Fail Safe is too absurd to be realistic, and too simple minded to be a commentary on world politics.
Its only traces of realism are recognizable titles and place names, like President, 20 megaton bomb, and Moscow.
He's willing to do anything for his country and his President, who's a college buddy of his, and he says that nuclear war is unthinkable, that anyone who says we can survive one is crazy. Then there's the "hardheaded" professor who says that our chances of surviving atomic war are pretty good but they would be even better if we attacked first.
After all, Communism is our mortal enemy, right, so why not?
The father is an alcoholic and Cascio is mortified that Bogan now knows of this humiliating secret., Alaska.
Grady and his wingman are seen playing pool before performing their flight rotation.The story would have lost all its impact if a fictitious city instead of New York had been destroyed.Perhaps a bombing of Hollywood would have been more appropriate.In Lumet’s movie, it is the over-dependence on advanced machinery that is the cause of nuclear devastation. General Black goes to a Pentagon briefing where a consultant, Dr.The film opens with General Black (Dan O'Herlihy) in the middle of a recurring nightmare. Groeteschele (Walter Matthau) is giving a briefing.The Russians might kill 60 million Americans, but we'll kill all of them. He gets on the hot line to Russia's Premier when a bomber group, sent beyond its fail safe point through a mechanical accident, enters Soviet territory.Despite American and Russian efforts to recall and later destroy the squadron, one plane bombs Moscow.A competent cast tries its best under the pressing circumstances.Henry Fonda is a reassuring President, Edmund O'Brien is a likeable air force general, and Walter Matthau portrays a thoroughly despicable professor. Strangelove, director Stanley Kubrick decided that the only sensible commentary on the absurdities of nuclear war was an absurd film.His light treatment of the possibility of accidental war produced a sharp political and social satire. Fail Safe is sententious, and where Strangelove is incisive Fail Safe is obtuse.