Special Bulletin ()

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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... See more »

  • Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations.
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John Woodley
Susan Myles
Megan 'Meg' Barclay
Steven Levitt
Dr. Bruce Lyman
Dr. David McKeeson
Frieda Barton
Jim Seaver
Diane Silverman
Robert Kay ...
George Takashima
J. Wesley Huston ...
Bernard Frost
Frank Dent ...
Dr. Jason Halpern
Charles Lanyer ...
Merritt Cunningham
Mie Hunt ...
Ellen Stevens
Bruce Fields ...
Walter S. Letteau
Morton Sanders
Arlen Surrey
Jonathan E. Herman
Mary Armstrong
Dr. Neils Johanssen
Robert Grafton
Bruce Frank
Elizabeth Gill
(as June Kim)
Duncan Ross
Bill Saito
Dr. Abraham Sczrsma
Steve Arvin
Edwin Bernstein
Wanda Bowe
Robert Buckingham
Judie Carroll
Marian A. Carter
Kelly Condon
William A. Gimble Jr.
William J. Ghinta
Liberty Godshall
Ray Godshall
Virginia Gourdin
Steven Ledford
Marc Levy
Jimmy Lenox
Robert Marks
Arthur McDonald
Arthur R. Nuzzo
Ellen Ren
Adrian Ricard
Steven M. Sawyer
Sadina H. Terry
Jack Thompson ...
Senator from Tenn.
Celestine Turner
David VandeBrake
Elizabeth Young
Sam Youngblood
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Randolph Hille ...
Bernard Frost

Directed by

Edward Zwick

Written by

Marshall Herskovitz ... (teleplay)
Edward Zwick ... (story) &
Marshall Herskovitz ... (story)

Produced by

Lynn D. Baltimore ... associate producer
Marshall Herskovitz ... producer
Don Ohlmeyer ... executive producer
Edward Zwick ... producer

Film Editing by

Arden Rynew ... (video tape)

Editorial Department

Bill Breshears Jr. ... assistant videotape editor (as William Breshears Jr.)

Casting By

Mary Goldberg

Production Design by

Robb Wilson King

Set Decoration by

Gayle Simon

Makeup Department

Ken Horn ... makeup artist (as Kenneth Horn)

Production Management

Nancy Haas ... unit production manager
John W. Rogers ... production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Anthony Brand ... associate director (as Tony Brand)

Art Department

Arthur Howe Jr. ... lead man: Charleston (as Arthur Howe)
Kathe Klopp ... swing woman
David Q. Quick ... assistant property master (as David Quick)
Tom Shaw Jr. ... property master

Sound Department

Jerry Clemans ... re-recording mixer
Phillip Falcone ... audio mixer: Charleston
David Gould ... audio assistant: Charleston
Eric Levinson ... re-recording mixer
Larry Stephens ... audio mixer: Los Angeles
Rick Thornton ... audio assistant

Visual Effects by

Bill Feightner ... video effects (as William Feightner)


Eurlyne Epper ... stunt person
Terry Leonard ... stunt person (as Terry J. Leonard)
Jeff Ramsey ... stunt coordinator
Chuck Waters ... stunt person
Jerry Wills ... stunt person

Camera and Electrical Department

Dan Andresen ... camera operator: second unit L.A.
Jim Dowds ... camera operator: second unit Charleston
Charlie Fernandez ... camera assistant (as Charles Fernandez)
Hank Geving ... camera operator
Carl Gibson ... lighting director
James Jansen ... gaffer
Danny Jimenez ... key grip (as Daniel S. Jimenez)
Bill Johnson ... gaffer: Charleston
George Patterson ... camera operator: second unit Charleston
Richard Price ... camera operator: second unit L.A.
James R. Renfro ... electrician (as James Renfro)
Michael Ruiz ... videotape operator: Charleston
Bruce Solberg ... videotape operator

Casting Department

Chandler Evans ... casting assistant
Lorraine Maxwell-Young ... atmosphere casting: Charleston
David Rubin ... casting associate
Gary Towles ... casting assistant

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Nancy Cone ... wardrobe
Nina Padovano ... costumer

Location Management

Gary McNett ... location manager
Steve Rhea ... location manager: Charleston

Music Department

Ferdinand Jay Smith ... promo & news music by

Script and Continuity Department

Robin J. Stern ... script supervisor

Transportation Department

Michael McCulley ... transportation: Charleston (as P. Michael McCulley)

Additional Crew

Arlene Acker ... stock footage supervisor
Holly Aylward ... assistant: Mr. Ohlmeyer
Dick Dubuque ... production auditor (as Richard Dubuque)
Bobbi Kronowitz ... production coordinator: Charleston
Irwin Marcus ... stage manager
Nina K. Noble ... production assistant: Charleston (as Nina Kostroff)
Cynthia Pearson ... production assistant
Alycia M. Rogers ... production assistant
Horace Ruiz ... technical supervisor: Charleston
Bob Shelley ... weapons
Rick Sparks ... assistant to the producers
Emily T. Warwick ... production assistant: Charleston (as Emily Warwick)
Keith Winikoff ... technical supervisor: Los Angeles

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Bulletin Spécial (France)
  • Boletín especial (Spain)
  • Специальный бюллетень (Soviet Union, Russian title)
  • 103 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix

Did You Know?

Trivia When this film was first broadcast, the network superimposed the word "dramatization" on the bottom of the screen every few minutes and ran disclaimers after every commercial break, to remind people it was only a movie. That didn't stop some people in Charleston, S.C. from panicking anyway. See more »
Goofs The cameraman would not be able to film the explosion. Either the pyroclastic storm or the electromagnetic pulse would render the camera unusable, and at least erase the magnetic tape in the camera. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in The 35th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1983). 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 »
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 around the country for treatment, but altogether the burn care centers in the United States have only 2,400 beds, less than half the number needed for the victims of the Charleston blast. Because onshore winds spreading radiation fallout west of the city, 250,000 more people have been evacuated from outlying areas. In all, half a million are homeless. Scientists estimate that it may be years before the region is safe to reoccupy. Trauma care centers are being set up for survivors, many of whom are physically uninjured but suffering from shock and delayed stress. Authorities are also caring for hundreds of children who are either orphaned or cannot find their parents. Counselors tell of recurring nightmares and shock. One child of 9 apparently committed suicide. After 3 days the shock seems to be just setting in. Early talk of rebuilding have been forgotten in the wake of radiation estimates. Hundreds of thousands of refugees face the prospects of starting new lives elsewhere in an already depressed economy. As for Charleston itself, the city of gardens and narrow streets and beautiful old houses, that city is gone forever. A new city may someday grow there years from now, or it may remain a desert, whichever, the staggering loss of once was can never be eradicated.
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