Fail Safe is a 1964 Cold War thriller film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. It portrays a fictional account of a nuclear crisis. The film features performances by actors Henry Fonda, Dan O'Herlihy, Walter Matthau, Frank Overton, Larry Hagman, Fritz Weaver, Dana Elcar, Dom DeLuise and Sorrell Booke.


During a VIP visit to the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, the Air Force's early warning radar indicates that an unidentified aircraft has intruded into American airspace. Shortly after, the "intruder" is identified as an off-course civilian airliner and the alert is cancelled, but a computer error causes one American bomber group to receive apparently valid orders for a nuclear attack on Moscow. Attempts to rescind this order fail because a new Soviet countermeasure jams American radio communications. Unable to obtain confirmation or denial of the order, Colonel Jack Grady (Edward Binns), the US bomber group's commander, follows the order and commands his group to continue to their target.