7.1/10
2,667
43 user 5 critic

By Dawn's Early Light (1990)

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

Writers:

William Prochnau (novel), Bruce Gilbert (teleplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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
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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:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The acronym "SAC" stands for the "Strategic Air Command" of the USA. See more »

Goofs

A cable is visible, attached to one of the crewman as he is sucked out of the B52. See more »

Quotes

Fargo: Hell, most Soviet bombers are so old they still use propellers. The Minnesota Air National Guard could probably knock them down.
Harpoon: Well, do you want to get on the phone and order them into the air, Colonel, because every transistor in Minnesota is BURNED OUT!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sledstvie veli...: Besy (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF
Written by Dan Baird
Performed by The Georgia Satellites
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Administered by BMI
See more »

User Reviews

Top Notch Nuclear Thriller
22 October 2000 | by degraciaSee all my reviews

It's a shame that there are few movies that depict the procedures, tactics, and escalating stages of nuclear warfare in as much detail and accuracy as "By Dawn's Early Light." Adapted from the novel Trinity's Child, Jack Shoulder's "By Dawn's Early Light" hits all the right notes in portraying the professionalism, training, and courage of American nuclear forces. The film's numerous scenes, including the E-4 NEACP (National Emergency Airborne Command Post), RC-135 "Looking Glass" plane, and even the Strategic Air Command operations room are incredibly realistic and well-detailed. The numerous conflicting personalities depicted in the film also give it great texture, taking the film a step closer to reality. Cold War buffs and military fans are sure to get a kick out of this film, especially with its stunningly dramatic, hardcore finale. "By Dawn's Early Light" is proof that low budget constraints do not have to derail an entire film.


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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 »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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