The Criterion Collection has announced the releasing of Sidney Lumet’s cold war drama, Fail Safe (1964) on a Blu-ray edition. Stars Henry Fonda.
This unnerving procedural thriller painstakingly details an all-too-plausible nightmare scenario in which a mechanical failure jams the United States military’s chain of command and sends the country hurtling toward nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
Working from a contemporary bestseller, screenwriter Walter Bernstein and director Sidney Lumet wrench harrowing suspense from the doomsday fears of the Cold War era, making the most of a modest budget and limited sets to create an atmosphere of clammy claustrophobia and astronomically high stakes.
Starring Henry Fonda as a coolheaded U.S. president and Walter Matthau as a trigger-happy political theorist, Fail Safe is a long-underappreciated alarm bell of a film, sounding an urgent warning about the deadly logic of mutually assured destruction.
Release date: January 28, 2020
Genre: Drama / Thriller
- Director: Sidney Lumet
- Cast: Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Fritz Weaver
- Country: USA
- Production Year: 1964
- Discs: 1 Blu-ray Disc
- Region: A
- Run Time: 112 minutes
- Formats: Black and White; 1.85:1
- Audio: English
- Subtitle: English
- AKA: Fail-Safe
- Studio: The Criterion Collection
- NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 2000 featuring director Sidney Lumet
- New interview with film critic J. Hoberman on 1960s nuclear paranoia and Cold War films
- “Fail-Safe” Revisited, a short documentary from 2000 including interviews with Lumet, screenwriter Walter Bernstein, and actor Dan O’Herlihy
- PLUS: An essay by critic Bilge Ebiri
Fail Safe (1964) trailer
Notice: The picture quality of these photos and videos do not reflect the picture quality of the blu-ray or DVD in this package.