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Bedford Incident (import)

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: 4.00
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Bedford Incident (import) + Fail Safe [DVD] [1964] [2007] + On The Beach [DVD]
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Product details

  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 286,458 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great performance, good film 7 Aug 2004
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
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, it's a lot of work being a mean bastard. 9 Feb 2011
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Cold War Adventure 30 Jun 2012
In this very good underrated cold war thriller Richard Widmark does a great performance as a mean captain who is obsessed in finding a Soviet submarine and their is also a terrific supporting cast, including Sidney Poitier, Martin Balsam, Eric Portman, James MacArthur and Wally Cox. But I have to say Martin Balsam does the best performance for me as the commander and his performance is great towards the end when he shows his anger towards the nasty Richard Widmark and I do think Martin Balsam should have been nominated for an oscar for best supporting actor, which he did win an oscar that year for "A thousand clowns". I also think Richard Widmark should have been nominated for an oscar for his very good lead performance and his acting chemistry between the great Sidney Poitier is entertaining to watch and this was their third and final movie together, which their other films together were "No way out" and "The long ships" and they were very good friends in real life. Sidney Poitier also does an impressive performance as a jornalist who wants to know whats going on in Richard Widmark's ship and a older looking Eric Portman is very good as a german commander. James MacArthur and Wally Cox are also very good when they are on the spotlight and a young Donald Sutherland has a early small role in the beginning of the film as hospitalman nerny. The ending of the film is shocking but powerful to watch and I was not expecting the ending to happen the way it did and it's one of those movies which you will be on the edge of your seat throughout the film. The black and white cinematography suits the film very well and it has a dark and claustrophobic look to it and if you have not seen this classic movie then it well worth buying and I would give it 8/10. Another great cold war movie to watch with Richard Widmark is "Twillights last gleaming" which is another underrated great.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Tense and exciting
Published 9 hours ago by IAN DORAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Borderline
Cat & mouse in the Cold War. Perhaps, since it's a naval yarn, that ought to be seal & sardine? It's a very difficult film to rate, either way. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr M.R.Watkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars great value for money
this is a great film , building up my oldies collection not many places to get them from glad I looked on amazon. Great condition too.
Published 5 months ago by Heather D.
4.0 out of 5 stars Widmark at His Best
Not bad for a film that's a few decades old. Black and white is perfect for any film about the Cold War, I think.

Richard Widmark is at his cold and cunning best.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Neil Stretton
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nearly Might Have Been ....
Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier star in this increasingly tense cold war drama that takes a turn for the very worst when Richard Widmark's 'Captain Finlander' exerts too much... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Vic
5.0 out of 5 stars Bunker mentality...
I was actually reminded of some aspects of Dr Strangelove, but without anything played for laughs.

It's a pretty perceptive portrayal of a small self contained group of... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mr. S. Crook
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bedford incident - the movie
In the days of the Cold War, an American destroyer, the USS Bedford, is stalking a Soviet submarine in the Arctic. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Dr. H. A. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting mutation of "Moby Dick" - an exceptionnal man obsessed...
This is a very curious, sometimes even strange, but quite good film adapted from a novel which mixed Cold War obsessions with "Moby Dick" theme. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by Maciej
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cold-War Classic
`The Bedford Incident' is a great, suspenseful piece from the good old, bad old days of cold-war paranoia. Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2011 by Seatinthestalls
5.0 out of 5 stars the bedford incident
a very good film a must watch in my mind recomend this film to all
Published on 15 Aug 2010 by andrew dick
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