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Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977)

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Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977)

aka Twilight's Last Gleaming

"We have invaded Silo 3. We are prepared to launch nine nuclear missiles. We demand ten million dollars, Air Force One... and you, Mr President."

Directed By: 
Written By:  Writer details not available
Details: 146 mins · English · R (USA)

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Cast:

Small Sgt. Fitzpatrick
Small Gen. Lawrence Dell
Small President David T. Stevens
Small James Forrest
Small Capt. Stanford Towne
No_movie_poster Bernstein
Small Augie Garvas
Small Arthur Renfrew
Small William Klinger
Small Zachariah Guthrie
Small Hoxey
Small Willis Powell
Small Gen. Martin MacKenzie
Small Brig. Gen. O'Rourke

Crew:

Small Robert Aldrich Director
No_movie_poster Michael Luciano Editing
No_movie_poster Maury Winetrobe Editing
No_movie_poster William Martin Editing

Taglines:

"We have invaded Silo 3. We are prepared to launch nine nuclear missiles. We demand ten million dollars, Air Force One... and you, Mr President."

Plot:

After escaping from a military prison, rogue Air Force general Lawrence Dell (Burt Lancaster) and accomplices Powell and Garvas infiltrate an ICBM complex and gain launch control over its nine nuclear missiles. They then make direct contact with the US government (avoiding any media attention) and demand both ten million dollars ransom and, more importantly, that the President (Charles Durning) go on national television and make public the contents of a top-secret document.

The document, which is unknown to the current president but not to certain members of his cabinet, contains conclusive proof that the US government knew there was no realistic hope of winning the Vietnam War but continued fighting it for the sole purpose of demonstrating to the Soviet Union their unwavering commitment to defeating communism.

While the President and his Cabinet debate the practical, personal, and ethical aspects of agreeing to these demands, they also authorize the military to send an elite team led by General MacKenzie (Richard Widmark) to penetrate the ICBM complex and incinerate its command center with a low-yield tactical nuclear device. When this attempt is discovered, the hostage-takers respond by initiating a missile launch. As the military and President Stevens watch the underground missile silo launch covers begin to open, they agree to call off the attempt and the launch is aborted.

Eventually the President agrees to meet the demands, which include allowing himself to be taken hostage and used as a human shield while Dell and his team make their escape from the complex. As the president leaves the White House he asks the Secretary of Defense to release the document should he be killed in the process. US Air Force snipers kill the general but also shoot the President, who with his dying breath asks the Secretary of Defense if he will release the document. The Secretary can not bring himself to answer.

Release Dates:

Video : 2001-08-06 : Japan

Video : 1995-10-01 : Germany

Video : 1998-04-30 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 1977-02-09 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1977-04-08 : Finland

Theatrical : 1977-06-27 : Sweden

Theatrical : 1977-06-30 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1977-09-01 : Mexico

Theatrical : 1977-09-06 : Davao

Theatrical : Austria

Theatrical : 1977-10-28 : West Germany

Theatrical : 1977-11-22 : Norway

Theatrical : 1978-06-05 : Spain

Theatrical : 1978-11-01 : Colombia

Theatrical : 1978-12-13 : France

Theatrical : Turkey

DVD : 2003-01-24 : Spain

DVD : 2011-09-19 : United States of America

2006-11-13 : Turin

2012-08-08 : Locarno