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Fail-Safe (1964)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller | 15 January 1965 (Finland)
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?

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(screenplay), (from the novel by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Colonel Grady (as Ed Binns)
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William Hansen ...
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General Stark (as Russell Hardy)
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Nancy Berg ...
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Frank Simpson ...
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Storyline

A series of human and computer errors sends a squadron of American 'Vindicator' bombers to nuke Moscow. The President, in order to convince the Soviets that this is a mistake, orders the Strategic Air Command to help the Soviets stop them. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen zeros in on the most suspenseful adventure drama of our age! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1965 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Fail Safe  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some reference works (eg Colonna Sonora) credit Hal Schaefer as composer of the music score. In fact, the Columbia record division did issue his five minute Fail Safe suite on a 7-inch disc in 1964 (Colpix Records CP 751) with the film promoted on the actual label: FAIL SAFE - A Columbia Pictures Release. Schaefer's music, performed by the Hal Schaefer Quintet, was a somewhat nervous and dissonant jazz work, fairly appropriate to the film's content. However, director Lumet decided to release the film with no background score, so Schaefer's music only exists on the promotional disc. See more »

Goofs

When the fighters count down to light off their afterburners to try to catch up with the bombers, the shot where they light off their afterburners is actually a shot of the fighters launching missiles as you can see the missiles streak ahead of the fighters. See more »

Quotes

Defense Secretary Swenson: General Stark, are there any papers or documents in New York which are absolutely essential to the running of the United States? General Stark?
Gen. Stark: No sir. There are important documents, but none of them absolutely essential.
Admiral Wilcox: Will there be any warning given? A lot of lives could be saved if people had a few minutes.
Defense Secretary Swenson: On this short notice, an alert to a big city would do more harm than good. It only produces panic.
Admiral Wilcox: What about this?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

introducing Fritz Weaver See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Walker (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the very best movies ever made.
5 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just bought a copy of this movie after hemming and hawing for several years. I have both read the book and seen the film several times.

This is without a doubt one of the very best motion pictures ever made. The cast is exceptional and features actors that went on to be type cast as either comic or hack, Dom De-louis, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman, in some unbelievably well done dramatic parts.

Along with Henry Fonda as the most realistic president ever put to film, The entire cast is magnificent.

Just as an aside try getting both this film and Kubricks Dr. Strangelove and watch the both. Fail Safe first the Strange Love and enjoy the juxtaposition. Basically the same story, but with a wildly divergent take on the situation.

Get some popcorn and enjoy.

Btw: 1. FAIL SAFE is a very intense film. watch it early in the evening.

2. Dr Strangelove is a comic masterpiece but pails in comparison.

3. Read the book of FAIL SAFE as well. It will chill your soul.


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