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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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Writers:

(screenplay), (from the novel by) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Colonel Grady (as Ed Binns)
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Colonel Cascio
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William Hansen ...
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General Stark (as Russell Hardy)
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Nancy Berg ...
Ilsa Wolfe
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Thomas
Frank Simpson ...
Sullivan
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Betty Black
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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:

It will have you sitting on the brink of eternity! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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

The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau; and one Oscar nominee: Dan O'Herlihy. See more »

Goofs

When the pilot is talking to a member of his crew and playing pool he clearly hits a striped ball with the cue, using it instead of the cue ball See more »

Quotes

Prof. Groeteschele: [after recommending an unprovoked attack by the U.S. on Moscow] And the Lord said, gentlemen, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."
See more »

Crazy Credits

The sounds of a bullfight crowd is heard in reference to Black's matador dream. Then, the squeal of the Russian ambassador's melted phone which the President stated would be heard when New York City was bombed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Sum of All Fears (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
the only WWIII movie you need to see
16 August 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

When people talk about a 1964 cold war movie, they're usually referring to Dr. Strangelove. Meanwhile, this intense, nerve-wracking, cleverly written masterpiece has remained largely under-appreciated.

One way to create a powerful drama is to make it feel as real as possible to the audience, and Fail-Safe succeeds marvelously at it. The order of the day on this film shoot must have been 'stark realism'. This agenda manifests itself most effectively in the vivid dream sequence that opens the film, but also in the terse intertitles indicating time and place, in the very contrasty (yes, I made that word up) black-and-white cinematography, in the absence of any musical scoring, and in the solid, unfussy performances by the actors (Henry Fonda and Larry Hagman deserve special mention). Oh yeah, and it's really suspenseful. The devastating ending gave me shivers.

Kudos to director Sidney Lumet, for his uncompromising and artistically daring vision.


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