The Bedford Incident
A critique of Cold War tactics and strategy.
A tactical failure begins and ends the film, sub-hunting (where Intelligence and Counterintelligence are indicated).
A similar incident concluded successfully some time before, and referred to as “the Cuba deal”, points up the strategy of deterrence.
Nuclear weapons invalidate the argument.
The film was contemptuously dismissed by reviewers. Time thought it was “its own worst enemy” and a “preachment”. Bosley Crowther in the New York Times described it as a “cinematic blooper”. Later critics began to see its virtues, but the difficulty of analysis is formidable.
The new Navy is the new Air Force in Lumet’s Fail Safe. The Reserve M.D. and the West German commodore reflect the past.
Details abound to state the fatuity, no need for a doctor, an aluminum topside, life preservers “of no use whatsoever”. A correspondent aboard presents the civilian position.