- Director's Commentary
- Featurette Fail-Safe Revisited
- Theatrical Trailers
- Subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chineres, Korean, Thai
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 53 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: October 31, 2000
- Originally Released: 1964
- Label: Sony Pictures
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.85
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
- Additional Release Material:
- Featurette: FAIL SAFE REVISITED
- Audio Commentary: Sydney Lumet - Director
- Interactive Features:
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Access
- Text/Photo Galleries:
- Production Notes
- Sydney Lumet - Director
- Henry Fonda - Star
- Walter Matthau - Star
- Larry Hagman - Star
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2000
"...[Frears] makes a sterling job of reviving the original film's taut, monochrome claustrophobia. A compelling exercise in human drama..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
One of the greatest anti-war thrillers ever, Fail-Safe stars Henry Fonday, Walter Matthau, Dan O'Herlihy, Larry Hagman and Fritz Weaver (in his film debut) as a group of military men on the verge of World War III. When a military computer error deploys a squadron of SAC bombers to destroy Moscow, the American President (Fonda) tries to call them back. But their sophisticated fail-safe system prevents him from aborting the attack, so he must convince the Soviets not to retaliate. In desperation, the President offers to sacrifice an American city if his pilots succeed in their deadly mission over Moscow. A four-star techno-thriller that builds tension and suspense with every tick of the nuclear clock.
Cold War |
Essential Cinema |
Nuclear Destruction |
Theatrical Release |
- Theatrical release: October 7, 1964.
- Shown at the second New York Film Festival on September 15, 1964.
- The film's premise closely resembled that of DR. STRANGELOVE, which had been released in January of 1964. Columbia Pictures and others involved in the making of the earlier film found out about the novel FAIL-SAFE and filed a federal court suit against the authors, the book's publishers, and independent production company ECA, which was planning to make the movie version. The makers of STRANGELOVE charged that the writers, Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, had plagiarized the book on which STRANGELOVE was based. But this entire situation was resolved when Columbia received distribution rights for FAIL-SAFE and ECA dissolved. ECA producer Max Youngstein went on to produce FAIL-SAFE for Columbia.
- The film was remade as a live television movie in 2000, directed by Stephen Frears and starring George Clooney, Richard Dreyfuss, Harvey Keitel, Brian Dennehy, and Don Cheadle.