By Dawn's Early Light

Tagged: Film

US made-for-tv film (1990). HBO Original Films. Directed by Jack Sholder. Written by Bruce Gilbert from the novel Trinity's Child (1983) by William Prochnau (1937-    ). Cast includes Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay (as Rebecca DeMornay), James Earl Jones, Martin Landau, Darren McGavin and Rip Torn. 100 minutes. Colour.

This was one of the last nuclear-war films of the Cold War era, and deals with an unauthorized 1991 nuclear exchange between the United States and the USSR. This is instigated by rogue elements in (primarily) the Soviet military, but also some within the US. Initial strikes are mostly against military targets, but far more aggressive US leaders take over when the President (Landau) is believed killed in an attack on Washington, District of Columbia. He survives, however, and fights to regain control of defence policy before nuclear escalation can proceed to a full-scale World War Three. In some respects the film resembles Fail-Safe (1964). It is well-acted all round, and seems surprisingly little known. [GFi]

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