7.1/10
2,386
41 user 5 critic

By Dawn's Early Light (1990)

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

Writers:

William Prochnau (novel), Bruce Gilbert (teleplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 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 7.3/10 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
Special Bulletin (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    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
The Day After (TV Movie 1983)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
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
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 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
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
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
Fail-Safe (1964)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted?

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Fritz Weaver
Fail Safe (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
The War Game (TV Movie 1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A docudrama depicting a hypothetical nuclear attack on Britain.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Dave Baldwin
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Powers Boothe ... Cassidy
Rebecca De Mornay ... Moreau (as Rebecca DeMornay)
James Earl Jones ... Alice
Martin Landau ... President
Darren McGavin ... Condor
Rip Torn ... Colonel Fargo
Jeffrey DeMunn ... Harpoon
Peter MacNicol ... Sedgwick
Glenn Withrow ... Tyler
Ronald William Lawrence ... Hooker
Kieran Mulroney ... Radnor
Nicolas Coster ... General Renning - 'Icarus'
Ken Jenkins ... Looking Glass Colonel - 'Sam'
Randal Patrick Randal Patrick ... O'Toole
Daniel Benzali ... Bascombe
Edit

Storyline

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 limited nuclear exchange in this film with a scenario similar to Fail-Safe (1964) and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Originally a made for cable movie, it concentrates on the relationship between a veteran pilot and his female co-pilot and the president's attempt to wrest control away from a war-mongering successor. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Four People. Three Minutes. Two Choices. One Chance For Survival.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | Action

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Matte World Digital

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

24 April 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Grand Tour See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The computer in NORAD is made up from components of an actual IBM AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central, built in 1954 to protect the US from Soviet bomber attack. Components of decommissioned systems were sold for scrap and bought by film and television production companies that wanted futuristic-looking computers, despite the fact they were built in the 1950s. Components used in this film were previously used in The Time Tunnel (1966), The Towering Inferno (1974) and WarGames (1983), among many others, and later used in Fail Safe (2000). See more »

Goofs

The exterior of the Looking Glass airplane is narrow body but the interior is clearly wide body. See more »

Quotes

F-18 Pilot: Everything's shit duty today.
See more »


Soundtracks

DON'T CALL HIM A COWBOY
Written by Debbie Hupp, Johnny MacRae and Bob Morrison
Performed by Conway Twitty
Courtesy Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products, Music City Music Inc.
(administered by EMI April Music Inc) and Southern Days Music (administered by CMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Top notch nuclear thriller.
7 April 1999 | by Doctor_BombaySee all my reviews

There have been many global nuclear war stories, and this is not the best, but I've always loved this film.

It's a combination of cast and perspective. Whereas most films have a single strong storyline, and maybe a couple of smaller sub plots, this film bypasses that usual structure, preferring instead to use 3 or 4 main plotlines, all moving forward, all converging on the same point. Good non-traditional approach managed by a great non-traditional director, Jack Shoulder (The Hidden).

And for a film that did not go to theatres, this one has a strong cast: Powers Booth teams with Rebecca DeMornay to fly the nuclear bomber. James Earl Jones and Jeffrey DeMunn battle Darren McGavin and Rip Torn as they try to overthrow our world during the ensuing panic. And Martin Landau as the Prez trying to keep it all together.

Nice story, good pace, strong finish. I like it.


20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 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