7.3/10
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93 user 15 critic

Fail Safe (2000)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 9 April 2000
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 (as Martin A. Pasetta Jr.)

Writers:

Eugene Burdick (novel), Harvey Wheeler (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Cronkite ... Himself - Host
Richard Dreyfuss ... President
Noah Wyle ... Buck
Brian Dennehy ... Gen. Bogan
Sam Elliott ... Congressman Raskob
James Cromwell ... Gordon Knapp
John Diehl ... Col. Cascio
Hank Azaria ... Prof. Groeteschele
Norman Lloyd ... Defense Secretary Swenson
Bill Smitrovich ... Gen. Stark (as William Smitrovich)
Don Cheadle ... Lt. Jimmy Pierce
George Clooney ... Col. Jack Grady
Harvey Keitel ... Brig. Gen. Warren Black
Doris Belack ... Mrs. Johnson
Grant Heslov ... Jimmy
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The World on The Brink of Accidental War -- UNFOLDING LIVE!

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fail Safe See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Broadcast live on April 9, 2000. See more »

Goofs

At 7:45 Congressman Raskob asks Col. Cascio about the bombs the planes carry. He says they carry missiles and "two, twenty-ton hydrogen bombs". The correct term should be "two, twenty-megaton hydrogen bombs" See more »

Quotes

Prof. Groeteschele: In every war, even a thermonuclear war, you must have a victor and you must have a vanquished. History tells us that the culture which is best prepared, has the best retaliatory policy, and the best defense, will have an ancient and classical advantage.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: To be victorious...
Prof. Groeteschele: Yes, General. It would be the victor, in that it would be less damaged than its enemy.
Gen. Stark: *We* would be the victor.
Prof. Groeteschele: That would be our hope, General.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: Groeteschele, your argument doesn't recognize that thermonuclear war is not the...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References My Fair Lady (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A look and feel different from any other TV production I have seen
10 April 2000 | by Figaro-8See all my reviews

I was totally blown away by this production. Despite the fact that the material has been filmed before, I felt like I was watching something totally new and original. This is due in no small part to the fact that director Stephen Frears and crew had the guts to do this as a live production AND film it in black and white. It made me feel like I was watching an old news broadcast. It also had a bit of a glossy look to it, sort of like the black and white films of the '30s and '40s. The performances are uniformly excellent, especially Richard Dreyfuss, Noah Wyle and Hank Azaria. There is no musical score, so you are either hearing dialogue and a few SFX or dead silence, which only adds to the eerie effect. The scary thing is that a scenario like this one could happen. If this is repeated or comes out on video, RUN to see it. You won't see another like it.


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