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Fail Safe (1964 film) Quotes

Fail Safe (1964 film) is a TV show that was first aired in 1970 . Fail Safe stopped airing in 1970.

It features Sidney Lumet as producer, and Gerald Hirschfeld as head of cinematography.

Fail Safe (1964 film) is recorded in English and originally aired in United States. Each episode of Fail Safe (1964 film) is 112 minutes long. Fail Safe (1964 film) is distributed by Columbia Pictures.

The cast includes: Walter Matthau as Prof. Groeteschele, Russell Hardie as Gen. Stark, Dan O'Herlihy as Brigadier General Warren A. Black, William Hansen as Defense Secretary Swenson, Larry Hagman as Buck, Frank Overton as Gen. Bogan, Sorrell Booke as Congressman Raskob, and Russell Collins as Gordon Knapp.

Fail Safe (1964 film) Quotes

Larry Hagman as Buck

(We don't have any quotes for this character)

Walter Matthau as Prof. Groeteschele

  • (Walter Matthau) "In my opinion they will take no action at all."
  • (Russell Hardie) "They're not going to just sit there, Professor"
  • (Walter Matthau) "I think if our bombers get through the Russians will surrender."
  • (Frank Overton) "Who's this professor, Mr. Secretary? What's he doing there?"
  • (William Hansen) "Professor Groeteschele is a civilian advisor to the Pentagon, General. Will you explain your statement, Professor?"
  • (Walter Matthau) "The Russian aim is to dominate the world. They think that Communism must succeed eventually if the Soviet Union is left reasonably intact. They know that a war would leave the Soviet Union utterly destroyed. Therefore, they would surrender."
  • (Russell Hardie) "But suppose they feel they can knock us off first?"
  • (Walter Matthau) "They know we might have a doomsday system, missiles that would go into action days, even weeks after a war is over and destroy an enemy even after that enemy has already destroyed us."
  • (Dan O'Herlihy) "Maybe they'll think that even capitalists aren't that insane, to want to kill after they themselves have been killed."
  • (Walter Matthau) "These are Marxist fanatics, not normal people. They do not reason they way you reason, General Black. They're not motivated by human emotions such as rage and pity. They are calculating machines. They will look at the balance sheet, and they will see they cannot win."
  • (William Hansen) "Then you suggest doing what?"
  • (Walter Matthau) "Nothing."
  • (William Hansen) "Nothing?"
  • (Walter Matthau) "The Russians will surrender, and the threat of Communism will be over, forever."
  • (Frank Overton) "That's a lot of hogwash. Don't kid yourself, there'll be Russian generals who will react just as I would; the best defense is a good offense. They see trouble coming up, take my word for it, they'll attack, and they won't give a damn what Marx said."
  • (Walter Matthau) "Mr. Secretary, I am convinced that the moment the Russians know bombs will fall on Moscow, they will surrender. They know that whatever they do then, they cannot escape destruction. Don't you see, sir, this our chance. We never would have made the first move deliberately, but Group 6 has made it for us, by accident. We must take advantage of it; history demands it. We must advise the President not to recall those planes."
  • (Walter Matthau) "I'm not your kind."
  • (Walter Matthau) "Excuse me. Every minute we wait works against us. Now, Mr. Secretary, now is when we must send in a first strike."
  • (Russell Hardie) "We don't go in for sneak attacks. We had that done to us at Pearl Harbor."
  • (Walter Matthau) "And the Japanese were right to do it. From their point of view, we were their mortal enemy. As long as we existed, we were a deadly threat to them. Their only mistake was that they failed to finish us at the start, and they paid for that mistake at Hiroshima."
  • (Russell Hardie) "You're talking about a different kind of war."
  • (Walter Matthau) "Exactly. This time, we can finish what we start. And if we act now, right now, our casualties will be minimal."
  • (Dan O'Herlihy) "You know what you're saying?"
  • (Walter Matthau) "Do you believe that Communism is not our mortal enemy?"
  • (Dan O'Herlihy) "You're justifying murder."
  • (Walter Matthau) "Yes, to keep from being murdered."
  • (Dan O'Herlihy) "In the name of what? To preserve what? Even if we do survive, what are we? Better than what we say they are? What gives us the right to live, then? What makes us worth surviving, Groeteschele? That we are ruthless enough to strike first?"
  • (Walter Matthau) "Yes. Those who can survive are the only ones worth surviving."
  • (Dan O'Herlihy) "Fighting for your life isn't the same as murder."
  • (Walter Matthau) "Where do you draw the line once you know what the enemy is? How long would the Nazis have kept it up, General, if every Jew they came after had met them with a gun in his hand? But I learned from them, General Black. Oh, I learned."
  • (Dan O'Herlihy) "You learned too well, Professor. You learned so well that now there's no difference between you and what you want to kill."
  • (Walter Matthau) "And the Lord said, gentlemen, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.""

Russell Hardie as Gen. Stark

  • (Russell Hardie) "They're good men, we've seen to that. If their orders are attack, the only way you're going to stop them is to shoot them down."
  • (Dan O'Herlihy) "We've got no alternative. This minute the Russians are watching their boards, trying to figure out what we're up to. If we can't convince them it's an accident we're trying to correct by any means, we're going to have something on our hands that nobody bargained for, and only a lunatic wants."

William Hansen as Defense Secretary Swenson

  • (William Hansen) "The President says he may have to order our fighters to shoot down Group Six. He wants our opinion."
  • (Walter Matthau) "I oppose it, sir, on the grounds that it's premature. Our planes have not yet reached Soviet territory, they're still hundreds of miles away."
  • (Dan O'Herlihy) "We've got to do it, and fast. Right now before it's too late."
  • (Russell Hardie) "It might be too late anyway. Those fighters swung away from the bombers when they got the all-clear signal, they've been flying in opposite directions."
  • (William Hansen) "General Stark, are there any papers or documents in New York which are absolutely essential to the running of the United States? General Stark?"
  • (Russell Hardie) "No sir. There are important documents, but none of them absolutely essential."
  • (Unnamed) "Will there be any warning given? A lot of lives could be saved if people had a few minutes."
  • (William Hansen) "On this short notice, an alert to a big city would do more harm than good. It only produces panic."
  • (Unnamed) "What about this?"
  • (Russell Hardie) "Maybe -- maybe he doesn't know his wife is there."
  • (William Hansen) "He knows."
  • (Walter Matthau) "Gentlemen, we are wasting time."
  • (Walter Matthau) "I've been making a few rough calculations based on the effect of two twenty megaton bombs dropped on New York City in the middle of a normal workday. I estimate the immediate dead at about three million. I include in that figure those buried beneath the collapsed buildings. It would make no difference, Admiral Wilcox, whether they reached a shelter or not. They would die just the same. Add another million or two who will die within about five weeks. Now our immediate problem will be the joint one of fire control and excavation. Excavation not of the dead, the effort would be wasted there. But even though there are no irreplaceable government documents in the city, many of our largest corporations keep their records there. It will be necessary to -- rescue as many of those records as we can. Our economy depends on this."
  • (Walter Matthau) "Our economy depends on this."
  • (Walter Matthau) "And the Lord said, gentlemen, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.""

Frank Overton as Gen. Bogan

(We don't have any quotes for this character)

Dan O'Herlihy as Brigadier General Warren A. Black

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