24 user

Countdown to Looking Glass (1984)

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.


Fred Barzyk


Albert Ruben
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Special Bulletin (TV Movie 1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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
Stars: Ed Flanders, Kathryn Walker, Roxanne Hart
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  

The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones
Without Warning (TV Movie 1994)
    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
By Dawn's Early Light (TV Movie 2000)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When Mike Lewis leaves L.A. to stay with his grandfather in Colorado for the summer, he hates the old man's cowboy ways. When Mike demands to go home, the old man agrees and saddles up a ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Allan Seidelman
Stars: Richard Crenna, David Carradine, Chris Olivero
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
Testament (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Director: Lynne Littman
Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris
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
Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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
The War Game (TV Movie 1965)
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
Fail Safe (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow.

Directors: Stephen Frears, Martin Pasetta
Stars: Walter Cronkite, Richard Dreyfuss, Noah Wyle


Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Glenn ... Michael Boyle
Michael Murphy ... Bob Calhoun
Helen Shaver ... Dorian Waldorf
Patrick Watson Patrick Watson ... Don Tobin
Nancy Dickerson Nancy Dickerson ... Herself
Eric Sevareid ... Himself
Matsu Anderson Matsu Anderson ... Matsu Yamada
Barbara Barnes-Hopkins Barbara Barnes-Hopkins ... Mrs. Langhorn
Michael Beattie ... Youth #1
Richard Comar Richard Comar ... Pentagon Spokesman
Murray Cruchley Murray Cruchley ... James Otis
Faye Dance ... Anne Gailmore
Don Dickinson Don Dickinson ... Unger
Micheal Donaghue Micheal Donaghue ... Technician
Don Francks ... Don Geller


Docudrama uses fictional reports of a crisis in the Middle East, which leads to a nuclear confrontation between the US and the USSR. "Looking Glass" is the code word for the Strategic Air Command's control plane which is to be used in the case of nuclear war. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

14 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Home Box Office (HBO) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The nuclear powered aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz (CVN 68) was portrayed in this movie by the museum ship U.S.S. Yorktown (ex CV 10) moored in Charleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina. The T-2 Buckeye jet trainer which is being towed across the deck during one of Michael Boyle's (Scott Glenn) reports is one of the Yorktown Museum's exhibits. See more »


A news report is coming from "Carswell, Texas," with mountains in the background. Carswell Air Force Base was in Fort Worth, Texas, surrounded by suburbs and trees with no mountains within hundreds of miles. See more »


The President of the U.S: [making a speech about the crisis] My fellow Americans: our country is faced today with a serious challenge. We have been asked, as a people, to make a decision so important that how the world evolves, the course it takes for the next century, will almost surely depend on what we decide. As your President, and with the valued counsel of the leaders of the Congress, the National Security Council, and the members of my cabinet, I have made that decision. My decision is to make it absolutely clear ...
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Pretty Good Political Thriller
8 February 2014 | by Uriah43See all my reviews

Because of the inability of several South American countries to pay their debts the United States is plunged into an economic crisis which has far-reaching repercussions. Oman, for example, experiences a revolution and this results in a communist government which tilts the balance of power over to the Soviet Union and further escalates tension in the Middle East. Soon the United States and the Soviet Union become directly involved in a high-stakes military standoff which neither side seems to be able to resolve. Anyway, rather than disclose the rest of the story and risk spoiling the film for those who haven't seen it I will just say that for a "made-for-television" movie this was a pretty good political thriller. While I didn't particularly care for the ending I liked the performances of Scott Glenn (as "Michael Boyle") and Helen Shaver ("Dorian Waldorf"). I especially liked the scene involving the U.S.S. Nimitz when it reached the Gulf of Oman. Good tension. Be that as it may I think this is a movie that most viewers will probably enjoy and I rate it as above average.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed