The Bedford Incident (1965)

Article 1916 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-13-2006
Posting Date: 11-10-2006
Directed by James B. Harris
Featuring Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur

The fanatical captain of an American Destroyer discovers a Russian submarine in U.S. territorial waters, and he drives his crew to the brink in his hope of catching it.

What’s the fantastic content of this tense, cold-war thriller? Well, if you consider the time when the movie was made, and if you consider that I’ve already covered movies like FAIL-SAFE and DR. STRANGELOVE for this series, you should have a strong idea of what that content will be. Still, since I’ve covered a few movies for this series that didn’t qualify (to my mind) as belonging even marginally to the genres under discussion, I think I can leave you with enough to doubt as to what happens if you haven’t seen the movie. Suffice it to say that any fantastic content here will not manifest itself until the very end of the movie.

Still, this movie is worth catching whether you know the ending or not. It’s tense and gripping, full of fascinating characters, and exquisitely acted by everyone. The excellent cast includes Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur (who I mostly remember for his supporting role in “Hawaii Five-O), Martin Balsam, Wally Cox, Eric Portman, and a young Donald Sutherland. Watching the interplay of the characters is particularly interesting here, and I’m quite impressed that they were even able to squeeze a little humor into the situation as well. This one is definitely recommended.


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