Seven Days in May

Seven Days in May is a 1964 American political thriller film about a military-political cabal's planned takeover of the United States government in reaction to the president's negotiation of a disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. The film, starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, and Ava Gardner, was directed by John Frankenheimer from a screenplay written by Rod Serling and based on the novel of the same name by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, published in September 1962.


In the 1970s, the Cold War remained a major security and political problem. U.S. President Jordan Lyman recently signs a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union, and the subsequent ratification by the U.S. Senate has produced a wave of dissatisfaction, especially among Lyman's political opposition and the military, who believe that the Russians cannot be trusted. His popularity has reached an all-time low of 29%, there is rioting about the treaty right outside the White House and he is warned of a dangerous cardiac condition by the presidential physician, which he blithely disregards, too busy and beleaguered to take a prescribed two-week vacation.