Lumet's serious look at the consequences of a mistaken American nuclear strike on the Soviet Union was well-reviewed, but its release followed close on the heels of the more anarchic Dr Strangelove so it was dwarfed at the time. Its reputation has however risen over the years and it was remade in 2000. But the black-and-white original still shines, with terrific performances by a non-comic Walter Matthau, and by Henry Fonda as the beleaguered President with only Russian interpreter Larry Hagman (in his film debut) for company in the White House bunker. If Moscow is destroyed, must New York face the same fate?
“An underseen classic...jaw-stopping and tense.”