I so loved this movie, I had to go to England to buy it.
Amazingly, this movie is NOT AVAILABLE in the United States. This is hard to believe, considering the fact that it was made and broadcast live over here.
The casting of this remake is exceptional. Richard Dreyfuss takes on the role of the President, the role held by Henry Fonda in the original. If this was a conventional "flim" movie, I am sure he would have recieved an Oscar for his performance. The sheer power is incredible. During one sequence, you can see the pulsing of the veins on his forehead, showing the sheer tension he is protraying. And the sweat he wipes off of his brow is very real, not makeup as is normal for movies.
Brian Dennehy as the General is a perfect choice, showing both the paranoia of career officers, and at the same time doing what he feels he must do to protect his Nation. He even tried hard to prove the attack is a mistake, and to help the U.S.S.R. to bring down the errant bombers.
This is a very powerful remake of a classic. The fact that it was shot Live and in Black & White adds to the impact. There are even a few mistakes in it ("Creme de le crop" instead of "creme de le creme" OR "Cream of the crop" is the biggest example). But they are overall very minor, and only help to show that it was performed LIVE, with all of the actors walking that ultimate of high-wires.
I hope that someday this movie will be available in the US, so more of us over here can enjoy it again and again. But until then, my copy holds a prominant role in my DVD collection.