Fail-safe

Fail-safe

DVD - 2000
Average Rating:
11
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A computer malfunction causes nuclear-equipped American bombers to destroy Moscow and the president of the United States has to take terrible measures to appease the Soviets and prevent all-out nuclear war.
Publisher: [Culver City, Calif.] : Columbia TriStar Home Video, [2000]
Edition: Special edition
Copyright Date: ♭2000
ISBN: 9780767854993
0767854993
Branch Call Number: DVD FAIL-SA
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (approximately 112 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in

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s
swyckl
Aug 11, 2017

I liked this movie. Everyone should watch this movie. It was well done. Warlike Trump should watch this movie.

o
Onewhoissaved
Jun 25, 2017

Fail Safe was a 1962 novel presenting a very believable scenario where a nuclear war occurs as the result of not just technological problems but even worse the planning of human beings to cause such a war. I remember reading the book in 1962 and it was meaningful to a high-school kid. Then the movie came out in 1964 and that scared all the people who couldn't read and all the people who had chosen not to read the book. There are some good acting performances here. Today, we have again the possibility that the maniacs in North Korea will bring us to the use of nuclear bombs, something we haven't done since 1945. Haven't we put ourselves into a fine pickle!

a
akirakato
Mar 31, 2016

This is a 1964 disaster drama directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the novel by Eugene Burdick & Harvey Wheeler.
It depicts how Cold War tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States lead to an accidental thermonuclear first strike.
An error sends a group of US bombers to bomb Moscow.
The US President struggles to find a resolution that will stop the Soviet Union from launching a counterattack.
If he fails, an all-out nuclear holocaust will be unavoidable.
He offers to sacrifice an American target to appease the Soviets, and he orders an American bomber towards New York City.
The President's advisers in the Pentagon discover that the First Lady is visiting New York City.
It is a really edge-at-your-seat thriller that makes you thrilled to death.

r
RobSW
Nov 25, 2015

Highly forgettable.

n
Nursebob
Dec 12, 2014

When a computer glitch accidentally sends six American fighter jets into Russian air space with a nuclear payload bound for Moscow a desperate round of telephone negotiations begin between the president (a deadly serious Henry Fonda) and the Soviet premier. Unable to recall the squadron both men must find a way to prevent them from reaching their target or else face the spectre of WWIII…a nuclear holocaust in which no one will emerge victorious. With time running out and war hawks on both sides itching for a confrontation (Walter Matthau as a pathological pentagon advisor with a taste for commie blood is the very embodiment of Eden’s serpent) it isn’t long before fear and ingrained nationalism begin to take their toll on those gathered in their underground bunkers. And then the president and his Soviet counterpart begin to ponder the unthinkable… If the plot bears more than a passing resemblance to Dr. Strangelove it is not by accident. Both films were released by Columbia in 1964 and both were filmed in much the same style; tight claustrophobic camera shots, grim B&W cinematography, and an idealized War Room dominated by a computerized map on which the fate of the world is played out like a game of PONG. But whereas Kubrick chose to mock atomic paranoia with mordant satire, Sidney Lumet exaggerates it then uses it as a podium from which to deliver a fiery sermon on the insanity of nuclear stockpiling….Fonda’s harsh condemnation directed at both the White House and Kremlin are clearly aimed at the audience instead. Some overly dramatic background drama notwithstanding, this is a tense and unrelenting Cold War horror film with a stellar cast and a pervasive sense of doom that has barely dimmed in fifty years.

l
lukasevansherman
Nov 10, 2013

It's like "Dr. Strangelove" if it weren't funny or dark.

p
pinky0203
Feb 23, 2013

A Classic about how much things change and yet are the same.

tradlibn Feb 06, 2013

This was a great Cold War movie (made in 1964). During a routine military procedure, communication is scrambled to a jet carrying nuclear weapons, leaving the pilot and crew believing they are supposed to bomb Moscow. The president (played by Henry Fonda) is alerted and he must communicate with the Russian leader, with the help of his translator (Larry Hagman). The action switches back and forth between the president, military personnel in command centers and the crew of the plane. Walter Matthau plays a cold professor who advocates taking advantage of the situation. A gripping drama of "what if"?

b
bstudent
May 07, 2012

drama - old school drama - black - white

a
AtomicFez
Aug 21, 2011

If you thought that "Dr. Strangelove (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb)" wasn't a documentary but a comedy, this is the film for you.

Basically the same story (and nearly identical characters for that matter), this version is all drama. Despite the declaration at the end of the film, nearly all of the details are accurate and completely possible in the early-'60s: response times, procedures, flight patterns, the lot. There *is* no "hot phone" and never was, there was never a 'Doomsday Machine' or programme that followed that policy, and there is also no 'War Room' and never has been either. That said, the rest is only about 1/3 of the scary reality of the matter. Head to the special features on the DVD or Blu-Ray versions of "Dr. Strangelove" for details of the Mutually Assured Destruction policy and weapons development programme, as well as confirmation of nearly everything you see in both that film and this one.

I like this film a great deal, as the characters are more than simply people filling roles in a story, they're fleshed-out and complicated individuals, with real lives and complexities. While that ought to always be the case, in a film like this it is so very easy to simply present the crisis and to simply make it the principle feature of the story, ignoring the people whom the crisis is effecting.

Dig this out if possible. A damned fine warning about what might have happened, and a good example of why everyone was so panic-stricken during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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