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The Fifth Missile (1986)

The crew of a Trident missile submarine, on a training mission simulating an attack on Russia, is stricken by toxic poisoning. One of the poison's effects is to make its victims hallucinate... See full summary »


Larry Peerce




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Conrad ... Cmdr. Mark Van Meer
Sam Waterston ... Capt. Allard Renslow
Richard Roundtree ... Cmdr. Frederick Bryce
Jonathan Banks ... Ray Olson
Art LaFleur ... 'Animal' Meslinsky
Dennis Holahan ... Warden
Sergio Fantoni ... Pietro
Yvette Mimieux ... Cheryl Leary
David Soul ... Capt. Kevin Harris
Ed Bishop ... Adm. Stewart Cullinane
Michael Aronin Michael Aronin ... Ernie Gradow
William Berger ... Dr. Strickland
David Gilliam ... Longstreet
Trevor Thomas Trevor Thomas ... McCune
Donald Stewart Donald Stewart ... Adm. Howard


The crew of a Trident missile submarine, on a training mission simulating an attack on Russia, is stricken by toxic poisoning. One of the poison's effects is to make its victims hallucinate, and the sub's Captain imagines that he has been given an order to actually attack Russia. He prepares to do exactly that.

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Drama | Thriller


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Did You Know?


During a scene showing the armed USN helicopter searching for the USS Montana, while the helicopter's rear is pointed at the camera, the missile pods at the helicopter's sides are shown to be merely hollow tubes. See more »

User Reviews

Exciting! Will keep you guessing!
21 October 2017 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

Robert Conrad, a commander on a submarine, is called into The Pentagon for secret information about his next assignment. They tell him he's going to be involved in a test case mission: a pre-recorded tape is going to hidden aboard the vessel, and messages will be released to the crew in intervals to make them believe WW3 has started. The ship will then fire four dummy missiles at Russia, which will show that the United States is ready if the Cold War escalates. Only Robert Conrad, the ship's captain, David Soul, and a psychologist, Richard Roundtree, are aware that all the information is fake; the rest of the crew will think it's real! When the first messages start coming in and David Soul takes them seriously, it makes everyone question what's real and what's fake. . .

Believe it or not, that's the short version of a plot teaser. There's a lot more to the setup, but I wanted to tell you just enough to get you excited. The Fifth Missile is a very fun, exciting, suspenseful thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat during the entire ride—and I've already seen it twice! While the crew flounders underwater, each trying to hold onto their sanity, Sam Waterston and Yvette Mimieux try to solve the mystery from dry land. Even though this is a television movie from the 1980s, Eric Bercovici's script isn't as cheesy as one would expect. There are lots of twists and turns, and countless moments that will make you gasp. I highly recommend this psychological thriller, and since I'm deathly afraid of water and still enjoyed the movie, you can be sure it'll live up to my review.

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Italy | USA



Release Date:

23 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gold Crew See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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