» » Seven Days in May (1964)

Short summary

United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.
An unpopular U.S. President manages to get a nuclear disarmament treaty through the Senate, but finds that the nation is turning against him. Jiggs Casey, a Marine Colonel, finds evidence that General Scott, the wildly popular head of the Joint Chiefs and certain Presidential Candidate in 2 years is not planning to wait. Casey goes to the president with the information and a web of intrigue begins with each side unsure of who can be trusted.

Trailers "Seven Days in May (1964)"

Originally scheduled for release in December 1963 but Burt Lancaster insisted the release date be postponed as it was too soon after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The same fate befell Il dottor Stranamore - Ovvero: come ho imparato a non preoccuparmi e ad amare la bomba (1964), which was also scheduled for a December 1963 opening.

The story is set in the "not too distant" future. While viewing slides of pictures taken at the last naval inspection, the date 1970 can be seen. Although likely overlooked by modern audiences, the movie has many futuristic items that would have seemed state of the art at the time of release. The wall projecting slide viewer, the television based teleconference equipment, even the digital time/date display at the Pentagon were all touches meant at the time of release to reflect a high tech environment of the near future.

The "Eleanor Holbrook" subplot was based on a real-life incident involving Gen. Douglas MacArthur. In 1934, the general sued journalists Drew Pearson and Robert Allen for libel. He dropped the suit when the defendants announced they intended to take testimony from Isabel Rosario Cooper, a Eurasian woman who had been the general's mistress.

This movie was never released in Brazil, due to the "coup-d'etat" organized by the military (1 April 1964). The generals who overthrew the government saw the film as uncomfortably close to what they did in real life and did not want Brazilians to be reminded of it, so they banned the film.

The White House wanted the film made and was very cooperative with the production. Press Secretary Pierre Salinger arranged for the production designer to have access to President John F. Kennedy's office and other rooms so they could be duplicated exactly at the studio.

One of seven films they made together, there has been a great deal of dispute over whether or not stars Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas were actually friends or simply business partners who tolerated each other for the sake of the films they worked on. Director John Frankenheimer said that they were friends but also that their friendship and working relationship was always strained by Douglas's alleged jealousy of Lancaster and Lancaster's rather legendary ego.

For security reasons, the Pentagon forbids camera crews near the entrances to the complex. John Frankenheimer wanted a shot of Kirk Douglas entering the building. So they rigged up a station wagon with a camera to film Douglas, in a full Marine colonel's uniform, walking up the steps of the Pentagon. The salutes Douglas received in that scene were real, as the guards had no reason to believe it was for a movie!

According to director John Frankenheimer, the Gen. Scott character is an amalgam of Gen. Curtis LeMay and Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The novel's co-author, Fletcher Knebel, has said that he based the character on disgraced and cashiered former army general Edwin Walker, who was forced out of the army after having been found to be using political material from various ultra-right-wing organizations he belonged to as "training manuals" in order to indoctrinate his troops in far-right-wing politics.

Kirk Douglas had originally signed to play Gen. James Mattoon Scott. Douglas eventually realized that his friend Burt Lancaster would be ideal as Scott, and took the less flashy role of Col. Martin "Jiggs" Casey after Lancaster signed on to the film.

An important plot point in the film involves the attempted coup taking place on the same day as the Preakness Stakes horse race. However, the seven-day timeline for the film would have had the coup taking place on Sunday while the Preakness is always run on a Saturday. John Frankenheimer said that the problem was solved by a scriptwriting acquaintance of his. This man worked as a script doctor and liked to gamble but wagered his professional services instead of money. Frankenheimer had won some work from the man and gave him the problem. The solution? In one scene a character walks by a poster which says "First Ever Sunday Running of the Preakness".

A liberal Democrat, Burt Lancaster was hesitant to take the role of Scott, as he felt the character and film unfairly vilified the conservative Republican party. Kirk Douglas persuaded him that the role of Scott was a morally ambiguous figure rather than a villain.

Paul Girard (Martin Balsam) meets Adm. Barnswell (John Houseman), commander of the 6th Fleet, in Gibraltar aboard his flagship, the USS Kitty Hawk, one of the newest and largest aircraft carriers in 1964. The scene was filmed in San Diego Bay, where the Kitty Hawk was actually flagship of the 7th Fleet based in the Pacific. The aircraft carrier USS Midway is in the background. The Midway is now a museum in San Diego while the Kitty Hawk was decommissioned (2009) and in the naval reserves. At time of her decommissioning, the Kitty Hawk was the second-longest serving U.S. Navy ship after the U.S.S. Constitution, "Old Ironsides," (commissioned 1797, and still on the Navy's list of active warships).

The director, John Frankheimer, wanted a more futuristic rifle for use by the military, given the movies, occurring in the near future and chose the Colt M16 for this purpose. The M16 was subsequently chosen as the replacement for the aging and overly heavy M14, then in service.

Kirk Douglas had been at a dinner with John F Kennedy, and JFK had asked him if he planned to make the novel " Seven Days in May " into a movie. When Douglas said " yes ", the president spent the next half hour telling him how great a movie it would be.

Spencer Tracy was originally announced for the role of the President.

John Frankenheimer had been in the Air Force and was very familiar with the Pentagon.

John Houseman's first feature film role, albeit uncredited. (Supposedly he had a small-but-deleted role in the 1957 British film "Ill Met By Moonlight," but this has never been confirmed.)

The film is set in the near future (relative to 1964), but the exact date is never given. While subtle clues in the film suggest that it is most likely set in May 1975, Senator Prentice's limousine has registration stickers on its license plate for 1969 and 1970.

Several cast members in studio records/casting call lists for this movie were not seen in the final print. These included: Leonard Nimoy, Victor Buono, and Bill Raisch.

Fifth of seven films that Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster made together.

One of the first full page ads for the movie's upcoming release appeared in the NY Times on November 22, 1963, the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Whilst preparing a dialogue scene with Frederic March, Burt Lancaster suddenly forgot his lines. He said to March that he knew them just before in his office. Then March asked Lancaster why he did not bring his office with him. Lancaster was vexed and, the day after, he knew his lines.

The film cast includes five Oscar winners: Burt Lancaster, Edmond O'Brien, Martin Balsam, Fredric March and John Houseman; and three Oscar nominees: Ava Gardner, Kirk Douglas and Ferris Webster.

Col. Casey's first name, Martin, is never spoken; he is always addressed (or referred to) by his nickname, "Jiggs". Casey's full name can be seen on the window that separates his office from the waiting room outside Gen. Scott's office. Interestingly, the meaning of "Jiggs" is never explained.

In the original novel upon which the film was based, Adm. Farley C. Barnswell's flagship is the USS Eisenhower, a good guess on the part of the novel's writers, Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II: an aircraft carrier of that name would not be ordered until 29 June 1970, a full eight years after the book's publication.

During a briefing between Col. "Jiggs" Casey and Gen. Scott in Scott's Pentagon office, the second shot on the video screen, allegedly of B-47s taxiing at Wright Field during the January alert, is footage from the film Aquile nell'infinito (1955).

Both the book and the movie suggest that the story takes place in the near future -- that is, after the early 1960s. Using the day-date combinations featured on screen, as well as a conversation in which the next Presidential election is "a year and nine months" hence, the most likely setting for these events is May 1975.

John Larkin, who plays Col. Broderick, died suddenly less than a year after the film was released. Larkin had already shot many other films and TV episodes, which were released or aired posthumously.

Some film reference works (e.g., the multivolume set, "The Motion Picture Guide") incorrectly list Jack Mullaney's character as "Lt. Hough". "Hough" is the last name of this character in the novel upon which the film is based.

There are several instances of day and date being shown. Col. Casey mentions the day of the Preakness as May 18 (at 14:30 in the film). He later mentions that the Preakness is on Sunday (39:07). And again later, a TV screen is shown with the headline "1st Sunday Preakness" (1:49:16). This occurs 2 minutes after the flashing sign at the Offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reads Sun May 18 (1:47:52). The same flashing sign is used throughout the film to establish day and date: Mon May 12 (15:20) & Tue May 13 (25:13-23). There is also a chalkboard with Thu May 15 written on it and a cameraman at the lake films a sign with Fri May 16 on it. The dates are very clearly established as to be Monday May 12 through Sunday May 18. Since the film is placed in the near-future, the following years coincide with those dates: 1969, 1975, 1980, 1997. It is mentioned that "we been hating the Russians for a quarter of a century" (07:55), which is obviously an estimate, making the "near-future" either 1969 or 1975. Later, the president says that the next election is a year and 9 months away, which would be early 1971 or 1977, which is not when elections take place (they happen in November during years of multiples of 4). But there's also a shot of a license plate with tags for 1969 & 1970, which could be an error or deliberate. It's clear that the film makers have deliberately obfuscated the year in which these events take place.

Original composer David Amram's score was rejected and Jerry Goldsmith was quickly drafted in as a replacement.

Second of Frankenheimer's "paranoid" trilogy after The Manchurian Candidate and before Seconds.

The film takes place from May 12 to May 18, 1970.

Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster appeared previously together in The Killers.

George Macready who plays Christopher Todd previously starred with Kirk Douglas in 1957's 'Paths of Glory.'

In General Scott's office there is a portrait on the wall of General Jimmy Dolittle, who was the man behind the audacious "Dolittle Raid" over Japan a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. While it had limited military value, its impact on both the Japanese and American public was profound. Clearly, Scott admires Dolittle's boldness, his organization and planning, and his willingness to act; all of which can be seen in Scott's character and actions.

When Casey is following the TV news anchor, his car parks behind a taxi. The advertisement on the back of the taxi is for the Preakness racetrack, promoting its first running on Sunday, May 10th.

When Senator Clark ( Edmond O'Brien ) is in Texas he is driving a Chevrolet Nova. This was a popular car and versions were also manufactured in Mexico and sold throughout Latin America. The name of the vehicle became quite a joke because in Spanish, "no va" means that the car "doesn't go."

In Eleanor's apartment there is a dark and gloomy abstract painting of an undesirable man leaning against a beached boat with a woman laying prostrate on the beach. Being the rejected mistress of General Scott, this painting clearly represents the failure of their relationship. Meanwhile on the wall nearby there is an elegant series of light and breezy images that represent Eleanor herself.

The President refers to General Walker, likening him to Joesph McCarthy and General Scott. Major General Edwin Walker was a right wing extremist who ran afoul of President Eisenhower because of his extremist views, his accusations of his superiors and others, including Eleanor Roosevelt and and President Harry S. Truman as being communist sympathizers. As with General Scott, he also violated the Hatch Act by using his military authority to influence the votes of those under his command. After he left the service he was a key instigator in the violent riots at the University of Mississippi in 1962, attacking the right of a black student to enroll in the university.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Whitescar
    There are many movies directed by John Frenkenheimer which simply evolve over time into great works of art. In their own way, they exemplify his innate sense of mystery, suspense, and dark drama. Too many to list, one example would be "Seconds." In this film, "Seven Days in May" we have what will surely become one of the finest examples of his craft. In the story, we have Gen. James Mattoon Scott, (Burt Lancaster) (in what certainly became a custom tailored role for him) who firmly believes that the president of the United States has criminally endangered the country by agreeing to a nuclear disarmament treaty. So concerned for the safety of the U.S. that he and several Joint Chiefs of Staff, decide to remove President Jordan Lyman ( Fredric March) with a cleverly designed military alert, or Coup d'etat. Unable to confide in his own aid, Col. Martin 'Jiggs' Casey, (Kirk Douglas), Scott, arranges to keep Casey out of the loop, until the overthrow is complete. Unfornatuately for the Generals, Casey suspects their innocent "secret wagers" are more menacing than they appear and hopes the president will believe him when he shares his suspicions about the man he work's for and admires. Edmond O'Brien is Sen. Raymond Clark, one of the few men the president can trust. The late Rod Serling wrote the script and like his twilight Zone episodes, this classic film has one wondering who the real traitors are? *****
  • comment
    • Author: Kagrel
    An excellent cast, a well-crafted script, and a talented director add up to one of the great films.

    This movie captures the paranoia of the cold war and how that paranoia tested the strength and definition of a democracy. The importance of civilian control over the military is well illustrated in this chilling story of a plot by the Pentagon to overthrow the US President because the military disagrees with his disarmament policy.

    Use of black & white gives the film the look of a documentary, emphasizing the sense of realism for the story. If you have the chance, see this movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Ximinon
    The novel and the movie Seven Days in May were based on a very potential reality. See James Bamford's 2002 book, Body of Secrets, which is about the National Security Agency. General Edwin Walker, mentioned in another review, was only the least of what was going on in the higher echelons of the U.S. military near the end of the Eisenhower Administration and the beginning of the Kennedy-Johnson Administration.

    At military bases, and even at the National War College in Washington, the most rabid preachings took place about the real threat of communism coming not from Russia or Cuba, but from high-ups in the domestic power structure, including the government. The entire Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), led by Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer, was very right wing and rabidly obsessed with the idea that American civilization could not endure unless Cuba was militarily conquered and occupied in the long-term. They repeatedly threw suggestions for this at Eisenhower, who never took the bit. When Ike left the Oval Office and Kennedy, who had never been a military higher-up, replaced him, Lemnitzer felt adrift and became very paranoid. There were all sorts of JCS contingency plans, never implemented, for creating an incident that could be blamed falsely on the Russians and/or the Cubans to justify an invasion - a sort of second sinking of the battleship Maine. The more far-fetched of these ideas included terrorism at home to be blamed on Cuba and an attack on a friendly Central American country that could be falsely blamed on Cuba, all without the President's approval. Lemnitzer, according to Bamford, had little use for the concept of civilian control of the military. In fact,enough of this atmosphere within the U.S. military was in the wind that there was a secret Congressional inquiry into the potential for a military takeover of the government, which was based on more than idle wonder. Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee (the father of the recent Vice President), a member of the investigating committee, called for Lemnitzer's firing. Kennedy did not fire him, but did not re-appoint him to a second term as Chairman, preferring the more rational Maxwell Taylor.

    When the book came out, I stayed awake for 24 hours to finish it. I could not put it down. Mercifully, the film is shorter, but it is superbly acted and very well scripted. You won't be disappointed.
  • comment
    • Author: Sha
    Fredric March is the President of the United States. He has just gotten a nuclear disarmament treaty signed with the Soviet Union's leader, and it has (barely) been passed by the U.S. Senate. Both countries agree to get rid of their nuclear arsenals, and to end decades of potential nuclear catastrophe. But there are many who oppose this treaty, including Burt Lancaster, the greatest military hero of the day and head of the Joint Chief of Staff. He is in contact with several others regarding these fears, and they are planning a coup, to replace the President and his supporters and rip up this dangerous treaty. That is the background and story of "Seven Days In May", except that Lancaster's closest assistant, Kirk Douglas, is appalled at the scheme and tips off March and his associates (Martin Balsam, Edmond O'Brien, George Macready). We are also aware that there is certain information that can be gotten by the President that would tarnish Lancaster's American patriot and family man image - his love letters to his mistress (Ava Gardner). Also, as the film goes on, we are aware of the spread of the coup - how Edmund O'Brien is held imprisoned by mutinous soldiers. And how Balsam may have gotten a confession out of one of the weaker links in the scheme.

    This film is interesting on so many levels. Not only does it include so many good performances in it, it is one of the most "Oscar" filled film casts one can think of - March, Lancaster, Douglas, Balsam, O'Brien, and even the uncredited John Houseman (as the weak-link Admiral Barnswell) all do well in the film. But what is most interesting to me is that the film was made when it was. Because it brings up the issue of whether a political coup can happen here or not.

    The subject of a fascist or dictatorial government taking over America is not new. Jack London wrote of such in "The Iron Heel" at the turn of the 20th Century. Sinclair Lewis did the same in 1934 with "It Can't Happen Here, turning real life demagogue Senator Huey Long into "Senator Buzz Windrip" who seizes power. Hollywood would have an unsettling faith (to us) in fascistic politics in "Gabriel Over The White House", "This Day And Age", and even Harold Lloyd's strange comedy The Cat's Paw". That the Depression scared the people does not really reassure us today. But "Seven Days In May was written in the 1960s. It does show how close to success such a plot may go.


    Basically, what saves the day for President Jordan Lyman's administration, and the treaty, is that the confession of one of General Scott's confederates is found. Lyman is unable to bring himself to be as underhanded towards the General as the latter deserves (he can't bring himself to use the love letters the General wrote his mistress to discredit the man). The deus ex machina of the confession saves the day, and causes the other leaders of the coup to save themselves, so that Scott is deserted and discredited as a traitor (when Jiggs, sarcastically asked if he knows who Judas was, tells Scott that he is Judas Scott realizes it's over). His collapse is completed as he hears over the radio of the resignations of his co-conspirators.

    The interesting thing was that Knebel's novel pushed a different slant on Scott's final collapse. Lyman, in the novel, produces the confession to Scott, and they both hear of the resignations. Scott leaves the Oval Office aware that it is over, but thinking that he might (after he resigns) start a political campaign to replace Lyman in the White House in the next election. Instead, he is confronted by Senator Clark (O'Brien) and Secretary of the Treasury Todd (George Macready)outside the Oval Office. They remind Scott that if he intends to run for the Presidency rather than resigning, there is still the matter of the love letters. Clark tells him that while Lyman is too much the gentleman to use them, neither Clark nor Todd would hesitate the opportunity of smearing him as a moral hypocrite. Scott actually is more concerned about this - and actually tries to hide behind the theoretical skirts of his betrayed wife at this moment ("You wouldn't want to hurt her" - that sort of thing). Regretfully they wouldn't care.

    In 1962, John Frankenheimer had done "The Manchurian Candidate", which also suggested a threat to American Democracy (although manipulated by foreign governments and their hidden agents). Then President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and in modern times (sixty three years since the last successful Presidential murder) violence had shaken the government. So "Seven Days In May" was quite timely when it came out in 1964. It has lost none of it's timelessness since then.

    Oddly enough, Fletcher Knebel wrote another political thriller that never did get made into a film. I'm not referring to "Vanished", which was made into a television movie in the 1970s. I am referring to "A Night At Camp David". In that novel, a popular American President invites his Vice President to spend a week-end in the Presidential retreat, and has a series of conversations about policy plans that reveal to the increasingly frightened Veep that his chief is an insane paranoid, who is planning moves that may lead to global disaster. The problem: Only the Veep has been informed of this - nobody else. How is the Veep to get the public to realize the danger, without people feeling the Veep is only spreading lies against a popular President in order to seize the Presidency himself? It is a fascinating plot, and I wonder why it was never filmed.
  • comment
    • Author: Gindian
    Seven Days in May is cold war movie making at its best. This film does not have a car chase, gun battles, or a President as villian. It does have great actors and is one of the finest translattion of a novel to screen. It is the first of the U.S. Militery as villian plot lines, since over used on both the screen and tv. A number of years ago a remake was done for cable-The Enemy within-and it did not work. In that the President is to be over-throw because he will sign a defense bill! The Russians are no longer the enemy and that's why it fails. In the first, made three years after the Cuban Missle Crisis, the fear of the Soviets is real and provides the ploters with a major cause against the President's program of disarmement. One of the best movies of the last fifty years.
  • comment
    • Author: Liarienen
    A splendid ensemble cast brought together in a fun, tight political thriller. John Frankenheimer's direction is first rate. I can't imagine Alfred Hitchcock doing a better job. The novel by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II was first published in 1962 and takes place in the early 1970s. The film, made in 1964, is more of period piece, shot in black and white by Ellsworth Fredericks. Some of the dark tones in the film are inspired by the mood of the nation since the assassination of President Kennedy. The novel, by contrast, writes of a two-term Kennedy administration. The script by Rod Serling improves on the novel by creating a sharper climax as the president overcomes the brewing plot by panicking high-ranking military officers to overthrow the Executive Branch of the US government. The film is otherwise fairly faithful to the book. Burt Lancaster plays General James Mattoon Scott, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and universally idolized military hero. The man, it seems, would make an ideal president--and that just might happen on the seventh day in May. Kirk Douglass portrays the efficient Colonel "Jiggs" Casey, who is Scott's subordinent and reluctant hero of the film. Frederick March is credible as an aging, weary president who has recently won a hard-fought battle to ratify a treaty with the Soviet Union to eliminate atomic weapons. There is a vociferous backlash against the treaty, led by right-wing television personalities. Soon it is apparent that certain elements in the military, congress, and media are all in league to usurp power from the president and, as they would reason, save the nation from the worthless treaty. The film plays on traditional political labels, both pro and con. Even though it was made 28 years ago, one can identify with many of the characters and situations in the film. In the later 1980s, President Ronald Reagan was criticized by right wing conservatives for signing a treaty with the Soviet Union to downsize nuclear stockpiles. The film has some great editing as well, most notably the scene where some of the recent mysterious occurances are beginning to make sense to Jiggs as he watches Gen. Scott address a conservative political rally. Good camerawork as well, particularly when a nervous Jiggs finally sums up to the president the fantastic plot he believes he's stumbled upon. Another great shot occurs when General Scott presents a speech he is going to make against the president to his team of co-conspirators, only the back of his head is seen. The characters are human, the story is spellbinding, the film is a classic on all levels.
  • comment
    • Author: Kinashand
    Somewhat forgotten political thriller about a military plot to take over the government. Great performances by all in this film, but mostly by Burt Lancaster and Fredric March who toward the end of the movie have a great scene with excellent dialog that sum up the true essence of the story. Ava Gardner is beautiful (literally) in this film. Edmund O'Brien is not to be overlooked as the bourbon loving southern senator. The first time I heard of this picture was when Gen Alexander Haig was being interviewed a number of years ago about the final days of the Nixon administration and was asked if he was thinking about the movie "Seven Days in May" Eventually I saw it late one night on cable and was glad I did.
  • comment
    • Author: Nenayally
    John Frankenheimer directs this powerful political thriller about a conspiracy by top military brass to overthrow the government. A marvelous cast in a powerful, pulse pounding drama. Kirk Douglas is a Marine Colonel that suspects the Joint Chief of Staff Chairman(Burt Lancaster)of plotting a disguised military coup that would destroy the President's nuclear disarmament treaty. Veteran actor Fredric March is outstanding as the President.

    The very talented supporting cast includes: the beautiful Ava Gardner, Martin Balsam, Andrew Duggan and Edmond O'Brien. John Houseman makes his debut in this Rod Serling screenplay. This one is a heavyweight. Paranoia prevails. The Russians are always suspect; but who would think of your own military turning inside out?
  • comment
    • Author: the monster
    The director, John Frankenheimer, had an amazing string of movies in the early to mid-1960s. First, The Manchurian Candidate, then this movie followed up a couple years later by Seconds. These are three of the absolute best thrillers EVER--and all with the same director! Seven Days in May is about a coup d'etat in progress to remove the President of the United States from office. It seems his more liberal course in regard to arms control doesn't meet with the approval of those in the military and they are afraid the US will be destroyed if they continue on the President's path. This plot is great because you can see BOTH sides on this issue and understand so well where they come from and why they think they are correct, so it is NOT a cut and dried issue. IT MAKES YOU THINK and it seems so plausible the way it is laid out for the viewer.

    The acting is GREAT as well--with Burt Lancaster as the popular general planning the coup, Kirk Douglas as the military officer who agrees with Lancaster but cannot allow himself to violate his oath as an officer, Frederick March as the idealistic President, and Edmund O'Brien as his trusted (though occasionally intoxicated) adviser--along with many others.

    See this, then try the other two Frankenheimer thrillers listed. Unless you are extremely stupid, you'll love the films.
  • comment
    • Author: Kare
    Although it may seem dated because of its' subject matter (it takes place during the "Cold War"), the underlying content of political back-stabbing is still relevant. In this star-studded cast, Frederic March gives an outstanding performance as "President Jordan Lyman". He shows how a great leader handles the toughest of situations. This is a powerful film with some very tense moments. It is also an excellent example of directing that makes the most of camera angles and lighting to enhance the drama. Clean transfer to DVD.
  • comment
    • Author: Fenritaur
    A very thought provoking, realistic political thriller that succeeds on every level. This film features great acting from everyone involved but namely Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, and of course Fredick March. Each one of these actors were very convincing it their respected roles. The film also featured amazing cinematography, directing, and very powerful writing. Given the current situation in the U.S. this film despite its age is a perfect example of what could happen in the next few years. Unlike the other anti-war film of 1964 (Dr. Srangelove) this actually presents its viewer with a believable story line, one that will keep your interest throughout. I highly recommend this film to any avid Film Buff because it is an example of perfect filmmaking. A terrific film that deserves all 5 stars that I am giving it.

    GRADE: *****
  • comment
    • Author: Dilmal
    Perhaps one of the most genuinely suspenseful films every made, this paranoic film should be seen in conjunction with its natural brethren, "The Parallax View" and "The Manchurian Candidate" (which is also directed by John Frankenheimer).

    The film's strength lies in a group of superb performance -- Burt Lancaster as the ramrod-stiff and egomaniacal general bent on saving the United States by planning the overthrow of the government; Kirk Douglas as his senior staff officer, who only gradually realizes what his boss is planning and just how dangerous he is; Fredric March as the world-weary President; and especially Edmond O'Brien as the souse of a Senator who, like March, demonstrates the kind of ingenuity and resolve that Lancaster and his co-conspirators assume they don't possess. These performers, as well as a splendid supporting cast, make Rod Serling's sometimes preachy dialogue seem completely real, and some of the scenes -- notably the final face-off between March and Lancaster -- seem on the verge of exploding.

    Frankenheimer's low-key direction feeds this tension, by allowing the dialogue and the situations do the work. Would-be filmmakers looking to specialize in thrillers should probably spend more time watching films like this than modern-day "thrillers" like "Enemy of the State" or "Conspiracy Theory" which rely more on violence than actual dramatic tension.
  • comment
    • Author: Felhann
    Intense and gravely serious, "Seven Days In May" tells the fictional story of a super-patriotic American General, a man named James Mattoon Scott (Burt Lancaster), who may, or may not, be plotting with others to overthrow the U.S. Government. Much of the plot, especially early-on, is veiled in secrecy and mistrust.

    An alert Col. Jiggs Casey (Kirk Douglas) first gets suspicious when references to horse racing are labeled top secret. Then he discovers that a mysterious organization called "ECOMCON" doesn't officially exist. Casey's suspicions turn to Scott, because Scott disdains President Jordan Lyman (Fredric March) as a liberal pacifist. In the early going, it's up to viewers to figure out whether this military coup d'etat is real or imagined.

    The film's dialogue is heavy laden with import. Characters speechify with feeling about nuclear war, Pearl Harbor, disarmament, and other weighty issues. There's almost no humor. The forceful rat-a-tat-tat of the drums during the title sequence foreshadows a distressing tone: foreboding, angry, discordant.

    It's a riveting story, with lots of tension. I would describe its import as comparable to "All The President's Men". Acting is top-notch. I especially liked the performances of March, as the idealistic President. In support roles, Edmond O'Brien and Martin Balsam are terrific.

    The B&W visuals are quite good. There are lots of wide-angle and low-angle shots, which convey a heightened sense of visual perspective. There's some mood lighting at night in the rain, and some clever back-projection techniques.

    On the other hand, with such a large cast I found it hard to connect names with faces at times. And the romantic subplot with Ellie (Ava Gardner) is a tad distracting.

    But overall, this is a fine, high quality Cold War era film dealing with topics that were cogent in the 1960s, especially following the assassination of JFK.

    President Lyman summarizes the film's theme. "The enemy is an age, a nuclear age. It happens to have killed man's faith in his ability to influence what happens to him. And out of this comes a sickness, a sickness of frustration, a feeling of impotence, helplessness, weakness. And from this desperation, we look for a champion in red, white, and blue".
  • comment
    • Author: Kardana
    I very much like this movie, and usually watch it when it crops up on cable, as it does quite frequently.

    The primary message is dated: the prospect of a group of American generals plotting a coup d'etat is pretty remote at the present time, although it didn't seem quite so far-fetched in the sixties. But the primary message is only one part of the film; there's plenty more that has not dated one bit.

    First, the moral questions raised by the plot. Should Kirk Douglas betray his general? That's probably fairly easy to answer. But should he take up with the general's mistress to see if he can get some dirt? Should he steal the general's love letters from the general's mistress? Should the President use them?

    Second, the direction. The film is long, and there is no "action" in the sense in which that word is used nowadays; but the tension exists from the very beginning, and mounts relentlessly to the very end. This is the product of brilliant direction and editing.

    Third, the acting and the script, which I'll put together. The dialogue is succinct and clear, and the actors do it full justice. I don't think there's a poor performance to be seen. Ava Gardener perhaps portrays her character as a little too fragile, but in the scene where she discovers Kirk Douglas going through her rubbish bin, she makes you sit up and take notice. Burt Lancaster is as brilliant as he always is. In short, the script makes the viewer really think about virtually every character, and every actor plays his or her part so as to make the viewer aware of all of the implications of the script.
  • comment
    • Author: GEL
    Marvellous acting by antagonists Douglas and Lancaster, complemented by sexy and sophisticated Ava Gardner. Fredric March turns in one of his last great performances as a US President who has just negotiated a disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. Douglas, playing a Marine Colonel and Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, becomes disturbed by a number of peculiar events surrounding the JCS Chairman (Lancaster), which lead him to believe his superior is planning a coup d'etat. By the time he manages to convince the White House that his suspicions are correct, less than seven days remain till the fateful hour -- which will destroy the Constitution and may lead to World War III. Frankenheimer's direction is stark and taut, worthy of Hitchcock, while Rod Serling's screenplay remains truer to the novel than perhaps any other novel adaptation ever filmed. Watch for an uncredited appearance by John Houseman.
  • comment
    • Author: Hystana
    I caught this by total accident on a terrestrial channel in the UK one afternoon while I was off work ill, and I was extremely surprised. Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas just show why they are the most amazing screen icons, their mere presence in a scene commands it, but never to the detriment of the movie. The acting by all is superbly understated and restrained, especially for such a large plot. Without reverting to any of the tactics of current Hollywood, effects, set pieces, etc. The tension and action is built around simple dialogue, character interaction, and the slow revealing of information to our main character in Douglas. The method in which Douglas plays the conflict in this character - to do what the chain of command tells him, or what the constitution states – is a wonder to see, and is held in looks, in words unsaid, and one tightly controlled outburst. Lancaster is also awe inspiring as a logically minded man whose actions seem almost madman like, yet they are his ways and beliefs. The direction of this movie is equally wonderful, and one of my favourite tricks is the usage of the scenes outside the gate of the Chiefs of Staff building, to timestamp the movie at various intervals. I just wish that the conclusion had been a bit longer and perhaps not so easily tied up, however it makes for a wonderful thriller.
  • comment
    • Author: Braendo
    After REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT, the screenplay for SEVEN DAYS IN MAY might be Rod Serling's finest effort. The drama of an attempted military takeover of the United States government, SEVEN DAYS is one of Serling's most tautly written scripts and was one he himself favored. It was wisely filmed in black and white with virtually no obligatory special effects--all of which works terrifically as the drama is structured on character and plot, not military pyrotechnics, Serling's usual formula for success.

    While working at the Pentagon, Kirk Douglas (Colonel Jiggs Casey) accidentally uncovers a plot to stage a coup of the government masterminded by Gen. Matoon Scott (Burt Lancaster). He dutifully reports his discovery to the President (Fredrich March) who receives the news with skepticism, though he investigates and later finds it to be true. He assigs his old workhorse pals Marty Balsam and Edmund O'Brien to dig in and get to the bottom of matters which they do uncovering the players in the plot, some military, some not.

    Ellie (Ava Gardner) is excellent as Lancaster's current girlfriend and the former lover of Douglas for whom she still pines. But Douglas must "use" her to acquire personal letters in her possession written by Lancaster which Douglas gives to the President in case he were to need them against the generals' denial of involvement. Interestingly, the President never uses the letters against Lancaster because of their highly personal and sensitive nature. Undoubtedly, Serling is showing us the liberal President is an honorable and decent man whose ideals, quite obviously, mirror Serling's politics.

    Steely Edmund O'Brien is his usual reliable self as the President's right-hand man who gets thrown into the tank on a remote military base while investigating the conspiracy. John Houseman makes a cameo appearance as a conspiring naval admiral who is confronted with the irrefutable evidence and signs a confession.

    The poignant confrontation between March and Lancaster in the oval office is perhaps the movie's finest scene. The President discloses his knowledge of the plot and Generall Scott not only admits to it, he unleashes his complete disgust at the President's liberal policies which he believes to be sending the country down the drain. It is a superb exchange over the constitution, its' integrity, and how a republic must abide by its precepts in order to survive. In all, vintage Rod Serling. After the general leaves, March reflects that it wasn't "any single man," that caused the attempt to take control of the government, but rather "an age" meaning the anxiety of the "nuclear age." Those who watched the Twilight Zone will recall numerous episodes about the insanity of the atomic era and the ramifications of turning weapons of mass destruction over to machines and systems. It was a theme that Serling often repeated.

    Not to be outdone is the brief, but pointed confrontation between Lancaster and Douglas after the plot has been dismissed by the President. Scott knows that it was Jiggs who informed the President of the coup. He orders him to answer the question: "Do you know who Judas was?" "Yes," answers Douglas. "He was a man I admired until he disgraced his uniform."

    SEVEN DAYS IN MAY is a drama that one should study if he has even a slight interest in the work of Rod Serling. It is also a minor masterpiece of terse, point-counterpoint dialogue and worth studying if one has even the least interest in writing.

    Trivia: If ever there was a man who killed himself with a four-pack-a-day habit who worked himself to death, it was Serling. Serling once called success the "bitch goddess."...One quotable from Serling referring to his writing work life when he was turning out scripts like factory sausages: "My diet consisted of coffee and fingernails."...Serling also wrote the screenplay for PLANET OF THE APES...I saw Rod Serling speak at Chabot College in Hayward, Ca., in 1969. He made clear his disdain for the current cinema darling at that time: EASY RIDER. Also, he admitted his worst effort was ASSAULT ON A QUEEN, the sleeping tablet of a film starring Frank Sinatra....But when asked his favorite screenplay, he said, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY.

    --Dennis Caracciolo
  • comment
    • Author: Androrim
    Tension , excitement and thrills in this interesting movie with very good performances . Colonel Casey ( Kirk Douglas ) discovers what appears to be plans by General Scott ( Burt Lancaster) who schemes a coup to use false military exercises in his plans to remove President Lyman (Fredric March) from government office. US military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he agrees a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet attack . As General Scott first chief of ¨ Office of joint chiefs of the staff ¨ has formed a secret unity called Ecomcon with dark objectives . Colonel Casey , President Lyman , helper ( Martin Balsam ) and a senator ( Edmond O'Brien ) must find proofs that there is a coup planned and detain it , before it happens . Unfortunately , there isn't much days . And at the ending takes place an intriguing conclusion .

    Thrilling story with screenplay by prestigious Rod Serling about a coup de e'tat planned by military staff to overthrow US Republic government . This stirring picture is full of suspense , tension , thrills and is very entertaining . The film's intrigue snowballs toward an exciting final .Extraordinary casting , all of whom give admirable acting , as a terrific Burt Lancaster who heads the all star cast , he plays as leader of the coup , magnificent Douglas as Colonel who learns about the malignant plans and Fredric March as upright President under pressure . And awesome support cast as Ava Gardner as alcoholic ex-lover , Edmond O¨Brien as Senator investigating the events and John Houseman film debut in brief but crucial character , among others . Spectacular musical score fitting to action by the master Jerry Goldsmith . Furthermore an appropriate and atmospheric cinematography . The motion picture is compellingly directed by John Frankenheimer . At the beginning he worked for TV and turned to the cinema industry with The Young Stranger (1957) . Disappointed his with first feature film experience he came back to his successful television career directing a total of 152 live television shows in the 50s. He took another opportunity to change to the big screen , collaborating with Burt Lancaster in The Young Savages (1961) and Birdman of Alcatraz(62) ending up becoming a successful director well-known by his skills with actors and expressing on movies his views on important social deeds and philosophical events and film-making some classics as ¨The Manchurian candidate, Seven days of May and The Train¨. Rating : Better and average and well worth seeing. The flick will appeal to frenetic suspense aficionados and intrigue buffs. It's remade for TV (1994) with the title ¨The enemy within ¨ by Jonathan Darby with Forest Whitaker as the Colonel , Jason Robards as the General and Sam Waterston as the President .
  • comment
    • Author: Flash_back
    After having tackled the subject of brainwashing in his 1962 cult classic THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, director John Frankenheimer took on the possibility that a sitting president could be removed in a coup d'etat in the equally classic 1964 drama SEVEN DAYS IN MAY. Like Kubrick's blackly comic DR. STRANGELOVE, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY was a stinging indictment of America's Cold War policies and proceeded to further shake up a nation that had yet to recover from the murder of a real-life president (John F. Kennedy) that some would argue WAS a coup d'etat.

    This film's president is well-played by Frederic March. March has managed to sign an agreement with the Soviet Union to reduce nuclear arsenals across the board and thus reduce tensions between the two superpowers. However, the Soviets have had a track record of bailing out on their promises; and this causes March's poll numbers to sink. Much more ominously, it causes one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Mattoon Scott (Burt Lancaster) to plot a coup against him. Left out of Lancaster's plan is his trusty aide, Colonel Casey Jiggs (Kirk Douglas). Because Douglas is suddenly thrown out of touch with his superior, he begins to smell something awfully fishy and soon latches onto the coup possibility. Although opposed to March's agreement with the Soviets, he nevertheless realizes that a coup is not the answer. Torn between loyalty to Lancaster and a loyalty to the rule of law, he informs March about his suspicions. March takes this seriously enough to have some of his closest political allies, including a congenial but often inebriated Georgia senator (Edmond O'Brien), to look into it.

    Pretty soon, March has enough evidence to catch Lancaster red-handed, but is shrewd enough to realize that Lancaster is not at the root of the problem. It is rather the terror of the nuclear age that created the conditions for a coup attempt. The final confrontations between Lancaster and March, then Lancaster and Douglas, are cinematic political drama at their finest.

    Based on the Charles Bailey/Fletcher Knebel novel of the same name, and brilliantly adapted to the screen by Rod Serling, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY benefits from the always superb acting of its all-star cast, which includes Martin Balsam, Ava Gardner, Whit Bissell, William Prince, and John Housemann, to name a few. This is more than enough to ensure that, despite the Cold War having ended more than a decade ago, this movie loses none of its original impact.
  • comment
    • Author: Gaiauaco
    A fascinating movie. I have it on tape and watch it regularly. I'm not sure why. The story is a primitive one. "There is a plot to take over these United States." (Even the tag line is incorrect. Douglas says "the" United States.)

    The script, by Rod Serling, is full of his trouvees. Ava Gardner says to Douglas: "I'll give you two things. A steak, rare, and the truth, which is very rare." (I'm laughing out loud as I write this.) Frederick March is always referring to his physician as "the good doctor." A cabinet member, played by George Macready, is a yachting freak so he's always interjecting ejaculations like, "Look out, Mister President! These are deep waters we're sailing in!" He tells Douglas that he, Douglas, gets credit for whatever taste of victory they have in their mouths, just after Kirk has been forced through an immoral act. "The taste in my mouth, Mr. Secretary, isn't exactly victory." But Rod isn't to blame for all of the script. Some is lifted from the novel, in which the president is referred to as "Jordy." The novel's prose is, let us say, clumsy and a little hard to swallow sometimes.

    Yet I like this film a lot. The stilted dialogue is enjoyably comic. The photography has a pleasantly washed out diluted quality, particularly noticeable in the scenes in El Paso, where the featureless desert seems almost blindingly white. The performances are about as good as they get. Lancaster has made several movies with John Frankenheimer and I suppose they get along, their interests being as much alike as they are, and it shows in Burt's performance. Kirk Douglas, who made even more movies with Burt, looks snazzy in a bird colonel's summer uniform. The rest of the cast is simply fine. Edmond O'Brian is pretty old and tubby and looks the part of an alcoholic pol with backbone. His Southern accent is neatly done. His eyes sort of bulge out and look in two slightly different directions, lending his part a comedic undertone, regardless of circumstances. George Macready -- has anyone ever played an icey standoffish cold fish as well as he? Is that what going to Brown does to you? I've always admired Martin Balsam's style. He has a gift for draping ordinary lines in a kind of sonorous tinsel -- very New Yorkish, but quirkily so. The gift is on full display in this film. His exchange with John Housmann aboard the aircraft carrier is priceless. There is nothing "dramatic" about it. It's simply done very well. Housmann has a small part, but he's very effective in it. Frederick March, a reliable actor, is reliable here. The Secret Service guy is dispensable and seems dumb compared to the other characters. The politicians, except for the president and secretary, are pretty slimy, as you'd expect in a movie about a plot to take over these United States, and Hugh Marlowe, as the ranking politician conveys that sliminess. Ava Gardner I admire as a woman but have never found her much of an actress. Andrew Duggan ditto. Richard Anderson in a small part exudes his usual class. Richard Anderson is from the New Jersey shore. Everyone from the Jersey shore has class. Look at Norman Mailer. Look at Jack Nicholson. Look at Abbott and Costello.

    I'm certain that anyone who knows the politicomilitary bureaucracy could poke so many holes in this story that it would look like the brain of a cow that had died of bovine spongiform disorder, but it doesn't matter. It's a left-wing fantasy, and an enjoyable one. The only truly disturbing scene is when March is making his victory speech at the end. Something about "marching out of the dark tunnels of ignorance into the bright sunshine of freedom." Absolutely nothing more than a collage of platitudes and clichés, totally content free. It's as if Rod had done some acid before writing it and kept getting lost along the way. It's like listening to "Jeepers creepers" over and over again without ever getting to "Where'd you get those peepers?" But that's okay. It's an enjoyable film. Very dramatic score, with lots of CLANGS -- ominous bells. Eleventh-hour-type bells. See it if you have a chance.
  • comment
    • Author: VizoRRR
    As good as the movie was, there were two significant disconnects in the story for this viewer; both involved Colonel 'Mutt' Henderson (Andrew Duggan). The first was when Henderson made it out of the Econcom desert hideaway with Senator Roy Clark (Edmond O'Brien) in tow. Didn't they make it out of there just a bit too easily? That there was no pursuit by forces on the ground allowing them to get away scot-free, that just didn't ring true for me.

    The second was that airport lounge scene when Henderson disappeared off screen, having been brought back under control by Major Scott's (Burt Lancaster) saboteurs. How is it that Senator Clark was left alone, virtually in the same location? They must have known he was there and in on the conspiracy in progress. All the more incredible given that Paul Girard (Martin Balsam) had already been murdered by sabotaging a plane load of civilians and covering it up as a crash.

    But with those couple of question marks hanging out there, the rest of the story was a pretty good one. Maybe not as tension filled as the same year's "Fail-Safe" about an accidental attack on the Soviet Union with no hope of recall, but it had it's moments of suspense and intrigue. Rod Serling's screenplay brought the drama on screen invariably close to a real life Twilight Zone that the American public never got to witness - the takeover of the United States government by a military coup led by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    For me, the best scene was the confrontation between President Lyman (Frederic March) and Lancaster's Major Scott. The dialog between the two men is masterfully written, culminating in that chilling stare down between Scott and Colonel Jiggs Casey (Kirk Douglas) right after Scott leaves the President's office.

    Which leads to one last remaining question mark about the picture, that was also a hallmark of many of Serling's Twilight Zone scripts. With the crisis for the President over and the three Joint Chiefs generals resigning, what exactly are the repercussions for Major Scott? Presumably the story continues with penalties involved for the perpetrators of the conspiracy, but we never get to know what they are.
  • comment
    • Author: Lanionge
    I enjoy watching this movie (and even stayed up till 2 AM this last time just to do that) but that is not to say it that it is at all believable; with a plot that's pure fantasy from beginning to end, it makes THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE look plausible by comparison. A list of its story problems would probably be as long as the shooting script. Still, it has an absolutely first-rate cast giving decent performances, has some witty moments, and is filmed with glorious black and white cinematography, ever so-suitable for its subject matter. Moreover, it does actually develop its theme about the role of the armed forces brass in our government perfectly well enough to satisfy most any secondary school civics teacher in the land, and for that reason it can also be judged an honest treatment however fanciful it develops the details. Therefore I give it my personal idea of an IMDb seven-star rating: not "great" but definitely worth seeing.
  • comment
    • Author: Gholbirdred
    SEVEN DAYS IN MAY is a pretty decent thriller with Burt Lancaster as (**POSSIBLE SPOILER**) a right-wing general who plots the overthrow of the U.S. government. Kirk Douglas, as a colonel who stumbles across the plot, and Ava Gardner, as a drunk sexpot (talk about your typecasting!), give especially strong performances. The movie fizzles somewhat down the stretch (**DEFINITE SPOILER!!**) as the President (Fredric March) thwarts the coup by quoting the Constitution at Lancaster. The great Rod Serling wrote the screenplay and should have known better than to switch the focus of the story away from Kirk Douglas who is left standing on the sidelines when Storytelling 101 suggests he's the guy who must make the key contribution to the movie's resolution. Still, another taut thriller from John Frankenheimer and definitely worth a look. 7 out of 10.
  • comment
    • Author: Arihelm
    I read another critique on this movie. I think he saw a different movie. This was an excellent military political movie. Far from being far-fetched it based on reality. Any and all of the events could have happened. Remember this is 1967. We did not have instant communication and privately owned spy satellites. The secret base in El Paso was, and still is a distinct possibility.

    Fredric March fills the shoes of the President admirably. Burt Lancaster is Burt Lancaster. Enough said.

    The role Lancaster played was written for Kirk Douglas. He wanted Lancaster in the role. And since Douglas produced it, he got what he wanted.

    Edmund O'Brien got the Academy Award for his role as Senator Clark, and well done, I must say. Richard Anderson was as sleazy as always. Andrew Duggan was just there.

    Marin Balsam played his usual sober presence. But for the other writer to say it was less then outstanding is a surprise to me. Of course the movie was about the American way of life and rights and abilities. So take this old soldier's word, if you will, that it was a very good movie. Take this old professor's (PHD International Relations) word that it was rather chilling in reality.
  • comment
    • Author: Oreavi
    but I would still like to cast a ten out of ten vote for this film!

    I often re-watch it in part or in whole. One of my favourite scenes not just in this film but in any political thriller is the tense scene between Kirk Douglas' Colonel "Jiggs" Casey, Frederic March's President Jordan Lyman and Martin Balsam's Presidential Chief of Staff Paul Girard when Kirk Douglas' character first outlines his suspicions to his initially sceptical interlocutors. Each actor brings nuances to the excellent script, both verbally and in their physical expressions, which mark them out as actors of the highest class. Not only is it a dramatic scene but it and indeed the entire film is a masterclass in ensemble screen acting. That particular scene, I often wonder, if the director had been influenced by Stanley Kubrick, in making it simultaneously seem both clinical, mannered and yet also highly dramatic.

    I would also like to highlight the tender but ultimately poignant scene between Douglas' Colonel Casey and Eleanor Holbrook, played by Ava Gardner, the former lover of the would-be US junta-style leader General Scott played with menacing charisma by Burt Lancaster. It is obvious that in other circumstances Douglas' and Gardner's characters could have become lovers but the details concerning her relationship with General Scott which the colonel had reluctantly agreed to ferret out through betraying her confidence must spoil the possibility. Once again, a beautiful scene beautifully acted and what a gorgeous women Ava Gardner still was even in middle age. They sure do not make films like that anymore! There are neither the actors, the producers, the directors or the scriptwriters! Or, it would seem, the mass audience.

    Could a coup happen in the US? There is no historical guarantee that the US has been given denied to any other nation. All democracies are vulnerable given the right, or rather the wrong, circumstances.
  • Complete credited cast:
    Burt Lancaster Burt Lancaster - Gen. James Mattoon Scott
    Kirk Douglas Kirk Douglas - Col. Martin 'Jiggs' Casey
    Fredric March Fredric March - President Jordan Lyman
    Ava Gardner Ava Gardner - Eleanor Holbrook
    Edmond O'Brien Edmond O'Brien - Sen. Raymond Clark
    Martin Balsam Martin Balsam - Paul Girard
    Andrew Duggan Andrew Duggan - Col. William 'Mutt' Henderson
    Hugh Marlowe Hugh Marlowe - Harold McPherson
    Whit Bissell Whit Bissell - Sen. Frederick Prentice
    Helen Kleeb Helen Kleeb - Esther Townsend
    George Macready George Macready - Christopher Todd
    Richard Anderson Richard Anderson - Col. Murdock
    Bart Burns Bart Burns - Secret Service White House Chief Art Corwin
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