7.1/10
2,675
43 user 5 critic

By Dawn's Early Light (1990)

A non-NATO nuclear missile is fired from Turkey at USSR, where it detonates. Soviet response is automatic as it's seen as a NATO missile. Can continued escalation be avoided? We follow the US president and a bomber crew.

Director:

Jack Sholder

Writers:

William Prochnau (novel), Bruce Gilbert (teleplay)
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Popularity
4,522 ( 4,680)
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Powers Boothe ... Cassidy
Rebecca De Mornay ... Moreau (as Rebecca DeMornay)
James Earl Jones ... Alice
Martin Landau ... President
Darren McGavin ... Condor
Rip Torn ... Colonel Fargo
Jeffrey DeMunn ... Harpoon
Peter MacNicol ... Sedgwick
Glenn Withrow ... Tyler
Ronald William Lawrence ... Hooker
Kieran Mulroney ... Radnor
Nicolas Coster ... General Renning - 'Icarus'
Ken Jenkins ... Looking Glass Colonel - 'Sam'
Randal Patrick Randal Patrick ... O'Toole
Daniel Benzali ... Bascombe
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Storyline

The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a limited nuclear exchange in this film with a scenario similar to Fail Safe (1964) and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Originally a made for cable movie, it concentrates on the relationship between a veteran pilot and his female co-pilot and the president's attempt to wrest control away from a war-mongering successor. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Four People. Three Minutes. Two Choices. One Chance For Survival.

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The call-sign of the US Secretary of the Interior (Darren McGavin) on the Boeing E-4 NEACP airplane was "CONDOR". See more »

Goofs

The computer readout shows data about the first nuclear detonation. It states that the yield was 500 000 Megatons. The largest detonation in human history was the Soviet "Tsar Bomba" at 50 MT, an unusually large demonstration device. 500 000 MT would be more than the combined yield of all weapons on Earth. See more »

Quotes

[Harpoon and Fargo try to advise the acting president on how to react to the nuclear conflict]
Harpoon: Use the pause. Settle things down.
Fargo: The best defense... Cut off the head of the Soviet chicken.
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Connections

Referenced in Sledstvie veli...: Besy (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF
Written by Dan Baird
Performed by The Georgia Satellites
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Administered by BMI
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User Reviews

When technology goes wrong...
6 December 2001 | by YorkieSee all my reviews

This film is, in my mind, all about what could happen if terrorists got their hands on nuclear weapons and technology did not take account of it. Russia's automatic retaliation to the strike on Donetsk triggers utter political turmoil as Russia realise, too late, that they are victims of terrorism, rather than under US attack. The big mistake was not keeping China informed of what was happening.

The acting in this film is excellent. Most of it seems very plausible, but would anyone really agree to a limited retaliation? Of course, the Soviet Union probably could not have made much contribution to rebuilding back then, so maybe it would be more plausible for the time.

The mind battle between Condor and the real President is excellent. This is a "must see" film for anyone interested in world politics.


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Details

Official Sites:

Matte World Digital

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

24 April 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Grand Tour See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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