Published on December 30th, 2006 | by Chris0
The Bedford Incident (1965)
We'll start things off with a cold war suspense film about a destroyer and its captain in the hunt for a mysterious unidentified submarine somewhere in the general vicinity of Greenland.
Sydney Poitier stars as reporter Ben Munceford, sent to the ship to observe and interview captain Eric Finlander (played by Richard Widmark) on what should be a routine patrol mission. Of course things aren't that simple, and during the cold war, it's made clear there isn't much simple about anything at all.
We're given a good hard look at the state of cold-war politics as it relates to the military here. The captain and his crew on the perpetual hunt, but never able to pull the trigger; The German ex-U-boat commander who's experience is asked for but ultimately ignored as he longs for the "good old days" of naval warfare. The aging navy doctor relegated to roles he doesn't feel fit to play....
And ultimately, its that tension, confusion and misinterpretation that ends the film in a final and explosive fashion.
The film follows a pretty basic plot, ship trails unidentified sub, assuming its Soviet. Along the way various events ensue, such as getting stuck in the icebergs, compartments flooding, and sabotage insinuated, or at least blamed on the increasing complexity of their military hardware. Despite its episodic and ultimately predictable (to a point) nature, the movie manages to maintain a certain amount of tension, both relating to the hunt for the Soviet sub and the tension between crewmembers.
Of course, like a lot of mid-60s cold war movies (think Fail-Safe-ish), the end comes swiftly and without much reflection (you're left to do that on your own) I suppose to portray how the impending World War III would be fought.
So, if you're in the mood for an always-tense cold war suspense-fest, then The Bedford Incident is right up your alley. 1965, Black and White, 102 minutes.
The Bedford Incident
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Nerve-racking suspense surrounds THE BEDFORD INCIDENT, the tale of a U.S. Naval vessel on a routineNATO patrol that ends up in a freakish showdown with a Russian submarine. Richard Widmark is Capt. Eric Finlander, the maniacal commander who drives his tense crew to the brink of nervous exhaustion...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
- Richard Widmark
- Sidney Poitier
- James MacArthur
- Martin Balsam
- Wally Cox
- Factory sealed DVD
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Edge of the seat anticipation,
This review is from: The Bedford Incident (Amazon Video)Another Widmark winner. This movie is about politics and games... the deadly kind. Is it fiction... well not really. Surface ships did clash, and subs did go bump in the dark depths. There were plenty of incidents just like the one in the movie during the cold war. Only now, that the incidents are being declassified do we see what actually happened. Poitier is excellent in this movie... I personally think its one of his best and should have received some professional recognition. Anyway, you can't help but wonder whether the Capt. is right in what he's doing, then you can't help but wonder whether he's going to far. Those of us who were in the military see this a little differently...the Captain is usually privy to classified information and orders that would remain classified to an extent... so we see Widmark play this like he knows something no one else knows except the Commodore. The subject of the movie, which is the launching location for SLBM's. This was real, this really did... Read more
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Bedford Incident (DVD)If you like cold war thrillers you will like The Bedford Incident. I found it on Amazon looking at similar items when I purchased a couple old favorites: Fail-safe (Special Edition) and On the Beach. Though I think the others are better executed overall, this film is well worth watching.
The story has been summarized by many reviews already and I won't re-hash it. The acting is top notch. Widmark and Poitier turn in good performances and there is a "deep bench" of supporting characters including one of my favorites, Martin Balsam. The direction is tight scene to scene but I feel the overall "vision" was a bit inconsistent. There are several scenes during which the Widmark and Poitier... Read more
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Bedford Incident (DVD)
Outstanding drama--great acting--great suspense. Made when details in a movie were important. What you see here almost happened many times during the cold war when we slept.
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Summary: A suspenseful cold-war fatalistic submarine thriller. Starring Sidney Poitier and Richard Widmark.