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Fail-Safe (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 1965 (UK)
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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?

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Walter Bernstein (screenplay), Eugene Burdick (from the novel by) | 1 more credit »
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan O'Herlihy ... Gen. Black
Walter Matthau ... Dr. Groeteschele
Frank Overton ... Gen. Bogan
Edward Binns ... Col. Grady (as Ed Binns)
Fritz Weaver ... Col. Cascio
Henry Fonda ... The President
Larry Hagman ... Buck
William Hansen William Hansen ... Secretary Swenson
Russell Hardie ... Gen. Stark (as Russell Hardy)
Russell Collins ... Knapp
Sorrell Booke ... Congressman Raskob
Nancy Berg Nancy Berg ... Ilsa Wolfe
John Connell ... Thomas
Frank Simpson Frank Simpson ... Sullivan
Hildy Parks ... 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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1965 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Fail Safe See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Dana Elcar. See more »

Goofs

Some of the Officers are wearing their caps indoors. Air Force Officers and Airmen do not wear their caps indoors except when wearing side arms. See more »

Quotes

The President: How did you get to be a translator, Buck? You don't seem the academic type.
Buck: [nervously] I guess I have a talent for languages, sir. I hear a language once I pick it right up. I don't even know how. They found out about it in the Army.
The President: You sound sorry they did.
Buck: No, sir. It's a very interesting job.
[pauses]
Buck: That is, most of the time.
The President: Well, you did a good job today, Buck.
Buck: Thank you, sir. All I did was repeat what he said.
The President: You didn't freeze up. Another man might have.
Buck: You're the one who didn't, sir.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

introducing Fritz Weaver See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cheers: Bar Wars III: The Return of Tecumseh (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Henry Fonda's political career
13 April 2002 | by schappe1See all my reviews

Four great films of the early 60's are good looks at the political concerns of the era, most of which are still with us. Advise and Consent, (1962), shows the machinations in Congress when Henry Fonda is nominated for Secretary of State. He eventually has to withdraw his nomination. The Best Man has Henry, who is now Secretary of State, running for President. We get to see the political machinations of a party convention. Henry again withdraws his nomination. Seven Days in May has General Burt Lancaster trying to take over the country as we see the machinations of the Pentagon. Somehow Henry isn't in this one but Frederic March fills in admirably as the President. Henry gets to be President, however, in Fail Safe.

All are excellent films and would make quite a good marathon if you like to visit the video store to put on your own little films festival,. as I do. I just have one question: how does Henry get all these jobs without anybody's permission?


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