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The Bedford Incident (1965)


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The first time I saw this I was fixed and couldn't pull myself away. Now it's just as good a movie, but it doesn't bear repeated viewings.

 

 

On my first viewing, I had no idea what was going to happen next, but now I know.. just a lot of dialog. The ending is very good. I always bear in mind my years growing up during the Cold War, when this 'incident' could have occurred on any given day.

 

 

Chilling.

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The Bedford Incident is truly a chilling well made psychological thriller that seems even better and more real every time I view it.  I tell my kids about the scary Cold War days and they just kind of chuckle.  They just don't get it since they did not grow up or live through those days.  I think we all really expected a nuclear war to erupt at some point.  Movies like The Bedford Incident, Dr. Strangelove, Fail Safe, Seven Days in May, etc were frightening because they discussed what seemed inevitable.  I do like to view these movies once a year to remember their greatness and remember the Cold War fright we all saw as very real and it was real.

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The Bedford Incident is truly a chilling well made psychological thriller that seems even better and more real every time I view it.  I tell my kids about the scary Cold War days and they just kind of chuckle.  They just don't get it since they did not grow up or live through those days.  I think we all really expected a nuclear war to erupt at some point.  Movies like The Bedford Incident, Dr. Strangelove, Fail Safe, Seven Days in May, etc were frightening because they discussed what seemed inevitable.  I do like to view these movies once a year to remember their greatness and remember the Cold War fright we all saw as very real and it was real.

 

I agree.   Watch The Bedford Incident on Get-TV last night.    Very chilling indeed.  Also some fine acting in the film especially by the two leads but the entire cast was good.     The good thing is that the ending of movie like this one and Strangelove didn't actually occur (well yet,  there is still time for mankind to mess it up).

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Silly movie.

 

Surely the military doesn't have just one single un-experienced young military guy with his finger on the A bomb button, with a member of the press arguing with the captain of the A bomb ship during a crucial moment, with all three on the bridge at the same time, and I would think that several guys would be needed to listen for orders and work as a team to carry out "FIRE ONE" order, and to CONFIRM it without any doubt about the confirmation, and without some mechanical key being turned to allow for the firing..

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Silly movie.

 

Surely the military doesn't have just one single un-experienced young military guy with his finger on the A bomb button, with a member of the press arguing with the captain of the A bomb ship during a crucial moment, with all three on the bridge at the same time, and I would think that several guys would be needed to listen for orders and work as a team to carry out "FIRE ONE" order, and to CONFIRM it without any doubt about the confirmation, and without some mechanical key being turned to allow for the firing..

 

I admit I'm still confused about the ending.   What type of weapon did they fire on that sub?   One doesn't need a nuke to attack a sub.

 

The same with the sub's 4 torpedoes.      Where these nuclear torpedoes?    Again,  if yea,  why fire those at a destroyer?

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Wiki:

 

Ensign Ralston mistakes Finlander's remark as an order to "fire one" and launches an anti-submarine rocket, which destroys the submarine. Their sonar then detects a salvo of four nuclear-armed torpedoes coming at the destroyer. Finlander initially gives basic orders to evade, then goes outside. Munceford follows him, frantically pleading, but Finlander does nothing more to save his ship, perhaps because he recognizes that there is no way to escape and believes that it's justice that his ship be lost, since his own actions brought about the unnecessary destruction of the submarine and crew. The film ends with still shots of various crewmen "melting" as if the celluloid film were burning as Bedford and her crew are vaporized. The last image is an iconic, towering mushroom cloud from the torpedo detonations.

 

 

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My brother served on a guided missile destroyer in the early /mid 60's, he was an  electronics technician  and worked on a number of the ship's weapons and communication systems. He often was stationed right behind the bridge and had contact with the Captain and other senior officers.  He always told me that the Bedford film gave a reasonable  depiction of how those things worked.  Once the Captain ordered the ASROC system to be armed , the Ensign had the capability to actually fire the weapon.  Widmark's Captain had everyone on board, officers and crew,  on edge. He particularly pushed hard on the young Ensign , James "Book em Danno" MacArthur.  Almost to be expected when the situation became critical, the young Ensign panicked and fired the weapon. No chance to disarm the missile and when the sub detected it was being attacked they retaliated. A sequence of events that could have happened. Good performances by all, one of Richard Widmark's best roles.

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Silly movie.

 

Surely the military doesn't have just one single un-experienced young military guy with his finger on the A bomb button, with a member of the press arguing with the captain of the A bomb ship during a crucial moment, with all three on the bridge at the same time, and I would think that several guys would be needed to listen for orders and work as a team to carry out "FIRE ONE" order, and to CONFIRM it without any doubt about the confirmation, and without some mechanical key being turned to allow for the firing..

You would be surprised.  Don't forget the Air Force discovered major problems with control of its missles and bombs.

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You would be surprised.  Don't forget the Air Force discovered major problems with control of its missles and bombs.

 

Yes, I remember, but it was a more complicated problem than the one shown in the movie.

 

Frankly, I don't think they can make a problem-free system, since it can never be tested in real life. With all the international computer hacking, our guys could press all the right buttons but maybe nothing will happen if their system has been hacked. Both Russia and China run hacking tests, plans, and schemes, all the time, in case they are "needed" in the future. We probably do hacking too.

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Apropos to the general conversation, if the reports of Vasili Arkhipov's actions -- or inactions -- are true, then I would very much like to see a well done movie about him and the other officers involved in the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missle Crisis. Fictional drama about the Cold War is nice, but I suggest that there are plenty of actual stories that could be told as well.

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Apropos to the general conversation, if the reports of Vasili Arkhipov's actions -- or inactions -- are true, then I would very much like to see a well done movie about him and the other officers involved in the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missle Crisis. Fictional drama about the Cold War is nice, but I suggest that there are plenty of actual stories that could be told as well.

 

I agree!! :)

 

Wiki:

 

On 27 October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Randolph located the diesel-powered nuclear-armed Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine B-59 near Cuba. Despite being in international waters, the Americans started dropping practice depth charges, explosives intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification. There had been no contact from Moscow for a number of days and, although the submarine's crew had earlier been picking up U.S. civilian radio broadcasts, once B-59 began attempting to hide from its U.S. Navy pursuers, it was too deep to monitor any radio traffic, so those on board did not know whether war had broken out.[5] The captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, believing that a war might already have started, wanted to launch a nuclear torpedo.[6]

 

Three officers on board the submarine had to agree unanimously to authorize the launch: Captain Savitsky; the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov; and the second-in-command Arkhipov. An argument broke out among the three, in which only Arkhipov was against the launch.[7]

 

Although Arkhipov was only second-in-command of submarine B-59, he was commander of the entire flotilla of submarines, including B-4, B-36 and B-130, and equal in rank to Captain Savitsky. According to author Edward Wilson, the reputation Arkhipov gained from his courageous conduct in the previous year's Soviet submarine K-19 incident also helped him prevail in the debate.[3] Arkhipov eventually persuaded Savitsky to surface the submarine and await orders from Moscow. This action effectively averted the nuclear warfare which could possibly have ensued had the torpedo been fired.[8] The submarine's batteries had run very low and the air-conditioning had failed, so it was forced to surface amidst its U.S. pursuers and head home.[9] Washington's message that practice depth charges were being used to signal the submarines to surface never reached B-59, and Moscow claims it has no record of receiving it either.[citation needed]

 

 

YIKES!!

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I agree!! :)

 

Wiki:

 

On 27 October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Randolph located the diesel-powered nuclear-armed Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine B-59 near Cuba. Despite being in international waters, the Americans started dropping practice depth charges, explosives intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification. There had been no contact from Moscow for a number of days and, although the submarine's crew had earlier been picking up U.S. civilian radio broadcasts, once B-59 began attempting to hide from its U.S. Navy pursuers, it was too deep to monitor any radio traffic, so those on board did not know whether war had broken out.[5] The captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, believing that a war might already have started, wanted to launch a nuclear torpedo.[6]

 

Three officers on board the submarine had to agree unanimously to authorize the launch: Captain Savitsky; the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov; and the second-in-command Arkhipov. An argument broke out among the three, in which only Arkhipov was against the launch.[7]

 

Although Arkhipov was only second-in-command of submarine B-59, he was commander of the entire flotilla of submarines, including B-4, B-36 and B-130, and equal in rank to Captain Savitsky. According to author Edward Wilson, the reputation Arkhipov gained from his courageous conduct in the previous year's Soviet submarine K-19 incident also helped him prevail in the debate.[3] Arkhipov eventually persuaded Savitsky to surface the submarine and await orders from Moscow. This action effectively averted the nuclear warfare which could possibly have ensued had the torpedo been fired.[8] The submarine's batteries had run very low and the air-conditioning had failed, so it was forced to surface amidst its U.S. pursuers and head home.[9] Washington's message that practice depth charges were being used to signal the submarines to surface never reached B-59, and Moscow claims it has no record of receiving it either.[citation needed]

 

 

YIKES!!

Saw something recently about this - probably on the History channel or similar.  Believe it was a show about either the Cuban missle crisis or JFK's actions during it.  Regardless, a Soviet officer saved us from nuclear warfare when US Navy almost started one.

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The Bedford Incident (1965) and similar movies about war games, war practice, saber rattling, etc.

 

The Cid meant the purpose of those post about China.    I didn't get why you posted those either.   (but like Cid I don't like to open links since that is how one can get a virus).

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The Cid meant the purpose of those post about China.    I didn't get why you posted those either.   (but like Cid I don't like to open links since that is how one can get a virus).

 

1) China has the best propaganda-oriented marching soldiers video - perfectly photographed and perfectly edited - which is the stuff great Hollywood movies are made of.

 

2) For example, both you and Cid got overly freaked out because of all the Chinese soldiers, while these two links are actually just two simple YouTube film links which are always safe to link to! LOL! It was the China stuff that scared you, not the "mystery link". That's why I said YIKES at the end. We need those Chinese film makers making our own US documentary films! Their films (videos) are copies of the TRIUMPH OF THE WILL documentary style. Those two Chinese military film clips are far more frightening to me than The Bedford Incident

:)

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1) China has the best propaganda-oriented marching soldiers video - perfectly photographed and perfectly edited - which is the stuff great Hollywood movies are made of.

 

2) For example, both you and Cid got overly freaked out because of all the Chinese soldiers, while these two links are actually just two simple YouTube film links which are always safe to link to! LOL! It was the China stuff that scared you, not the "mystery link". That's why I said YIKES at the end. We need those Chinese film makers making our own US documentary films! Their films (videos) are copies of the TRIUMPH OF THE WILL documentary style. :)

 

I still see NO connection between those clips and the movie The Bedford Incident. 

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I still see NO connection between those clips and the movie The Bedford Incident. 

 

While you were making your post, I was adding this to mine:

 

Those two Chinese military film clips are far more frightening to me than The Bedford Incident

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Bedford Incident is truly a chilling well made psychological thriller that seems even better and more real every time I view it.  I tell my kids about the scary Cold War days and they just kind of chuckle.  They just don't get it since they did not grow up or live through those days.  I think we all really expected a nuclear war to erupt at some point.  Movies like The Bedford Incident, Dr. Strangelove, Fail Safe, Seven Days in May, etc were frightening because they discussed what seemed inevitable.  I do like to view these movies once a year to remember their greatness and remember the Cold War fright we all saw as very real and it was real.

The films referred to by RR all have that common link of human decision making under tense situations and the horrific consequences of someone making a "bad" decision either   by accident or design.  Another film to mention on this thought  is COLOSSUS, THE FORBIN PROJECT, made in the late 60's.  To guard against possible human  error they decide to build the super computer and let it have the all of the responsibilities of accessing military threats and  then acting appropriately.  Bad move as the film points out.  The popular 80's film WAR GAMES tells a variation of the COLOSSUS film.

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