1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Press Release Criterion Press Release: Fail Safe (Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Crawford, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 12 Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    45,462
    Likes Received:
    21,130
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    [​IMG]

    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 best seller, 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.

    FILM INFO
    • Sidney Lumet
    • United States
    • 1964
    • 112 minutes
    • Black & White
    • 1.85:1
    • English
    • Spine #1111
    SPECIAL FEATURES
    • New 4K digital restoration, 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
    January 28, 2020
     
  2. Message #2 of 12 Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2019
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    45,462
    Likes Received:
    21,130
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

     
    Darby67 likes this.
  3. skylark68

    skylark68 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    1,729
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Pearland, TX
    Real Name:
    Timothy
    Real excited about this one. I was hoping for the 2000 made for TV version as a supplement but it is still an outstanding release. The cover art looks great!
     
  4. Message #4 of 12 Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
    darkrock17

    darkrock17 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,565
    Likes Received:
    686
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Real Name:
    Andrew McClure
    Both this film and Dr. Strangelove were made at the same time in 1963 by the same studio Columbia Pictures. While Stanley was making Strangelove he found out that Columbia was also working on a movie that was very similar to his own, Fail Safe which was based on the novel by authors Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. However, Fail Safe plot seemed to be an exact copy of the novel Red Alert! by Peter George which Dr. Strangelove was being based off of. Both novels told of apocalyptic threats of nuclear war and how they could be triggered in the most absurd ways.

    Stanley with the help of author Peter George and backed by Columbia field a lawsuit against director Sidney Lumet for copyright infringement as Stanley owned the creative rights to the original novel Red Alert!. In the lawsuit Kubrick pointed out that there were a lot of unmistakable similarities in intentions between the characters Groeteschele, who is the President's aid in Fail Safe and that of his own creation Dr. Strangelove, the ex Nazi nuclear war expert. The lawsuit worked and Dr. Strangelove was finished and released first in January 1964 and Fail Safe being released 9 months later in October. Both movies would end up doing well, but Dr. Strangelove ended up being the favorite of the two.
     
    Darby67 likes this.
  5. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2,261
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Merritt Island, Florida
    Real Name:
    Brad
    I have the UK Blu-ray but the Blu-ray quality just isn’t there. This one sounds like the real deal.

    And I just shelled out around $91 on the most recent Criterion flash sale. Three for me and one copy of La Dolce Vita (1959) for my cousin Hailey who just recently finished a graduate internship in Italy teaching English as a second language.
    ( Before she left last spring, I bought her a TT copy of Three Coins In The Fountain (1953)).
     
    Flashgear, Darby67 and PMF like this.
  6. Harry-N

    Harry-N Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    3,121
    Likes Received:
    1,737
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Sunny Central Florida
    Real Name:
    Harry N.
    Due out this week. I've pre-ordered.
     
    Darby67 likes this.
  7. trajan007

    trajan007 Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    364
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Larry C Bender
    Best Buy delivered on Saturday.
     
    Darby67 likes this.
  8. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    8,772
    Likes Received:
    3,425
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Macon, Ga.
    Real Name:
    Doug
    Mine is coming from Amazon tomorrow.
     
    Darby67 likes this.
  9. Harry-N

    Harry-N Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    3,121
    Likes Received:
    1,737
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Sunny Central Florida
    Real Name:
    Harry N.
    Mine arrived on time on Tuesday, and I have to say it's really good. Doing a side-by-side with the old DVD reveals that there's no comparison at all. At one time I considered skipping this one since it's a black & white, and well, maybe the DVD is good enough, but I'm happy I got this one.

    The image on the DVD suffers from a bit of gate-weave and overall, it looks a bit "dingy" when compared with the new Blu-ray. The image is now rock-solid as it should be - it aids in the tension - the blacks are black, the whites are white, and there's a great deal more detail as you'd expect from a Blu-ray.

    I've not seen the Aussie release - I didn't even know about it, but I'm happy to have this Criterion release. The only negative I can find is that the theatrical trailer, that was on the DVD, didn't fully make it to the Blu-ray. There are portions of it in the documentary, but the whole trailer was present on the DVD.

    A great addition to the collection.
     
  10. Message #10 of 12 Jan 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
    Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1998
    Messages:
    11,381
    Likes Received:
    3,605
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Johnny Angell
    It is my recollection that Fail Safe is based on the novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick. And now I catch you’ve mentioned the novel. I also recall the novel was published in Life Magazine. I remember the editors publishing a disclaimer in front of the book saying the editors did not agree with the extreme solution in the novel. I have no memory of Red Alert!

    While superficially similar, I consider these movies drastically different.

    This is a movie that cries out for a very thorough making of, and something that would place it in it’s time. Supplements are a bit slim to me.

    I’ll be interested to read how good the disc is. I could watch this multiple times to watch Henry Fonda.
     
  11. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2,261
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Merritt Island, Florida
    Real Name:
    Brad
    Isn’t there a Barnes & Noble 50% off sale coming up soon?

    I’d definitely upgrade from my Aussie/UK Blu-ray to this as I’m not impressed with the PQ on the Aussie release.
     
  12. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,565
    Likes Received:
    686
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Real Name:
    Andrew McClure
    Red Alert was originally called Two Hours To Doom when it was first published in 1958. Fail Safe was originally serialized in The Saturday Evening Post from October 13th through the 27th 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    They are two completely different films as Dr. Strangelove could only ever be a comedy and same goes for Fail Safe, it's only believable as a drama. If you tried to do them the other way around both of these films would bombed big time.

    I agree with you on that this release should of had more in-depth features such as, a well put together making of documentary, a piece about the original novel, and maybe some archival interviews from Fonda, Matthau, and Larry Hagman.
     

Share This Page