Renowned film-noir director Sidney Lumet turns his skills to nuclear threat.
Filmed - as all good cold-war films should be - in B&W, It's about infallible systems going haywire and launching an allied attack on Russia. Purists may reasonably argue about military incongruities, but the tension racks-up very nicely indeed. Walter Matthau turns in his usual top-drawer performance as a cynical military adviser, whist Henry Fonda, as US President, does the moral man in crisis to perfection. He always does. Dan O'Herlihy also shines as a cautious General Black. Supporting cast is solid. There's a decent script, some frisky exchanges, and great ambience. Sets are solid, and other technical issues are up to snuff. Just occasionally does the editing seem a bit heavy-handed.
My only gripe is with an opening dream sequence in the form of a bullfight, and some rather pointless social dalliance involving a dinner party and failed seduction. They rather squander the first 12 minutes.
The Amazon DVD supplied was unrestored but still satisfactory. Sound is mono, aspect ratio is 1.85:1, run time is stated at 107 minutes. Rating is PG. Extras include a commentary from Sidney Lumet which I've yet to watch.
At the time of writing, the price is quoted as £2.99, making it good value. Despite the fake military issues, it is an excellent historical presentation of the nightmare scenario that terrified people back then.