The Man Who Saved the World (2014) Poster

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Wow. Pause. Breath.
SaintNicolas1 September 2015
Wow. Pause. Breath. Exhale gratitude. Inhale inspiration,

I watch loads, movies or docs, trying never to dip below 7.0 IMDb rating, plus a review that connects with me. I fail sometimes. But not with this.

This documentary blew me away.

This documentary elegantly and in eloquent honesty tells two intertwined stories of how humanity is saved, as a whole and also as one single mother-son relationship, both just in time, with not a minute to spare.

Well done!

Oh, and thanks Stanislav, by the way!!
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Thank you Stansilav
peoplepower-588-2273565 August 2015
I had to watch almost to the end of the film before I really understood that I had been watching the actual private moments of a man who saved my life. Thank you Stansilav for saving me, for being afraid for me and for all of us, and for saving our beautiful Earth, and saving everyone I love, and everyone I will ever love, and everyone they will ever love, and everyone they will ever love.... Thank you to all of people who made this film for telling this story in the way you did. I don't have a single criticism about the film itself. It's so amazing to watch Stansilav on his journey to America (who is an amazing person and doesn't even know it), and to watch the recreations of that night. You've made a timeless classic. And Stanislav, especially I thank your mother for somehow raising you to be so incredibly stubborn in your self-righteousness! My love to you both. The lord works in mysterious ways.
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I have never seen anything like this before. Combining narrative and documentary filmmaking for a true and incredible powerful film!
pa-7813 November 2014
1983. The world holds its breath as the two superpowers United States and Russia are arming themselves against each other with thousands of nuclear missiles.

On September 26, Russian radars intercept five nuclear missiles on their way to Russia. Stanislav Petrov is commander-in-chief. The decision that would start World War III rests on his shoulders. Should Russia fire nuclear missiles at the United States in defense?

Today, the world still exists, but Petrov himself is a ruined man. A man who, in his own words, is not a hero and who went against all protocol, relying on his own instinct instead of the computers.

'The Man Who Saved the World' is a true pearl. Simply heartbreaking. An epic Cold War thriller that sends shivers down your spine, while also being an extremely gripping story about a man who actually saved the world, but lost his job, his wife and his dignity. A truly wonderful and very fascinating film. I have never seen anything like this before. It combines narrative and documentary filmmaking for a true and incredible powerful film!
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One of the best film I've ever seen.
johnstevenspol13 November 2014
Danish Director: Peter Anthony's unusual, melodramatic THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, following a conflicted, curmudgeonly Russian who prevented a nuclear war back in 1983 is one of the best film I've ever seen.

The fateful events of the September 26th, 1983, during one of the most frozen periods of the Cold War sets the stage for "THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD".

We follow 44-year old Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov reporting for his shift at Serphukov 15, the Soviet Nuclear Command center. A report of 5 nuclear missiles headed towards Moscow from the United States is confirmed and escalated to the Kremlin by Stanislav. They order him to launch a counter-attack. In that moment, the fate of all mankind rests in his hands.

The incident, his decision and the aftermath are depicted with heart pounding suspense.

We meet Stanislav Petrov today, now aged 69, surrounded by empty vodka bottles and dust in his tiny flat not far from Moscow. With Galina his translator, he travels to the United States to be recognized for his heroic actions.

In the US, he begins a personal journey towards reconciliation and redemption that reminds us of the fragile nature of the human condition.

It really touched my heart. Fantastic Film. Supreme directing. A must see!
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Amazing Cold War thriller
paulstephensonIV14 November 2014
"The man who saved the world" is eye-opening and it actually made my eyes tear up several times.

It's compelling filmmaking and a fascinating story with which all human beings should familiarize themselves.

A Cold War thriller that shows us just how close we came to World War III … and it's not over yet! With a new cold war rising and thousands of nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert, we still live under the same catastrophic danger that Stanislav faced back then.

I left the theater feeling that it is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen.
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The Man Who Saved the World tells the gripping true story of Stanislav Petrov - a man who single-handedly averted a full scale NUCLEAR WORLD WAR.
pa-158-36994712 November 2014
The Man Who Saved the World, a feature film, tells the true yet nearly untold story of Stanislav Petrov, the Soviet lieutenant colonel who single-handedly prevented nuclear Armageddon at the height of the Cold War.

Many films aspire to tackle macro-society issues and intimate human relationships within the same story, but it often results in over-exposition or a muddy story with underdeveloped characters. "The Man Who Saved the World" succeeds in touching the audience with an important societal concern, while also developing the connective tissues to make us feel for a raw, flawed human being. This feature could not come more highly recommended. A truly wonderful and amazing film.
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Simply heart breaking. Powerful cinema.
johnbonn-1117217 September 2015
A brilliant mixture of a poetic documentary and a tense Cold War thriller.

Like something out of DR STRANGELOVE, THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD tells the amazing story of real life Stanislav Petrov who saved our world from nuclear Armageddon on September 26, 1983,.

The movie is setting a new standard of story telling. It's filmed with the expertise of a Hollywood thriller, and the performances are simply flawless. The director has simply made a whole new genre in this densely powerful movie.

Beautifully told on both a personal and international level, this is one of the most ground breaking piece of film I have seen in years and one of the most important, and most emotional films ever made.

You simply have to see this film with your family, your friends. Russian Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov is a true hero, that we should all know and respect. Being a former officer in the Danish Army I can only praise this film and the this amazing hero!!!
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Everybody should know his name
dagallop9 November 2015
Don't watch this movie if you are expecting a fast paced thriller. Don't watch this movie if you are banking on Kevin Costner acing yet another role. Don't watch this movie if you don't want to know why you are alive!

Any movie that follows a factual event, detailing the circumstances, adding in some personal story, combining that with moments of reverence, deserves an award. This is that movie. More of a 'docu' drama, it fills in some character turmoil, that while unrelated to the core reason for its creation, adds to the ultimate admiration that you have to feel for Stanislav. I for one would willingly line up to shake this mans hand and this movie made me feel inclined to buy a ticket to Moscow to do so.

I was truly moved by the human nature that not only showed throughout, but was the epicenter of the basis for the movie. Add the speech that Kevin Costner gave in Stanislav's honor and you would have to be made of stone not to be moved by the whole thing.

You do not need to have a car chase, a womanizing hero, a crooked cop or any of the over used clichés to make a great movie, all you need is a real hero, some humbled super stars and a dash of reality to make a blockbuster, and this was it.
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A human being
knuddelholic17 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I do remember the year very well with the Korean 747 being shot down, the dangerous rhetoric from Reagan and the dehumanizing, propaganda words of the 'evil empire' and how tense the cold war around that time. I lived back then in Europe with the arms race between SS-20 and the Pershing 2 missiles. It is very hard today to visualize how dangerously close we were all back then to the end as militant elements on both sides were quite trigger happy thanks to the propaganda machinery of both systems.

This movie is luckily not another brainless action movie. It is a very simple movie which just shows a simple human being with his own worries, his personal sufferings and fates who holds his ground in a world were many are programmed to take the easy path, to dodge responsibility by doing blindly which is expected from a cog in a machinery, to swim with the masses instead of holding in, remain calm and use his mind but also his heart and not let the surrounding crowd wash you away in the panicking mob mentality.

It was later known that the system was not wrong, but it was new, untested like so many things which got rushed into service on both sides. The warnings got triggered by very high altitude clouds which reflected sunlight in a pretty tiny time window at the Western part of the US which were in its early morning hours and the sun was just in the right ankle to confuse the radar system. Today such information is confirmed by geostationary satellites to confirm or unconfirm such data.

But in hindsight we are all smarter and let often arrogance blind us how this or that could possibly happen because we are simply unable to put ourselves into the Zeitgeist of the situation and existing shortcomings because of lack of practical experience colliding with programed fear and panic making us blind for rational thought.

I read but I can't confirm that detail that Mr. Petrov back then in the bunker also rationalized his decision that a first strike with just a few missiles didn't made any sense. The knowledge that a first strike would have been more massive and that brand new systems have their kinks and even computer can be wrong when fed incomplete information helped him to hold his ground despite the immense pressure.

I agree with Stanislav Petrov. He was no hero. No hero in the common definition of our modern society. His 'heroism' was his humanistic personality, one who kept his calm and resisted the peer pressure from his immediate surrounding but also the distant one in media, keeping centered and stayed through his life a human being which didn't stopped to evolve and jump over his own shadow by also finding the strength to make peace with his mother as well, showing indeed great inner strength despite the decades of hate and anger and despite all the prodding he had from the lady as she reflected his own words she learned from him on his tour through the U.S., reminding him that he had nothing else to loose as he was, like we all, his own worst enemy. And he challenged it and overcame himself once more.

A most inspiring person and movie. And like he said, just at the right time at the right spot. I certainly hope that there will be others like him on this world who have the guts to stand up against all outside pressure and focus on trying to do the right thing at the right time before our planet runs eventually out of luck. Thank you very sincerely Mr. Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov and to all past and future unknown heroes which will help(ed) saving our planet.
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A master piece!!!
johnadamsen17 September 2015
Simply brilliant!!!

A master piece!!!

This is one of the best and most important films I have ever seen. A film that really should be watched by everyone alive. THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD works as both a gripping tale, an intense thriller, and a true celebration of humanity and mankind.

A modern DR STRANGELOVE... but a true story. It really blew the minds of me, my daughter and my wife!!! Thank you so much Peter Anthony for directing this master piece... and thank you Stanislav for saving the world!
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Absolutely positively wonderful!
grafxman5 September 2015
This amazing story about a man, a Russian, in charge of the nuclear missiles followed his heart. Because of his decision to do that all of us, and I do mean every single one of us, is here today.

He's a crusty, cranky old guy without much humor or pleasure in his life. It was very irritating to see certain individuals keep bugging him about a certain thing they felt he should do. He didn't put up with any crap from anyone. He's a tough old bird that's for sure with a will of iron.

The movie captures the events via reenactments that are excellent. The reenactments were just about as scary as the real thing. As a retired military guy myself I must say the reenactments appeared to simulate the real thing quite believably.

It's a pity we can't force every world leader to sit down and watch this wonderful film.
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A high point in cinema. The best film I have seen in years!!!
igorfilippov22 December 2015
Thought it was a documentary...

... and then I was totally blown away!

"The Man Who Saved The World" is simply a masterpiece - a high point in cinema.

It's a triumphant example of intricate plotting, subtle exposition and a real story.

I was attracted to see the film, because I'm into true stories about nuclear war and historical films in general... and then... I was knocked over...

I hate to admit it, but it is also one the most tear-jerker of all time. If you don't cry when Stanislav meet up with his mother in the end, there's something wrong with you.

The direction is unobtrusively excellent, and it puts a new standard to documentary and fictional movie-making.

The best film I have seen in years!!!
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It took years
catmandew6312 June 2019
Armageddon. Nuclear holocaust. Doomsday. These were the terms that were used during the Cold War. Both the United States and the USSR stood nose-to-nose ready to reduce their respective adversaries to radioactive wastelands. The U.S. public had no idea of the number of near-misses that occurred during this dangerous time. This documentary is about a single man who stood between the world and the end of humanity during one of those near-misses.

I lived through the Cold War. I served aboard a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine. This submarine was not a ballistic missile sub. It was called a "fast attack" or "hunter-killer" sub. What I found out when I served during the early 1980's was that on ballistic missile submarines (boomers) the missiles came out of the top of the sub. On a fast attack, they came out the front.

We carried nuclear weapons. I was within arms reach of a real-live nuclear weapon when I went into the sub's battery bay to do morning measurments. That experience changed me. I did not want to play chicken with things that would have destroyed life on this planet.

My inner turmoil was nothing compared to the choice that Stanislav Petrov faced on September 26, 1983 when the Soviet satellite surveillance of the U.S. strategic forces reported not one, not two, but five incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. It was his decision to report the missile warnings as false alarms. Had he simply followed established procedures his actions could have touched off a world-destroying nuclear war. The entire world owes this man a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

This film documents the life of the man who saved the world. He never considered himself a hero despite the fact that his decicion allowed civilization to continue on this planet. The film shows that Stanislav wasn't a choirboy. He was a flawed human being. He also endured difficulties that defy description considering the magnitude of the act that he performed in the service of humanity.

The name Stanislav Petrov should be etched in the annals of history as an example of people who have saved far more lives than all of the world's despots have destroyed. He saved even more lives than someone like Dr. Norman Borlaug.

Look it up.
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The small man who had changed the world
rege10110 February 2016
The movie is a must see for everybody. The story was indeed extremely personal for me as I have studied with Ann Petrova who is a niece of Stanislav. More to say, she was my first childhood love. We have rarely met with Stanislav himself as he was not much seen in the family but he was quiet and no one NEVER EVER told anything about what had happened with him. Despite the fact he should have been proclaimed a national hero hardly anyone knows about him at all. More to say, whenever the story is being brought up it is being treated as a hoax. It is indeed absolutely great that the story was finally told. The world should remember people like him. After all... we are all here because of him:)
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Everyone should know about this story
phaidon-177725 August 2018
Great filmmaking. Stanislav plays himself making the film even more authentic.
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Compelling true story of near-annihilation
muchiemix20 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This was a well-executed documentary, where the subject was allowed to be "himself" giving us a window into his mind and how he came to that great, untold decision which saved earth from nuclear annihilation.

While watching the documentary; I couldn't help but put myself in his shoes. Petrov saved earth, lost his wife and the army "punished" him for his decision. To make matters worse, he died an angry man because, humanity did not learn anything from Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the 1983 incident.

I highly recommend this TRUE documentary of the greatest man we never knew.
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Just a stunning piece of work
ian-17053 November 2020
I've read the reviews below and just amazed a bad work was said. I assume these people complaining about subtitles and that it was too long and boring prefer the kardashians or some other brainless wonders. The program is about a man that risked his life going against protocol of the USSR military, and literally saved the world. It also shows his life as a human, his wife and her fight with cancer, his family, and the type of person he has become after his life has torn him apart.
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An ordinary man - at the right time and at the right place
saverjan15 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The movie/documentary shows the suspense of the known events, but it also portrays the man at the centre of it all. It doesn't aim to be a cold war thriller - merely the idea that the world came close to annihilation creates a grim suspense around the entire work.

No, the movie aims to show how an ordinary man can act in extra-ordinary circumstances. There is no more telling moment than when Mr Petrov says he was there at the right time, at the right place. Not "the right man", and, by his own account, not a hero. The wish to portray an ordinary man also explains the lengthy (and really very intimate) coverage of his personal experiences and his exchanges with the filmmakers.

It also teaches viewers that ordinary, rational people can come to disastrous outcomes, especially with nuclear weapons on alert. In this respect, it reminded me of "The Fog of War", with Robert McNamara.

The beauty of this piece of cinema is also in the intimate yet "fly on the wall" way it is shot, which gives viewers the feeling of being able to come to their own conclusions of the man and the events (though, clearly, the makers had a strong message). At some stage I even believed he just chickened out of deciding on the attack, though I changed my mind when he was seen to actively lie to his superiors so as not to have them launch a counter-strike. Finally, I was left with the realisation that his decision was the only right one, and it was indeed courageous.

It is a very powerful and educational piece.
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interesting biopic
howboutthisone_huh24 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
IMHO this isn't a documentary about the cold war. It's more of a biopic of someone most people in the US never heard of. Though some of the movie seems to be shot documentary style, some scenes are recreations and some scenes you can't tell which is which. It's also a very odd movie where the star of movie is actually the subject. I don't know of any other film shot like this. If you're looking for a kevin costner type picture, you'll be disappointed. It's also a bit difficult to follow because there's quite a lot of difference between russian and american culture; meaning stuff gets lost in translation. For example, there's a scene where petrov explains that he and he alone made the decision. None of his inferiors would ever question him and his superiors would rather avoid bad news than be faced with the same dilemma. In the end, instead of getting a medal for being correct he was criticized for minor offences. As far as I can remember of those days and russian culture this probably happened as filmed in the movie. You would never see this in an american film but it's a common theme in russian culture. Common man breaks with the soviet system and then gets punished for inexplicable reasons. But, regardless, like most period films of this type they throw in a lot of nuclear explosions to get your attention but really fail to make you understand what it was like living in those times. So whatever genre the movie falls in, it fails at recreating the 80s. Still though, it's a fascinating look at the russian perspective from that time and reminds us of the dangers we face so long as we have nuclear weapons. In the US, I think most people are aware of the cuban missile crisis since it's been covered many, many times by hollywood and the media but I don't think many people are aware just how close we came to war in the 80s just before the collapse of the soviet union. Partly this was because much of it was classified on both sides so the public was never aware until much later. If I had my way I would make every high school in the US require a course on nuclear armament and disarmament because it's one of the greatest dangers for the future. I'd require a list of films to be seen and this would definitely be included for the russian perspective and I'd definitely recommend the old air force minuteman training films.

So personally I found the film fascinating because in 1983 I was working for an aerospace company working on projects related to surveillance. I never heard of this incident and I can't recall when I first heard about it or when I first heard of K19 or the 'red star' submarine but it was probably at least 10 years later. I don't know of any american incidents like these but in 1983 I worked with many former intelligence and military personnel who told stories of the soviets testing american defenses. We probably did some of the same things but no one every talked about such things. For example, it was fairly common for the soviets to open all their silo doors to the missiles along the ICBM belt in russia to test american reaction and they would sometimes launch missiles to test our response. These were the years of ronald rayguns and his delusional star wars program. A lot of people still defend him though if put into full development the star wars program would have bankrupted the country and wouldn't have worked anyway. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and the soviet system imploded. I can say from personal experience, space was an undeclared battlefield at that time. The US thought the russians had developed laser based weapons that they had used already on US satellites and the US was working on kinetic missiles that could attack russian satellites. As far as I know, to this day, neither side has launched missile platforms in space but each side has been working on such projects. Many people forget too that in the late 70s and early 80s there was a plan to build a giant underground racetrack system in nevada that would be invulnerable to attack in response to the soviets ss-20 missiles. The russians had a huge strategic advantage. They could put missiles anywhere they wanted. Though most of their missiles were in the ICBM belt, they could build a missile silo anywhere. Their only concern was the security vulnerability of the site. Put a silo in say kiev, which they did, and it's more likely to be discovered so they came up with the ss-20 that could be moved on the back of tractor trailers and launched from anywhere. It was very difficult to track these mobile missiles. The americans on the other hand couldn't put a missile just anywhere. Everyone wanted defense but no one wanted a missile in their backyard so submarines became and still are our primary line of defense. But the soviets had submarines of their own and so the 80s were a cat and mouse game between the US and the soviets under the oceans. Many people don't realize even today that a missile launced from a submarine off the east coast can hit all the major cities along the eastern seaboard in under 10 minutes. A lot of people in the US think we are protected by ABM systems and they use as evidence the first gulf war. The israelis used an american developed ABM system to defend their cities and settlements against old soviet developed scud missiles and the media during the war claimed they were highly successful but analysis later showed that many of these missiles just failed on their own and the 'patriot' missile defense wasn't nearly as successful as the media claimed. Today, who knows if we are protected or not but Putin has been railing against the US for years for going ahead with plans to put such systems in europe, stating that it would create an imbalance and promote an arms race, which it has. Now many of the nuclear agreements signed after the soviet collapse are being scraped and a new arms race has begun while the media in the US is concentrated on taylor swift's boyfriends. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and we can find a peaceful resolution.
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Walking on a razor edge
dncorp29 December 2018
Since 1961 the U.S. had U.S. Army Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs) with 1.1 Megaton Thermo Nuclear Warheads targeting Moskow from U.S. Army Bases at Italy and Turkey. U.S. Army also had Multi Role, Nike Hercules Missiles with 20 KT Nuclear Warheads as Anti Aircraft, ABM, and Surface to Surface as Short Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs).

1980s I was assigned to the U.S. and NATO Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Europe, I.N.F. Europe. Including doing a similar kind of Nuclear Control Order Duty, that would order the launches of the German and U.S. Pershing Missiles, starting Thermo Nuclear World War 3. Not only are you walking on a razors edge you are juggling a bunch of hollow glass balls.

Was much more serious Worldwide than portrayed, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were at other Nations involved in actual Armed "Conflicts". The U.S.S.R was attempting to get control of Five (5) Nations in a Row, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, to get the U.S. and U.S. Allies out of the Middle East.

U.S. sent Us U.S. Army Special Forces to the Iran Iraq Wars, to assist U.S. Ally Iraq. Like Us leading U.S. Ally Iraqis Combat Units, the U.S.S.R. Spetsnaz and KGB were "Assisting" U.S.S.R. Ally Iran.

U.S. sent Us U.S. Army Special Forces attached to the CIA to Afghanistan as CIA Operation Cyclone to train, arm, lead Pro U.S. Afghans (that became Northern Alliance since 1990 fighting the Taliban) and kill as many U.S.S.R. 40th Army and Pro U.S.S.R. Afghan Military (that 1989 became the Taliban) as possible creating "Unacceptable Losses" for the U.S.S.R..

December 1982 U.S. started to prepare for Able Archer 1983, the U.S.S.R. Warsaw Pact Nation of East Germany Intelligence, Stasi East German Spies had infiltrated the Federal Republic of West Germany's Bundeswehr U.S. Pershing 1 Command and Control Center and most of NATO posing as West German Bundeswehr Officers, Stasi East German Intelligence was reporting to the U.S.S.R. that the U.S. and NATO were planning a First Strike Nuclear Attack against the U.S.S.R. from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Europe, flight time to Moskow less than 5 minutes. The location that Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov was at as U.S.S.R. Command and Control, Early Warning, was definitely targeted by one or more West German Pershing 1a and or U.S. Pershing 2. In response the U.S.S.R. moved their Mobile Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles from the U.S.S.R. into Warsaw Pact Nations bordering NATO Nations. A Stasi East German Spy finally convinced the U.S.S.R. that NATO's Nuclear Capabilities were Defensive, not what the U.S.S.R Intelligence believed that NATO's Nuclear Capabilities were Offensive First Strike (Attack) Weapons targeting the U.S.S.R. and Warsaw Pact Nations. After the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and Warsaw Pact Nations, the Reunified Federal Republic of Germany Government released the Stasi East German Intelligence Agencies Files, revealing how close, 1982, the U.S.S.R. was to doing a Pre Emptive Nuclear Attack against the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Europe before Able Archer 1983.

After participating with the Iran Iraq Wars, and CIA Operation Cyclone, I returned to the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Europe.

The U.S. and U.S.S.R. were already nearly at War, when this September 26, 1983 U.S.S.R. Incident happened.

So thankful that the U.S. did not treat Us like U.S.S.R. Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov.

Much later after the Fall of the U.S.S.R. and the creation of the Russian Federation, I met my Counterpart, he also was of the U.S.S.R.'s Strategic Rocket Forces like I was of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Europe and switched to Special Forces. He never admitted that his Special Forces, U.S.S.R. Spetsnaz, were hunting Us at both the Iran Iraq Wars, and CIA Operation Cyclone (was in his U.S. Intelligence file), U.S.S.R. Spetsnaz Sniper shot and nearly killed one of my Lieutenants.

We talked about lots of things still not for Public Information.

U.S. Informal Declaration of Thermo Nuclear World War 3 from his knowledge of U.S. putting Pershing IRBMs in the upright launch mode, my guess was he wanted me to confirm that happened, I did not.

He mocked me for being only the Rank/Grade Officer I was, and he was a General.

U.S. needs to give him some kind of Medal, Award, with some kind of money, pension attached. United Nations must award him some kind of money also. Nobel Committee Nobel Peace Prize that does have money attached so that he doesn't have to live like as depicted in this movie.
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Powerful, emotional, thanks Stanislav
jimbobyarm27 August 2020
An amazing film about an amazing man without whom none of us would be here today.
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A disgraceful documentary.
s-maniatopoulos3 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Here is a film so self-referential that it repeats the tragedy of its unsung hero's life: it presents a true story about how the world as we know it came seconds away from destruction, but was saved by the protagonist's courageous and audacious decisions, simply because he understood the flaws of the system and the impact that bureaucracy and protocol would bring to our world. However, this most incredible true story is shot by a director who seems not to understand the importance of these decisions, and instead wishes to focus on this man's family, the loss of his wife and the falling out with his mother. As a result, the director seems more focused on "documentary" protocol than the essence of the real story, and ends up behaving like the USSR General who called the "man who saved the world" in his office not to congratulate him, but to tell him off because he had not updated the unit's daily logs. In the end, this documentary fails its protagonist, it fails the viewing public that does not get a thorough presentation of the balance of the events during that period of the Cold War, it fails history fans because it does not deliver a narration of a most incredible event (in a way, even more important than the Cuban Missile Crisis) and ultimately it fails its purpose of existence, replacing it with some uninspired shots of a Russian man's trip to the USA. This is a film that needs to be reshot entirely by a different director, one who can grasp the importance of the main story and can deliver the story of the "man who saved the world" instead of some weird hybrid between historical documovie and reality tv trash that end up offending and violating the privacy of the people involved in these incredible events.
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A tortured soul
pietclausen26 December 2018
Pity that this important event was so poorly presented in this documentary. It was so garbled up that I doubt that many people will bother to look at it and learn from it. Stanislav Petrov's action was not kindly looked upon by his superiors and he became a displaced and forgotten person afterwards.

This is the second time that a Russian military man has saved the world. Two decades earlier during the Cuban crisis, a nuclear submariner was ordered to use its weaponry to break the American blockage from stopping Russian ships reaching Cuba to deliver an arsenal of nuclear missiles. He refused to do so and after some tense days, the Kremlin backed down and the crisis was averted. The known hero of that day was President J F Kennedy.

Stanislav Petrov, the unsung hero of this documentary said a nuclear disaster will happen someday. This tortured soul will fortunately not experience it. He died in 2017 aged 77.

This documentary only gets my rating of 4 for its poor presentation, but the story behind it is worth a solid 10.
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Really boring
plop7211 December 2015
Well... Yes, I lived through the cold war. And yes, war was painfully close a couple of times. And there are some good movies made about the time period. Thirteen Days being one of the best (Cuban Missile Crisis). This has nothing to do with that. This is not even close. So if you are expecting some exciting movie like that, look elsewhere. This is a documentary about a Russian military man that prevented nuclear retaliation based on false intelligence. He 'did not push The Button'. Nothing more, nothing less. It's no small feat, don't get me wrong. But this is no exciting Hollywood thriller either. It's boring basically.
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A Borefest
arfdawg-16 August 2015
The Plot/

Few people know of him.

Yet hundreds of millions of people are alive because of him.

The actions of Stanislav Petrov, a retired Soviet military officer, prevented the start of a worldwide nuclear war and the devastation of much of the Earth.

I am shocked at the good reviews here on IMDb and am convinced most of them are from clowns who worked on the movie.

This film is dull, lifeless and boring.

It's really a 20 minute TV show stretched out to 105 minute that will put you to sleep. There is no drama or tension. And you already know the ending. Zzzzzzzzzz.

You are warned.
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