7.4/10
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92 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:

, (as Martin A. Pasetta Jr.)

Writers:

(novel), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Himself - Host
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Gen. Bogan
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Col. Cascio
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Gen. Stark (as William Smitrovich)
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Lt. Jimmy Pierce
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Mrs. Johnson
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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:

Language:

Release Date:

9 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zona de seguridad  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was performed on live television in black and white and required two sound stages on the Warner Brothers studio lot. Harvey Keitel had to run between the two stages for some of his scenes. See more »

Goofs

General Bogan refers to the enlisted missile technician as "Sergeant Collins" even though he is clearly wearing the stripes of a Chief Master Sergeant. In the A.F. a Chief Master Sergeant is always referred to as "Chief" and never as "Sergeant". See more »

Quotes

Gordon Knapp: If you pile all these electronic systems one on top of the other, sooner or later you're going to get a faulty transistor or a damaged rectifier, and then the whole thing just shuts down. Even computers suffer fatigue. They become erratic, they break down, just like overworked people.
Prof. Groeteschele: Excuse me, but you're overlooking one important factor: Humans control those machines. Humans can see an error and correct it.
Gordon Knapp: I'm sorry, sir, but you are misinformed. The fact of the matter is that these machines...
See more »

Connections

References My Fair Lady (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exceptional Drama, Great TV
9 April 2000 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

I only heard about this program a day before it aired, and I am very glad I did. The acting was absolutely amazing all around. There was not a single performer who didn't rise to the occasion in this picture. It is all the more amazing since it was performed live on national television. Particularly strong were Richard Dreyfuss, Harvey Keitel, and Hank Azaria, but it is difficult to break away any actors from the strong ensemble.

The whole effect of the production very well captures the sense of a Cold War drama. From the set design, costumes, performances, direction, and the choice to air in black and white, the atmosphere is as much a player in "Fail Safe" as the actors. One really gets the feeling that they are watching a 1950's era live broadcast.

I must say, that I knew nothing of the original story or film, and I really feel I benefited from that. The story is amazingly suspenseful. I did not know the ending going in, and I won't ruin it for you either. Just trust me that it is unquestionably the best way to view this picture. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the film and was honestly moved by the ending. The script is excellent, and the story even better. While it is clearly a cautionary tale of nuclear war, it never tries to beat its purpose into the viewer. It lets the story tell the story, which is always the best.

If you missed the live broadcast, be on the look-out for a re-broadcast. This is a real accomplishment from CBS, and its a shame that it was not more widely promoted.


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