Fail-Safe (1964)

FAIL-SAFE (1964)
Article #606 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 11-11-2002
Posting date: 4-7-2003

An accident sends several American planes to Russia to bomb Moscow with atomic bombs. The president and the military try to prevent the planes from reaching their destination.

This movie has a few small problems; it starts out rather slow and gets a little preachy before it’s all through. However, its worst problem didn’t have anything to do with the movie itself; it came out just about the same time as Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant DR. STRANGELOVE, and though that was a comedy and this one is a straight drama, so many of the plot elements are so similar that it is hard to watch this movie and not find yourself constantly being reminded of the other movie. This is a bit of a shame, as this movie is worthwhile on its own merit, with fine performances throughout and building up to an excellent climax. There are many familiar faces to be found here, including Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Fritz Weaver (his big screen debut), and a young Dom Deluise; it’s interesting that two actors primarily known for their comic roles appear in this serious movie.

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