The Bedford Incident (1965) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Bedford Incident (1965)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Bedford Incident Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In this drama, Richard Widmark plays the skipper of an American destroyer. When a Russian sub is pursued by Widmark, the routine mission turns deadly when nervous ensign James MacArthur fires off an atomic weapon. Widmark doesn't want to start a war, but there doesn't seem to be any choice.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: James Poe
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 23, 2003
Sony Pictures Entertainment


Richard Widmark
as Capt. Eric Finland, ...
Sidney Poitier
as Ben Munceford
James MacArthur
as Ensign Ralston
Martin Balsam
as Lieut. Cmdr. Chester...
Wally Cox
as Sonarman, 2nd Class
Eric Portman
as Cmdr. Wolfgang Schre...
Michael Kane
as Cmdr. Allison
Phil Brown
as Chief Pharmacist Mat...
Gary Cockrell
as Lt. Bascombe
Brian Davies
as Lt. Beckman
Warren Stanhope
as Pharmacist's Mate St...
Donald Sutherland
as Pharmacist's Mate Ne...
Colin Maitland
as Seaman Jones
Michael Graham Cox
as Lieutenant Krindleme...
Ed Bishop
as Lt. Hacker
George Roubicek
as Lt. Burger
Laurence Herder
as Petty Officer
Paul Tamarin
as Seaman 2nd Class
Burnell Tucker
as Seaman 1st Class
Roy Stephens
as Seaman 2nd Class
Shane Rimmer
as Seaman 1st Class
Bill Edwards
as Lieutenant Hazelwood...
Michael Graham
as Lieutenant Krindleme...
Mike Kane
as Commander Allison, ...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Bedford Incident

Critic Reviews for The Bedford Incident

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

Poitier does an excellent job in both the light and serious aspects of his role, and manages to leave a personal stamp on his scenes.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Top Critic

Harris, Stanley Kubrick's former producer, here came up with his own Dr Strangelove variant, muting the black humour but just as incisively diagnosing nuclear insanity.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The whole thing transcends plausibility -- for a moderately wised-up viewer, at least -- because of its gross exaggeration of a highly improbable episode.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A serviceable but not very exceptional cold-war thriller.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Taut and suspenseful.

Full Review… | May 14, 2012
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Channels themes from Dr. Strangelove but leaves at port the black humor.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Bedford Incident


Richard Widmark stars in this tense cold war thriller as an abrasive naval commander playing a high stakes game of cat and mouse with a soviet submarine. This is obviously influenced (as most sea-bourne adventures are) by the classic tale of obsession, Moby Dick, as Widmark pursues his white whale with little thought for the consequences. There is some great verbal sparring between his character and Sidney Poitier's tenacious reporter, which is almost as much fun to watch as his demolition of every man who tries to stand in his way; Widmark is always better in his more hard-nosed roles. Add some nice documentary style black & white photography and an excellent turn by Eric Portman as a pragmatic ex U-boat commander and you have an intelligent and cleverly written thriller cum arms race analogy with a great finale.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Where as we usually in movies get to see the perspective of the hunted submarine, in this film we see the story from the hunters point of view. With some good writing and better pacing this film keeps the tension of losing the catch going throughout. Richard Widmark plays Eric Finland an aggressive hard nosed captain of the sub hunter. Widmark has one the the best voices in all of cinema. With his John Wayne like presence its hard to imagine him playing anything else but a military officer. Sidney Poitier plays reporter Ben Munceford and is unflappably confident which he always does so well. One can't help but make correlations to moby dick, and the film realises and references this. The movies biggest problem is a year earlier "fail safe" came out and is a much better version of this kind of film. If you have seen one you know what will happen i the other, and "fail safe" is much better. Still a good film, plus you get to catch a young but unmistakable Donald Sutherland.

Excellent Cold War film that has been sadly overlooked. It started off slow and a bit clumsy but by the last 30 minutes I was on edge.

The Bedford Incident Quotes

Capt. Eric Finland: Make it so.
– Submitted by Lance B (4 years ago)

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