Seven Days in May Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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 to me 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.
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
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.
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.
May 22, 2011
A well-done film from John Frankenheimer about a secret plan by the Pentagon brass to overthrow the President in a coup. Released in 1964 and set during Cold War tensions of the near future, the film offers a paranoid conspiratorial reaction to controversial nuclear policies. One gets the feeling that while this film was based on a recent novel by Rod Sterling, the character of President Lyman is based, at least in part on President Kennedy. While pursuing a thoughtful approach to the nuclear problem and the Cold War, Kennedy earned no friends among the more hawkish members of our government and there are countless theories out there that have skirted around the real-life possibility of a situation just as this one. Much of the specifics of the conspiracy are glossed over and we're left with a fairly light, breezy plot, accessible to the masses. I'd have liked to have seen a more complex examination of the conspiracy and the conspirators motivations. Frankenheimer knows his way around political thrillers and this film is no exception. Excellent performances from all involved, especially Kirk Douglas as the Director of the Joint Chiefs in the whistle-blower role and Fredric March as the polarizing president seeking a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Russians. Ava Gardner is underused in the film and one gets the feeling that many of her scenes were left on the cutting room floor. The film was remade by HBO Films in 1994 as THE ENEMY WITHIN. The DVD features a commentary from the always-interesting Frankenheimer who offers a great deal of insight to the story and the filmmaking process.
February 21, 2011
Seven Days in May is an intense political thriller. It is about U.S. military leaders overthrowing the U.S. presidency. It captured the paranoia of surviving the cold war and how the paranoia strengthened the democracy. Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas give excellent performance. The script is well written and well crafted. John Frankenheimer did an awesome job directing this film. I enjoyed this movie because of the drama and thrills. Seven Days in May is a must see.
January 21, 2011
Strangly, I never heard of this movie until a friend of mine recommended it a week ago. This is the story of a political cue against the US president after he announces a peace treaty with the Soviet Union. Kirk Douglas plays a US colonel who is trying to expose the conspiracy. However it's not a Jack Bauer thing, as the president is really the focus of this story as he tries to save his government and his life. Fredric March plays a really cool president in this. Everyone in this is great. It's interesting to see how little things change from this world to ours. The dialog is quick and scenes don't lag on for too long. Keep in mind though, for a political thriller about a cue, no shots are fired and no punches are thrown. This is about drama and words. But still, if you like political dramas and don't mind a lack of action, try to see this one.
July 4, 2010
Very powerful film. You can watch it on Youtube in 13 parts.