Aug 21, 2011

28th Aug 2011; Sydney Lumet's Fail-Safe

A film by Sydney Lumet
Country :USA
Year: 1965
Runtime: 112 minutes
28th Aug 2011
Perks Mini Theater

A 16 minutes documentary on Failsafe with
Sydney Lumet and others will be shown.

Based on the novel "Fail-Safe" by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, Sidney Lumet directed this shocking masterpiece of cold-war realism. Fail-Safe was and remains a real crackerjack of a film. It is an uncompromising look at the folly of total reliance on machines at a time when the smallest error can have catastrophic consequences.
Today, we live in an age when the world has taken a small step back from the game of nuclear brinksmanship that characterized the 1950s and '60s, although the threat of isolated nuclear terrorism is still very real. Even in such a climate, the situation portrayed in Fail-Safe still seems frighteningly possible, so at the time of its original release, one can only imagine its effect on thinking people.
Due to astronomically unfortunate computer error, a flight of Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombers originating in Alaska carry 2 nuclear warheads past what is known as the 'fail-safe' point. With Russian military jamming their communication they cannot be recalled. They are headed toward Moscow to drop their bombs and complete their mission. The options of stopping them are both limited and extremely time sensitive.
Henry Fonda portrays the President of the United States in a role he wears like a tailor made suit. Attempts to abort the mission fail and the President is left with no more options... aside from the unthinkable.
Communicating with the aptly crippled Secretary of Defense, various military personnel, visiting political scientist Groeteschele (Walter Matthau) and the Russian Premier (through his his translator 'Buck' played by Larry Hagman) a most impossible, totally unacceptable decision is absolutely believably concluded.
Stunning is an understatement. This is without question, the best Cold-war film ever made. The performances are outstanding, the messages are both subtle and coldly obvious with a conclusion as eviscerating as any. A great film to introduce to friends as so few people have seen it before.
(Source : Internet)

Sidney Lumet

Sidney Lumet is nevertheless a master of cinema. Known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors--and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York--Lumet has made over 40 movies, often emotional, but seldom overly sentimental. He often tells intelligent, complex stories. His politics are somewhat left-leaning and he often treats socially relevant themes in his films.

As social criticism, Sidney Lumet addresses throughout his long career on numerous issues related to American society - on corrupt police (Serpico, 1973, The Prince of New York, 1981 and in the Night Falls on Manhattan (1997)), on television (A Dog Day Afternoon, 1975 ), on Justice ( Twelve Angry Men In 1957, The Verdict, 1982 ) on MacCarthyism (Daniel, 1983), on alcoholism (Lendemain From Crime, 1986) and on racism (Counter-survey, 1990).

Born on June 25, 1924, in Philadelphia, the son of actor Baruch Lumet and dancer Eugenia Wermus Lumet, he made his stage debut at age four at the Yiddish Art Theater in New York. He played many roles on Broadway in the 1930s (such as "Dead End"), and his acting debut in films came in One Third of a Nation (1939). In 1947 he started an off-Broadway acting troupe that included such future stars as Yul Brynner and Eli Wallach, and other former members of Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio who had become unsatisfied with Strasberg's concepts.

Lumet made his stage directing debut in 1955. He made his feature film directing debut with the critical and financial hit 12 Angry Men (1957), which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Director and Adapted
Screenplay, and is justly regarded as one of the most auspicious directorial debuts in film history.

Lumet has made over 40 movies, which earned nearly 50 Oscar nominations. In 1993 he received the D.W. Griffith Award of theDirectors Guild of America and in 2005 a well-deserved Honorary Academy Award. He died at the age of 86 on 9th April 2011.

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