🎥 The Bedford Incident – 1965
The Story …
The United States Navy destroyer USS Bedford, under the strict command of Captain Eric Finlander, is sailing in the Greenland, Iceland, and United Kingdom gap.
Aboard are Ben Munceford, a civilian photojournalist; Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke, a German Navy NATO naval advisor; Ensign Ralston, an inexperienced young officer who is constantly criticized by Finlander for small errors; and Lieutenant Commander Chester Potter, the ship’s new doctor …
When the Bedford detects a Soviet submarine just off the coast of Greenland,[a] Finlander mercilessly stalks his prey into international waters and plays a waiting game after losing sonar contact in a field of icebergs, knowing the diesel-powered sub will have to surface within 24 hours to replenish its air and recharge its batteries.
The crew never complains, but Potter is concerned that maintaining this level of vigilance is dangerous and suggests modifications, all of which Finlander dismisses out of hand. Munceford is aboard to photograph life on a Navy destroyer, but his real interest is Finlander, who was one of only a few military officials to publicly state that the United States should have used greater force during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
When Munceford asks Finlander if this is why, though he gets results, he was recently passed over for promotion to admiral, Finlander becomes hostile and accuses Munceford of misinterpreting the facts.
He says he would go “all the way” to save his country, but, after calming down, insists his current action is just a deterrent. The Soviet submarine is spotted by the Bedford’s radar when it finally pokes its snorkel above the surface.
It was not seen first by the sonarman because he is having exhaustion-induced delusions. Schrepke reminds Finlander that his orders are just to escort the sub out of Greenland’s waters, but Finlander sends a message ordering the sub to fully surface and identify itself.
When the order is ignored, Finlander runs over the snorkel. Munceford and Schrepke protest that Finlander is forcing the sub to fight, and Finlander orders Ralston to arm an anti-submarine rocket.
He reassures Munceford and Schrepke that he will not fire first, but when he says that “if he fires one, I’ll fire one”, the fatigued Ralston just hears “fire one” and launches the rocket!!
The story unfolds …
“Widmark at his best! …”
- Directed by : James B. Harris
- Screenplay by : James Poe
- Based on : The Bedford Incident by Mark Rascovich
- Produced by : James B. Harris and Richard Widmark
- Cinematography : Gilbert Taylor
- Edited by : John Jympson
- Music by : Gerard Schurmann
- Colour Process : Black and White
- Production Company : Bedford Productions Ltd
- Distributed by : Columbia Pictures
- Release Dates : 11 October 1965
- Richard Widmark as Captain Eric Finlander
- Sidney Poitier as Ben Munceford
- James MacArthur as Ensign Ralston
- Martin Balsam as Lieutenant Commander Chester Potter, M.D.
- Wally Cox as Seaman Merlin Queffle
- Eric Portman as Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke
- Bundesmarine Michael Kane as Commander Allison
- Executive Officer (Bridge) Gary Cockrell as Lieutenant Bascombe (C.I.C.)
- Phil Brown as Chief Hospitalman McKinley (Sick Bay)
- Brian Davies as Lieutenant Beckman (Communications)
- Paul Carson as Seaman 1st Class Williams (Communications)
- Edward Bishop as Lieutenant Hacker (Communications)
- Colin Maitland as Seaman Jones (Bridge)
- Roy Stephens as Seaman 2nd Class (C.I.C.)
- George Roubicek as Lieutenant Berger (C.I.C.)
- Donald Sutherland as Hospitalman Nerney (Sick Bay)
Film Information :
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