Fail Safe

Drama | English | 112 minutes


During the height of the Cold War, U.S. radar spots an unidentified aircraft in American airspace. Soon after, the intruder is identified as an off-course American plane. A computer error signals American Bomber Group 6 to prepare for a nuclear attack on Moscow. Colonel Jack Grady, the group’s commander, obeys the order.  A terrified president orders a recall of Bomber Group 6, or, if that’s not possible, to shoot them down. The president struggles to find a solution to avert massive destruction. As the Group 6 bombers approach Moscow, they are destroyed, except for Grady’s plane. Dropping a nuclear bomb on Moscow remains a possibility. Will a computer error, a miscalculation, result in a nuclear catastrophe?

Henry Fonda (President of the United States) / Edward Binns (Colonel Jack Grady)
Why Stream This Film?
Fail Safe depicts, in frightening detail, how an accidental nuclear catastrophe can happen.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 93%
  • Metacritic Score: 75
  • BAFTA Awards: Nominated, Best Director (Sidney Lumet)
  • Laurel Awards: Nominated, Best Drama; Best Dramatic Performance (Henry Fonda
FAIL SAFE is a tense and suspenseful piece of filmmaking dealing with the frightening implications of accidental nuclear warfare. It faithfully translates on the screen the power and seething drama of the Eugene Burdick-Harvey Wheeler book.


FAIL SAFE is definitely in the area of those films that are important and are going to be talked about. And it packs a melodramatic wallop that will rattle a lot of chattering teeth.
Bosley Crowther

The New York Times

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