A superbly on point cautionary tale of a time when nuclear war wasn't just hyperbole but almost an inevitability. Slow to unravel, but once the titular fail-safe is passed the screen closes in on a circling claustrophobia & refuses to give an ounce of breathing space. Henry Fonda, typically noble & measured, leads the story of quiet desperation. The phone call scenes are brilliantly tense affairs full of humanity.
Where Dr Strangelove depicts doomsday as absurdist farce, Fail-Safe plays it out as real. Lumet's focus is on psychological realism, honing in on the mental strain of every character from the get-go which builds to unbearable levels of intensity. Design, cinematography and the clever use of "negative" stock footage all contribute to the sense of nightmare. Absolutely taut film-making of the highest order.
Less poignant that Dr Strangelove, very different in shape yet eerily similar in back story. Somewhat reminiscent of Wargames too. Great choice of photography. Deeply, the narration lacks and because of it the film lags behind Threads, Dr Strangelove and even in some ways Wargames.
The political reflection and the depiction of the matter of distrust is interesting if a bit academic.
Taut from start to finish - great use of sound (and silence).
Some grandstanding dialog that, in pretty much any other context would be corny, actually comes across as entirely sincere - after all we are talking about the end of the world.
I'm not sure who wanted the disclaimer at the end but it maybe has the exact opposite of the desired effect.
Endlessly bleak thriller by the magnificent Sidney Lumet, who was never better than when he was trying to suffocate us with claustrophobic tension and have characters fall apart on us. Astonishing ending, stunning film.
El hermano gemelo serio de "Dr. Strangelove". Lumet es demoledor cuando se trata de poner en un dilema ético y moral a sus personajes, y esta película es prueba de ello. Desde el inicio, un sueño predice lo trágico. "Fail-safe" posee una tensión in crescendo. Como en "12 hombre en pugna", reúne a grupos decidiendo, solo que esta vez a contrareloj. Grandes interpretaciones, además del uso de planos e iluminación.