Seven Days in May Reviews

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½ July 26, 2013
Seven Days in May (1964)

A very interesting movie directed by John Frankenheimer about a plot to take-over of the US government. This movie is well-written by Rod Serling and has a great cast.

President Jordan Lyman (Fredric March) isn't doing very good in the poles. His nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviets right in the middle of the cold war isn't going over very well here at home, especially with General James Scott (Burt Lancaster) and many of the joint chiefs of staff. General Scott is also a popular presidential candidate, but he feels the importance of taking charge before the Soviets go to war with us.

His colleague, Marine Colonel Martin 'Jiggs' Casey (Kirk Douglas) is finding out information that points to General Scott plotting a military take-over of the government. Despite his loyalty towards his general, he goes to the President to tell him of this possible plot.

My favorite part in the movie is where President Lyman and General Scott argue over the importance of democracy versus the military imperative, and the need to let the people truly decide their fate.
September 16, 2009
Kirk Douglas does a terrific job in his one cinematic chance to have a larger role than Lancaster. No 2nd act.
½ October 19, 2006
I wish they hadn't had the protest scene at the very beginning of the movie...it seems really kitchy...the rest of the movie is not to be missed.
May 4, 2015
One of my favorite films. If you like a good conspiracy/suspense movie, this is one of the best you'll see. Realistic to a scary degree, especially considering it came out just after the Kennedy assassination.
½ July 24, 2013
One of two great political thrillers of the 1960s - The Manchurian Candidate was the other - directed by John Frankenheimer. An unpopular President, played by Frederic March, signs a controversial nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviets. Burt Lancaster plays General James Mattoon Scott, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who opposes the treaty and plots a coup against the government timed to coincide with the Preakness Stakes. Kirk Douglas plays the General's aide who is torn between his duty to his superior officer and to the Constitution.

This film is interesting on so many levels. Not only does it include so many good performances: it is one of the most Academy Award filled casts ever -- March, Lancaster, Douglas, Ava Gardner, Martin Balsam, Edmund O'Brien, and John Houseman. Great performances by all in this film, but mostly by Burt Lancaster and Fredric March who toward the end of the movie have a great scene with excellent dialog that sum up the true essence of the story. But, what is most interesting is that the film was made when it was; being released three months after the assassination of President Kennedy. Because it brings up the issue of whether a political coup can happen here or not. Also, the screenplay was written by Rod Serling, of Twilight Zone fame.

Little known is that a darker alternate ending was developed for this film involving General Scott being killed in a car wreck, leaving the question: was it an accident or suicide? Coming up out of the wreckage over the car radio is President Lyman's speech about the sanctity of the Constitution.
½ March 1, 2015
As a political thriller this movie has it all.Great cast,directing and script.
½ February 26, 2015
Reeking of machismo and psycopathy, General Scott (played by Burt Lancaster), heads a military coup attempt against the United States president, (played Fredric March.) When Douglas' character (Col. Casey) begins to piece together a plot, he reports it directly to the President. A sort of cat and mouse game results, with the President and his men attempting to find evidence of conspiracy, a secret military base, possible murder.

This film is entertaining but entirely unrealistic. It completely ignores reality when it comes to containing a conspiracy theory, funneling government funds to build and operate a secret military post, and using troops without their knowledge. It also Hollywood-izes politics, with the President seeking solid evidence against General Scott, for fear of not being believed. In reality, just the notion of scandal would have sent the press into a feeding frenzy, evidence be damned. Of course, this is explained away by the President desiring to protect the nation from the reality of an attempted coup. In short, this film relies on the sort of ideals and non-reality that Hollywood loved during that era. It's worth a watch though. Lancaster, in particular, does an excellent job in the film - creating a character who is incredibly hate-worthy.
½ January 16, 2015
One of the best political thrillers ever made. Top-Notch directing, acting, set design, photogrsphy...everything. And, it's a scary now, as it was in 1964.
February 14, 2010
A very good, thought-provoking film that is more related and relevant to our times than we would like.
July 2, 2014
Although it's not my favourite Frankenheimer film, it's still a masterpiece for what it is.
December 17, 2012
Oh Rod Serling you brilliant bastard
December 4, 2012
to tell you the truth, i cant stop watching the trailer. I dont why. Addicted? Maybe?
November 11, 2012
burt lancaster and kirk douglas are 2 of the manliest men ever on screen
October 28, 2012
Excellent Movie, very realistic overview of cold war times in the US
½ May 21, 2012
This is a good movie. I recently became fascinated with the Cold War and wanted to see how it affected popular culture at the time. I read the James Bond series and watched a helluva-lotta movies. "Seven Days In May" stood out because of the performances. There's no melodrama here. Every character considers every word he says, because one slip could cost him his career or his life. The even, measured conversations that are basically all the movie is do a great job of building tension the further the story goes along. Kirk Douglas is great. They don't make leading men like him anymore.

It's a little jingoistic at the end, but that's to be expected during this period.
½ April 26, 2012
Dated, but the brilliance shines through.
March 3, 2012
I just watched this movie for the first time and this was a fantastic movie and not that far out of the real of possiblities. Douglas and expecially Lancaster were awesome.
August 19, 2011
In the mid months of may, the president (Frederic March) becomes nervous when a colonel (Kirk Douglas) becomes seriously concerned with the bizarre actions of a prominent general (Burt Lancaster). The actions include lying about his whereabouts, a bizarre meeting with the president in a remote area, and the possibility of a secret mission to remove the cabinet, including the president, from the White House. Mainly compelling thriller boasts solid performances and moves at a relatively quick pace. However, I felt slightly unsatisfied by the plot. For me it lacked something, possibly because I expected something extraordinary like Frankenheimer's masterpiece "The Manchurian Candidate." Still, it was a really interesting film.
July 13, 2011
A classic drama/suspense from the 60's. Just a good film, no real faults.
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