The aircraft streaks on its way to its target and the paranoia and tension begin to build. This is the classic "What If" movie and remains credible to the very end including the shattering climax to the film.
Chilling, and when set in the context of the Cold War, utterly plausible. All the cast give magnificent performances and the production values are plain to see. This is an example of movie making at its finest and the understated 'documentary' style of the film underlines the performances of the cast.
This is truly one of the best films ever made.
What if the recall signal was jammed?
We are now faced with many questions that move from the theoretical.
Is it a trick?
Will the Ruskies believe it is an accident?
Should we take the first strike initiative?
Is mutual destruction assured?
In today's world it is easy and common place to imagine some artificial intelligence that we have ceded authority to taking over for malevolent or even levolent purposes. We have every type of movie from "2001" (1968) with the HAL 9000 to "The Forbin project" (1970) with Colossus.
This film however is a lot spookier because it is played out with what looks like could be a real scenario. It also looks like it could have been a play as the action is mostly dialog that takes place in two rooms and the interior of a strategic bomber. It has a claustrophobic feel with the black and white with odd placed lighting.
There are many fine actors in this film. One surprisingly strong performance was by Larry Hagman as Buck the interpreter for the President. The survival of the world hinged on his facial expressions as he had to interpret not just the words but the attitude of the Soviet Premier.
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