three meteors have hit the United States, France and China. At first, it seems natural but after interviews by ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Iscove
Stars: Sander Vanocur, Jane Kaczmarek, Bree Walker
Testament (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack.

Director: Lynne Littman
Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris
The Day After (TV Movie 1983)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg
Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The effects of a nuclear holocaust on the working class city of Sheffield, England and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war.

Director: Jimmy T. Murakami
Stars: Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills, Robin Houston
The War Game (TV Movie 1966)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A docudrama depicting a hypothetical nuclear attack on Britain.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Dave Baldwin
By Dawn's Early Light (TV Movie 1990)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A non-NATO nuclear missile is fired from Turkey at USSR, where it detonates. Soviet response is automatic as it's seen as a NATO missile. Can continued escalation be avoided? We follow the US president and a bomber crew.

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones
WW III: World War III (TV Movie 1998)
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This mock documentary uses archival footage, interviews and reports taken out of context and staged interviews to highlight a possible escalation into a nuclear war. In this feature, ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Stone
Stars: Boris Sichkin, Christoph Gutknecht, Boris Lyoskin
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The world after the nuclear apocalypse. Pale light lits the scenery of total destruction. The surviving humans vegetate in wet cellars under the nuclear winter. But somehow human spirit ... See full summary »

Director: Konstantin Lopushanskiy
Stars: Rolan Bykov, Iosif Ryklin, Viktor Mikhaylov
Ghostwatch (TV Movie 1992)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The BBC gives over a whole evening to an 'investigation into the supernatural'. Four respected presenters and a camera crew attempt to discover the truth behind 'The most haunted house in ... See full summary »

Director: Lesley Manning
Stars: Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene, Mike Smith
World War III (1982)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1987, Soviet paratroopers drop into Alaska to sabotage the oil pipeline in retaliation against a United States grain embargo. A skirmish occurs at a pumping station, lightly defended by ... See full summary »

Stars: David Soul, Brian Keith, Cathy Lee Crosby
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Flanders ... John Woodley
Kathryn Walker ... Susan Myles
Roxanne Hart ... Megan 'Meg' Barclay
Christopher Allport ... Steven Levitt
David Clennon ... Dr. Bruce Lyman
David Rasche ... Dr. David McKeeson
Rosalind Cash ... Frieda Barton
Ebbe Roe Smith ... Jim Seaver
Roberta Maxwell ... Diane Silverman
Robert Kay Robert Kay ... George Takashima
J. Wesley Huston J. Wesley Huston ... Bernard Frost
Frank Dent Frank Dent ... Dr. Jason Halpern
Charles Lanyer Charles Lanyer ... Merritt Cunningham
Mie Hunt Mie Hunt ... Ellen Stevens
Bruce Fields Bruce Fields ... Walter S. Letteau
Edit

Storyline

A TV reporter and cameraman are taken hostage on a tugboat while covering a workers strike. The demands of the hostage-takers are to collect all the nuclear detonators in the Charleston, SC area so they may be detonated at sea. They threaten to detonate a nuclear device of their own if their demand isn't met. Written by Keith Chang <changk@ucs.orst.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boletín especial See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was part of a 1980s cycle of films about atomic bombs and nuclear warfare which had started in 1979 with The China Syndrome (1979). The films included Silkwood (1983), Testament (1983), Threads (1984), WarGames (1983), The Day After (1983), The Atomic Cafe (1982), The Manhattan Project (1986), Whoops Apocalypse (1982), Special Bulletin (1983), Ground Zero (1987), Barefoot Gen (Barefoot Gen (1983)), Rules of Engagement (1989), When the Wind Blows (1986), Letters from a Dead Man (Dead Man's Letters (1986)), Memoirs of a Survivor (1981) and The Chain Reaction (1980). See more »

Goofs

When the RBS newsroom transfers to their reporter Megan Barclay in Charleston, she begins her report saying; "The situation began approximately 1 hour ago". The report then screens some video from their reporting team and then shows some Super-8 footage which was filmed by a tourist on a sightseeing boat. Super-8 is a film, not video, format. Normally the cost of the film cartridge included postage to a Kodak laboratory where it would be developed and then mailed back to the owner. In this instance, After the boat had reached shore, it would have been necessary to take the film to a Kodak developing facility to be processed, after which it could be taken to the news studio. Due to the time required to get the film to a laboratory for processing and then to get to the news studio it would have been impossible to do this within the time allowed. See more »

Quotes

Susan Myles: Good evening, this is News Watch. Emergency efforts continue in Charleston, South Carolina, where 3 days ago a nuclear explosion destroyed the heart of the city. Estimated at an yield of 23,000 tons of TNT was seen and heard up to 400 miles away and created a firestorm that is still burning in several areas. Due to early evacuations, the number of dead is estimated at less than 2,000, but at last count there were more than 25,000 injured. Many of those are burnt and have been flown to hospitals...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opens with a commercial advertising shows for the fictional RBS network, followed by the title "Special Bulletin" as the commercial is interrupted. There are no opening credits, making this one of the first TV movies ever produced without some sort of opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The video release omits the "dramatization" on-screen disclaimer seen throughout the original TV broadcast. The DVD released through the Warner Archive Collection does contain the on-screen disclaimers. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Under Siege (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Effective and memorable
28 September 2004 | by SeanetteSee all my reviews

I saw about the last 20 minutes of a rerun at about 3am, without the precautionary warnings used in the original airing, and still remember how believable and intensely effective the movie was. Based on what I saw of it and remember after about 15 years [I probably saw this in the late 80s or very early 90s], very well done. I might even add it to my "to rent" list so I can see the whole thing :-). I even woke my grandfather [I was living in his house at the time] to ask him if we knew anyone in Charleston. Once we worked out that it had only been a movie, he was sympathetically amused. His sister had been taken in by the War of the Worlds radio broadcast, so he apparently readily understood how easy it had been for me to be confused by an apparent newscast with no commercials or warnings.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed