HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
First Power, The
Lucky Lady
Pack, The
Blue Lamp, The
My Scientology Movie
Man from Laramie, The
Mad Dog Killer
Fanfan la Tulipe
Kickboxer: Vengeance
Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again
Clan, The
Madigan
Love & Friendship
Ones Below, The
Everybody Wants Some!!
Our Kind of Traitor
Star Trek Beyond
Lords of Dogtown
Hors Satan
Too Late the Hero
Jinnah
Ravishing Idiot, A
Girlhood
Whatever Works
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Speedy
Kama Sutra Rides Again
Panic
Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, The
Roxanne
   
 
Newest Articles
Manor On Movies: Beat On The Brat(s)
The Reality of the Heist Movie: Films that are based on real-life robberies
The SHADO Knows: UFO The Complete Series on Blu-ray
Siege Mentality: Rio Bravo and Assault on Precinct 13
Queens of Women: Five Cult Stars, Five Cult Films
Abstract Strategies: The Brothers Quay on Blu-ray
Born to be Cad: George Sanders and Psychomania
Speed Kills: The History of Fast Zombies
Skeleton Crew: The Blind Dead Movies
The Stars Are Out Tonight: Hollywood Celebrity Casts in the 70s
   
 
  Bedford Incident, The Battle StationsBuy this film here.
Year: 1965
Director: James B. Harris
Stars: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur, Martin Balsam, Wally Cox, Eric Portman, Michael Kane, Colin Maitland, Shane Rimmer, Donald Sutherland, Ed Bishop, Gary Cockrell, Phil Brown, Burnell Tucker
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The U.S.S. Bedford is an American destroyer patrolling the North Atlantic between Greenland and Iceland, and journalist Ben Munceford (Sidney Poitier) has just arrived by helicopter onto the deck to do a story about the goings-on there. He is accompanied by the new medical officer, Lieutenant Commander Potter (Martin Balsam), who wants to get to work straight away, though Munceford finds himself confined to quarters and flung around the cabin as the Captain, Finlander (Richard Widmark), manoeuvres his craft drastically. This Captain is something of a tyrant, as the new arrivals will discover...

The director of this, James B. Harris, usually distinguished himself in crime thrillers of an offbeat variety, adapting novels, though it was his career as a producer that he perhaps would be most famous for as it was he that assisted Stanley Kubrick in bringing that director's works to the screen. This even though they had parted professional ways before Kubrick made his acknowledged classic black comedy Dr. Strangelove, which had many drawing comparisons between both his and Harris's choice of subject matter for their next, nuclear war themed efforts. Of course, Kubrick got most of the attention, but The Bedford Incident was by no means worth neglecting.

It was true Harris's drive for realism here tended to offer proceedings a documentary-style matter of fact quality almost until it was too late, but when the tension arrived you could appreciate all the solid work to bring us to that finale. The political climate of the time was just emerging from the Cuban Missile Crisis which had made everyone a lot more paranoid that World War III was around the corner, and so a lot of the mood and detail of that period was informing the events unfolding fictionally here, where the more hawkish members of the powers that be were taken to task, though the doves were by no means let off lightly for their weak attempts to stand up to them.

Captain Finlander is our hawk, a man who rules his ship with an iron fist, so much so that his men (there's not one woman in the cast) are constantly on edge, something he is warned about by those willing to stand up to him, but not so much that they get him to ease off from the reputation of being a mean "bastard" that he so clearly relishes. One of those warning him is a N.A.T.O. officer from West Germany, an ex-Nazi played with slightly sinister tenor by Eric Portman, though we begin to understand that he is all too aware of his past and is holding back from being too domineering where this post is concerned. Which leaves Munceford as the sole man aboard who can make a difference - or so he believes, yet leans towards subtlety when that is not going to do.

Poitier was notable in The Bedford Incident for finally, after making his movie debut in 1950, appearing in a movie where his race was not only not mentioned, but not essential to the plot, which in its own quiet way was as much a strike for equality as his groundbreaking fifties work had been. But it was the Cold War worries that you would most take away from the unfolding drama as Finlander spots a Soviet submarine straying out of international waters and resolves to pursue it to bring the crew of the craft to book. A cat and mouse suspenser results as the Bedford ensures the sub cannot rise for air, forcing it to surface eventually, or that's the idea, but in reality it's making both sides increasingly anxious and we begin to see where this is inexorably heading. Although that ending smacks of plot contrivance to make a point, it reflected the true stories we have heard since of the globe being brought to the brink of devastation simply because of human error brought about by plain old fear, and as such remains very effective. Music by Gerard Schurmann.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1780 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme music?
Superman: The Movie
The Dark Knight
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three ('74)
Star Wars
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Great Escape
Halloween
The Ipcress File
The Magnificent Seven
Back to the Future
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Brandon Smith
Stately Wayne Manor
  James Dixon
  Lee Trathan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: