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Bedford Incident [DVD] [1965] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Bedford Incident [DVD] [1965] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Fail Safe [DVD] [1964] [2007] + On The Beach [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur, Martin Balsam, Wally Cox
  • Directors: James B. Harris
  • Writers: James Poe, Mark Rascovich
  • Producers: Richard Widmark, James B. Harris, Denis O'Dell
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AMRUP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,903 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon on 7 Aug 2004
Format: DVD
Similar to some other films of the cold war genre ("Seven Days in May", "Fail-Safe"), this has a decidedly anti-war/anti-military slant, where in this case the two people who are most "in control" are a journalist, played by Sidney Poitier, and an ex-Nazi naval commander (well played by Eric Portman).
This is Richard Widmark's show though, who with his craggy looks and fierce eyes makes the most of his part as Eric Finlander, captain of the U.S.S. Bedford, patrolling the icy waters of the North Atlantic, looking for Soviet submarines. Finlander is a loose cannon, bypassed for promotion, and irrationally hard on his crew.
Others in the cast of note are James MacArthur, very good as a young ensign, Martin Balsam as the ship's doctor, Wally Cox, Michael Kane, and in a small part, Donald Sutherland, recognizable more by his unique voice than his face.
The sound is fantastic; from the first few minutes, with its combination of excellent modernistic score by Gerard Schurmann, howling wind, and circling helicopter, it captures one's attention, and keeps the tension going in this fine sea thriller. It also has some stylish b&w cinematography by Gilbert Taylor, with terrific contrast of light and shadow.
Entertaining and well paced, with every minute of Widmark's screen time riveting, this taut drama is well worth spending 102 minutes of your time on.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 4 Jan 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A thoroughly enjoyable and gripping cold war drama. American Destroyer Captain Eric Finlander is obsessed with finding Russian submarines in territorial waters. He is undoubtedly very good at his job and tactically brilliant, but passed over for promotion and with outspoken hardline views is he really the sort of person for handling such a delicate task? Reporter Ben Munceford is not too sure, especially given the ship's recordfor transfers and sickleave. He wonders if the crew are not all dangerously driven, and wangles a few days `observing' on the ship in the hope of getting a story.

The tension soon mounts when Finlander gets on the scent of a red submarine and gives chase. A game of cat and mouse ensues which builds to a thrilling climax as Finlander pushes his crew to the limits of physical and mental endurance.

The film is well directed, but it is so filled with quality actors that a good film was guaranteed, no matter who was directing. Richard Widmark dominates as Finlander, portraying a hardnosed and driven man, but not without a human side. Sidney Poitier puts in another great turn as the concerned Munceford, observing, questioning and concerned. Eric Portman steals every scene he is in as the ex Nazi sub commander on board to advise Finlander as to sub tactics. Great actors, great performances. All in all it makes a gripping and tense film whose 98 min runtime just zips by.

This 2004 Columbia release is pretty good. The black and white print has a good transfer and has little or no defects. The soundtrack is mono only, and again is in good shape. The picture is in 1:1.85 widescreen. There are no extras. A very acceptable presentation of a corking good thriller. Four stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Feb 2011
Format: DVD
The Bedford Incident is directed by James B. Harris and is adapted by James Poe from the 1963 book by Mark Rascovich. It stars Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier, with Widmark co-producing. The cast also features James McArthur, Martin Balsam, Wally Cox and Eric Portman, as well as early appearances by Donald Sutherland and Ed Bishop.

The story is set during the Cold War and focuses on the captain and crew of the USS Bedford as it patrols the North Atlantic waters for Russian submarine activities. Capt. Eric Findlander (Widmark) is a tough authoritarian figure who drives his crew hard and keeps them ever ready for any sort of incidents that may arise. They respond loyally to his ethics, this is a crew where nobody ever goes on sick call such is the hard approach instilled in them by their captain. Two newcomers have boarded the ship by helicopter: Ben Munceford (Poitier), a liberal newspaper journalist, assigned to write a story about the Bedford and its grizzled captain and a ship's doctor, Lieut. Comdr. Chester Potter (Balsam), a reserve officer who has volunteered for active duty. Both men are quickly disliked by Findlander, he sees their being there as intrusive and upsetting the tough equilibrium of his ship. When a Russian sub is spotted unlawfully in Greenland's territorial icy waters, Finlander stalks it ready to take action. But the top brass doesn't want a perilous situation arising between the two nuclear powered ships and orders Finlander to sit tight, something he is unable to comprehend and intends to do things his own way. With his hard driven crew at breaking point, this could turn into a catastrophic incident........
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P Bowen-Miller on 19 Aug 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Directed by James Harris, Stanley Kubricks long time producer, this is an excellent thriller. Richard Widmark stars as the hawkish C.O. of a US Navy ship on patrol in the North Atlantic, who plays cat and mouse with a Russian sub, all the while goaded on by Eric Portmans visiting German Commodore, a former Nazi U Boat Commander. Widmark is particulary hard on a young Ensign, played by James MacArthur, and this ultimatley leads to the shock ending, which certainly made me jump the first time I saw it! Highly recommended.
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