World War III

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Movie Info

World War III is an ambitious if unnecessarily protracted speculative TV movie. Set in a "future December," the film prophesies an American grain embargo levied on Russia. US President Rock Hudson is entreated by the Soviet higher-ups to drop the ban; meanwhile, a group of renegade Russian military officers begin sending expeditionary forces into Alaska. While the countdown to Doomsday begins, the film insists upon cutting back to several expendable romances in both the American and Soviet camps. Boris Sagal, the original director of World War III, was killed in a freak helicopter accident while on location. To make up for lost time, the production was moved to the soundstages of Zoetrope Studios and overseen by ultra-efficient TV director David Greene. Part Two finds novice American president Rock Hudson trying to effect an honorable peace with Soviet premiere Brian Keith. But insurgent military officers endeavoring to seize the Alaska Pipeline as a bargaining chip continue to escalate the hostilities. It develops that the fate of the world may rest in the hands of American colonel David Soul. Also appearing is Cathy Lee Crosby, endearingly miscast as an intelligence officer. A heart-stopping surprise twist brings World War III to a close. While the film has its moments of genuine suspense, one can't help but feel that World War III would have been better an hour or two shorter--or at least with a few of the subplot romances removed. Originally running four hours, World War III was telecast in two parts on January 31 and February 1, 1982.


David Soul
as Lieutenant Colonel Jake Caffey
Rock Hudson
as President Thomas McKenna
Brian Keith
as Secretary General Gorny
Jeroen Krabbé
as Colonel Alexander Vorashin
Cathy Lee Crosby
as Maj. Kate Breckenridge
Robert Prosky
as Colonel General Aleksey Rudenski
Katherine Helmond
as Dorothy Longworth
James Hampton
as Richard Hickman
Jerry Hardin
as Philip Olafson
Bob Minor
as Trimble
Susan Niven
as Megan Hardy
Liz Sheridan
as Naomi Glass
Donegan Smith
as General Schiff
Kai Wulff
as Konstantin Sculoff
Richard Yniguez
as Captain Angel Cordobes
Art Evans
as Buford
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