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Fail Safe

3.9 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Fail Safe (DVD)

Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Hank Azaria, Doris Belack, Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Brian Dennehy
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Producers: Tom Park
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NTPG7K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,936 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fail Safe" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As someone who grew up in the shadow of the Cold War, this movie has always intrigued me. A truly scary premise especially now that the machines have taken over (sorry, that's a Cyberdyne joke).

This made-for-TV remake was broadcast live in 2000 and I was most impressed. I am a technical flaw-spotting fiend and I only spotted one glitch - I'll let you find it.

The plot is already explained so I'll address the cast - well chosen, and the production values - top-notch. Live TV is most unforgiving and this was pulled-off in good fashion.

Sadly this scenario has been supplanted by terrorism but nevertheless, for those who recall the truly excellent 1964 version, this modern take still manages to grip you with suspense. Once I finish this review I am ordering a copy. You should do the same.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Fail Safe" is a story of a Cold War turned hot as the result of a simple technological glitch. A very minor equipment failure accidentally triggers Armageddon, as the United States' automatic nuclear deterrent systems set in motion events that, once activated, cannot be undone. The star-studded cast gives chilling, edge-of-your-seat performances as the world rushes to avoid worldwide nuclear holocaust.

The first few minutes of "Fail Safe" appear to be slow and mundane, but the pace soon quickens to breakneck speed. Don't look away, don't blink, don't even wipe away your tears; you'll want to watch every moment of this tale. And then brace yourself for the jaw-droppingly shocking ending! This film is a must-see for every movie buff and cinephile out there! Fantastic!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have both the 1964 movie and the 2000 made-for-tv on separate DVDs. Both are great productions, if for different reasons. The original movie was made during the Cold War, and hence, may be more dramatic for those that lived it. The made-for-tv version adds the intensity of a live production and more modern production techniques. I can't say, in my mind, that one is better than the other, they are just different. The actors and crew in both versions created a compelling production with thought provocating consequences. Buy one, buy both, either is worth the experience.
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Format: DVD
Good remake. I think what's remarkable about this version is that it was done LIVE twice on the same day (once each for the West Coast & East Coast). What really would have been COOL, Attention WARNER BROS HOME VIDEO, is if BOTH perforamnces would have been put on the DVD. In fact, I would have gladly paid more for a 2 DVD set containing BOTH performances. Warners, please reissue this DVD, and include BOTH performances of Failsafe. Thank you. P.S. Failsafe made it to T.V. in 2000, months before 9/11. Had the airing been scheduled after 9/11, it never would have made it to T.V. The dialog regarding New York would have been deemed way to harsh, and I would have agreed with this.
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Format: DVD
Recreates the look and feel of live B&W television, back in the day, beautifully. As if there was a extra high quality episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents produced live in 1960. But in fact, it actually is live television. Which made it all the more impressive and interesting to me. I watched it live years ago and enjoyed it even more this time, without all the commercials. The atmosphere has a certain tension which I found to be fascinating. Bare in mind that this is nothing like a movie. It's like a stage play, but spread out over a large television studio with several separate sets. Nobody gets 19 takes to get it down perfectly. The overall effect will appeal to serious drama fans in particular I think. I can't stop myself from giving it one extra star for sheer originality. Fine performances, dialog, and pace. A unique and entertaining film. I don't know of anything else remotely like it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I ordered this DVD I expected a movie production. I don't know where I got that impression but when I watched the opening credits I remember feeling disappointed, cheated almost to the point of stopping the DVD. I am glad I didn't. It took a few minutes for me to adjust to the medium in which I was experiencing art. I am old enough to remember Studio 90, Hallmark Hall of Fame or even life productions of Howdy Doody and situation comedies. This DVD put me back in an art form that does not exist anymore and I miss it. I have read the book and now experienced the live television production. A classic with modern applications
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Format: DVD
George Clooney produced and directed this remake of the 1964 chiller "Fail-Safe" for live TV on CBS in 2000. The occasion was special insofar as there hadn't been a live dramatic production on any network in some years. Clooney played one of the leading characters and Richard Dreyfuss played the president, subbing for the monumental Henry Fonda who did so well in the 1964 version.

If you've never seen "Fail-Safe", it's a Cold war hydrogen bomb nightmare from a book of the same name. An electronic communications system goes awry and sends a nuclear-armed bomber crew at its "fail safe" point on the perimeter of the USSR into the nation with instructions to bomb Moscow. The drama revolves around efforts to recall the bomber and, when that cannot be done, the negotiations that go on with the Soviet Union on what retribution will be taken at home to avoid nuclear war if the bomber fulfills its mission.

The original film was 100 minutes of sheer tension and fright. It arrived on the big screen almost simultaneously with another Cold war nuclear nightmare, "Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" -- Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Special Edition) -- Stanley Kubrick's very similar black comedy. The two films have become blood brothers as the first Cold war era movies about nuclear destruction; both were dreamed up moments after the 1962 Cuban missile criis occurred, the moment in the 20th century when superpowers USA and USSR came the closest to nuclear war, and released months apart in 1964.

Unfortunately, Clooney's remake is a tame and limp retelling of both the book and its foil, the 1964 movie.
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