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Twilight's Last Gleaming [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

An Air Force general seizes a SAC missile silo and orders the president to tell the truth about Vietnam.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Charles Durning, Paul Winfield, Burt Young
  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Writers: Walter Wager
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Widescreen, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008SAPCPW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,339 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
There are some political thrillers that become "classics" ("The Manchurian Candidate," "Seven Days in May," and "Fail Safe," for example) while others fade into obscurity. "Twilight's Last Gleaming," unfortunately, falls into the latter category, although it deserves wider recognition and viewership.

Burt Lancaster portrays a looney general determined to right a wrong committed by the U.S. government: reveal the real reason behind the War in Vietnam and America's cover-up of this vital information. Commanding three fellow "terrorists" (Burt Young, Paul Winfield, and William Smith), Lancaster takes over a missile silo with the intention of launching it if the government doesn't "fess up" to the American public.

Richard Widmark also portrays a general that must thwart Lancaster's efforts. Charles Dunning is a beleagured President that must decide whether it is essential for the country's future if the information is revealed. His Cabinet is made up of familiar character actors Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Leif Ericson, William Marshall, Charles McGraw, Simon Scott, Joseph Cotten, and Melvin Douglas.

The tension is high in this superior thriller, aided by a stunning Jerry Goldsmith score, split-screen camerawork, and tight direction from Robert Aldrich.

The shocking ending makes this a film deserving of discovery.
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Format: VHS Tape
I saw this picture with my father in the theater. Now I could kick myself for not buying it on video. This picture was probably lumped in with male/ testosterone action flicks and over looked by the public at the box office. The movie is a cat and mouse thriller with Burt Lancaster grabbing the White Houses' attention by controlling a missle silo/bunker complex. As a former Air Force General with high security clearance, he knows how to complete the mission. The film is a study on why a decorated General threatens to start WW III.

On the opposite side of the fence lies the President, played by Charles Durning whose aim is to stop him. The supporting actors are outstanding on all accounts, Richard Widmark, Paul Winfield, Burt Young, Melvin Douglas, to name a few. The actors making up the presidents cabinet are outstanding. The cabinet/advisors must decide- is the General a mad man or can he pull off his threat of missle launch. What is his agenda?

The suspense builds thru the picture, can a missle launch be aborted by negotiation, stealth, or brute force. The ending is a shocker, uncompromising, a statement on what happens in a political chess match. The military advisor tells the president, the buck stops here.... you are responsible, even for past transgressions from a previous presidency.

WOULD SOME STUDIO PLEASE RELEASE THIS FILM ON DVD. THOSE IN THE KNOW ARE WAITING.
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Format: VHS Tape
I must be one of the few that thoroughly enjoyed this film from 1977. Burt Lancaster leads a team of disgruntled vets (Burt Young, Paul Winfield, and William Smith) on an assault on a missile silo, overcoming the personnel and, eventually, obtaining launch control. With his hands on the trigger of a Titan missile, former (and slightly deranged) General Dell (Lancaster) wants the President (Charles Durning) and his Cabinet to issue a statement admitting negligence in the involvement in the Viet Nam conflict. Such release would be devastating to the nation; thus Durning and company try to devise a plan to satisfy Dell, protect the integrity of the government, and not start a nuclear war.
A tense game of cat-and-mouse erupts between Lancaster, Durning, and Richard Widmark as the general in charge of "taking" Lancaster and friends.
Great performances from the principals abound; the film also features several veteran character actors in small supporting roles: Joseph Cotten, Leif Ericson, Charles McGraw, and William Marshall.
An effective Jerry Goldsmith score adds immensely to the unfolding drama.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fans of politically-tinged, conspiracy-world-view movies will probably enjoy “Twilight’s Last Gleaming.” Based on a novel by Walter Wager, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” is the story of a disgraced former U.S. Army general who seizes control of a Titan nuclear missile base in Montana and threatens to start World War III unless the President releases top secret documents exposing the “truth” behind America’s military involvement in SouthEast Asia in the 1960s and 70. (Think of Julian Assange with his finger on the nuclear button). The government goes into crisis mode in response, and the President finds himself trying to bargain with the general while also navigating the treachery of his own cabinet & military advisors, who want to keep the secrets buried deeper than the alien bodies at Roswell.

Like many of the political films from the 1960s and 70s “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” with a leftish attitude, has an almost 1930ish Frank Capraesque populist belief in the inherent goodness of the American people, no matter how rotten its institutions (particularly the military) may have become. The animating idea is that everything can be set right in America again, if only the Truth were allowed to see the light of day. This can produce a certain earnestness, if naivete, that seems quaint today. On the other hand, unlike many so-called political TV shows and movies today (and even our political debate) these movies were not afraid to take a definite stand, even at the risk of alienating potential ticket buyers. Nor do they share todays “Blame the policymakers but not the soldiers” platitudes when it comes to controversial military actions.
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