The Bedford Incident (1965) is a English,Russian movie. James B. Harris has directed this movie. Richard Widmark,Sidney Poitier,James MacArthur,Martin Balsam are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1965. The Bedford Incident (1965) is considered one of the best Drama,Thriller movie in India and around the world.
Richard Widmark plays a hardened cold-warrior and captain of the American destroyer USS Bedford. Sidney Poitier is a reporter given permission to interview the captain during a routine patrol. Poitier gets more than he bargained for when the Bedford discovers a Soviet sub in the depths and the captain begins a relentless pursuit, pushing his crew to the breaking point. This one's grim tension to the end.
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Channel surfing, I stumbled across this movie on TCM and must say, "Wow!" As a child during the Cold War, I remember the tension between America and Russia, which this film captures well -- at least from the U.S. perspective. Richard Widmark's performance tops that of Humphrey Bogart in "The Caine Mutiny," strawberries or not. Sidney Poitier fits his role like a glove -- the scene between Poitier and Widmark in the latter's cabin is splendidly acted, allowing the viewer to get inside Widmark's head while not giving away too much -- and Martin Balsam gives another example why he was one of the screen's greatest supporting actors. It's better than "Fail Safe," sparing us Henry Fonda's hysterics as president. The tension builds aboard ship until a breathtaking climax. One worth watching.
Along the same lines as FailSafe this is a tense Cold War drama with a cat and mouse game going on between an iron willed Navy Captain and an essentially unseen Soviet submarine. Great performances all around are what make this a good film. Richard Widmark is great as the somewhat tyrannical ships skipper who has his crew drilled, trained and poised for all out war up to the breaking point. Sidney Poitier as always does another superb job as the journalist aboard to do a story of a Navy deployment and gets more than what was expected. Despite the fact that an individual like the Poitier character would not enjoy that much freedom aboard a US Naval vessel this motion picture is quite realistic. Martin Balsam and James MacArthur also put in outstanding performances with Balsam as a newly arrived unappreciated ships doctor and MacArthur as an Ensign who is dogged endlessly by his commanding officer.
The Cold War is one of the world's most frightening conflicts ever as it nearly extinguished humanity. During this time, suspicious nations rattled atomic sabers at one another and secret agencies scurried about disseminating Ideological propaganda and psychological warfare, but for the most part the only thing accomplished was that Americans spent billions threatening a distant enemy who ultimately became our friend. One exceptional film which appear during this era, was " The Bedford Incident." It is the story of an American reporter Ben Munceford (Sidney Poitier) who seeks out a controversial naval officer, because he believes him to be a rare individual. That particular man is Captain Eric Finlander. (Richard Widmark) a no-nonsense commander who is determined to do his duty, even if it means destroying a stray Russian Submarine, armed with nuclear missiles. While Munceford is trying to fathom the Captain, he notices everyone under Finlander's command is being subjected to increasing pressure, enormous stress and intolerable strain to remain on high alert as if war could be initiated at any time. From an audience point of view, the tension on board the Bedford, mirrors the terrifying state of fear in the world. Helping the audience analyze the situation is Lieut. Cmdr. Chester Potter (Martin Balsam) a naval Doctor who warns the Captain of mounting psychological dangers of his crew. One such officer is Ensign Ralston (James MacArthur) who the doctor warns is wound 'too tight' to be on duty. Another is Seaman Merlin Queffle (Wally Cox) who believes he controls the ship. This is a remarkable film, for it's characters, it's drama and eventually it's inevitable ending. It's a reminder, the fears we create are as real as our nightmares. ****
For me, this is one of the best movies of the cold war era, up there with the likes of "Fail Safe" and "On the Beach". Extremely well directed and acted, it should be on any collector's shelf as DVD when so released. The tension is maintained throughout and the climax is one of the best in a film that I have ever seen. Also significant is the fact that Sidney Poitier's colour is never an issue either verbally or by implication, something quite remarkable for a movie made over 35 years ago.
The film contains one (or more) of the great character studies of its period--and indeed, is one of the few films that can sustain itself principally on character interaction, irrespective of plot (and the plot itself builds steady tension, a la Hunt for Red October). The pacing is brilliant, the acting is top-shelf, the claustrophobic shipboard mood is electrifying, the escalating, multi-tiered sense of confrontation between the key characters is riveting, and the payoff--though admittedly predictable, by the time you get there--is effective and unnerving nevertheless, especially if one is able to toggle back to the Cold War mentality that birthed this film. I too was a bit put off by the studied and self-conscious Widmark reactions at two or three points in the film--the tactic becomes a well to which Widmark/Lumet go back at least twice too often (the last time, I found myself almost wanting to scream, "We GET it!"). But that's a very small price to pay for the overall cinematic genius (not too strong a word) of this movie. The script alone--in particular the climactic riposte Portman delivers unto the increasingly pathological Widmark towards the end of the film--is a masterwork rivaled by few other films of the era (or any era, for that matter). If you've seen the film, you know the line to which I'm referring. If you haven't seen the film, do yourself a favor and rectify that shortcoming.