Movie is set on Sunday Nov. 16, 1981.
The President: “Screw church.”
The Vietnam War was a show for the Russians, which we intended to lose, just to prove that we had the will to sacrifice troops for no good reason. General Burt Lancaster knows this and is going to force the President of the United States to publically admit it on the air. This is our premise.
Wait, it gets better. Burt will achieve this goal by taking over a nuclear missile station and threatening to launch nukes at Russia unless the President obeys.
Burt breaks in:
What goes wrong: Burt doesn’t count on the very evil military (who stay in power because of their legacy of secrets) being willing to kill his hostage, the President (who hadn’t even known about the vietnam conspiracy).
President Charles Durning (Waring Hudsucker, also in The Sting and Hi Mom):
Lancaster’s buds are Burt Young & Paul Winfield. Young gets shot in an almost-successful anti-Burt operation towards the end, and Winfield is mostly on Burt’s side but manages to reason with him a little, convince him of the futility of launching the missiles.
Winfield, of White Dog:
I don’t know a whole lot about Aldrich. This seemed a kinda low-budget effort, with a 70’s TV-movie look to it, except in the hugely stylish split-screens which sometimes divided into three or four simultaneous actions or angles.
But wait, have I mentioned that Thee Great Richard Widmark plays Burt’s nemesis General MacKenzie?
Widmark does go to church, seen below with his wife, one of the only appearances of a woman in the film.
This was the final film of Charles McGraw (below), star of “The Narrow Margin”, appeared in “The Birds” and “The Defiant Ones” and “A Boy and His Dog”, and previously appeared with Burt Lancaster over thirty years earlier in “The Killers”.
Paul Winfield: “Jive-ass honky!”
Widmark’s pager goes off in church, back when that was socially awkward rather than business as usual.
Multiple product-placements for Coke.
Burt: “Gentlemen, we are now a superpower.”