7.7/10
924
36 user 7 critic

Special Bulletin (1983)

A TV reporter and cameraman are taken hostage on a tugboat while covering a workers strike. The demands of the hostage-takers are to collect all the nuclear detonators in the Charleston, SC... See full summary »

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

Marshall Herskovitz (teleplay), Edward Zwick (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Countdown to Looking Glass (TV Movie 1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Dramatic doomsday scenario in which the Cold War fully escalates. The story is told through a live news report that follows the apocalyptic world-ending nuclear exchange between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.

Director: Fred Barzyk
Stars: Scott Glenn, Michael Murphy, Helen Shaver
Without Warning (TV Movie 1994)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A television program is interrupted by a news network announcing that three meteors have hit the United States, France and China. At first, it seems natural but after interviews by ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Iscove
Stars: Sander Vanocur, Jane Kaczmarek, Bree Walker
Testament (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack.

Director: Lynne Littman
Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris
The Day After (TV Movie 1983)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg
By Dawn's Early Light (TV Movie 1990)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A non-NATO nuclear missile is fired from Turkey at USSR, where it detonates. Soviet response is automatic as it's seen as a NATO missile. Can continued escalation be avoided? We follow the US president and a bomber crew.

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The world after the nuclear apocalypse. Pale light lits the scenery of total destruction. The surviving humans vegetate in wet cellars under the nuclear winter. But somehow human spirit ... See full summary »

Director: Konstantin Lopushanskiy
Stars: Rolan Bykov, Iosif Ryklin, Viktor Mikhaylov
Having It All (TV Movie 1982)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Thera Baylin is a fashion designer with a husband in New York and another one in California.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Dyan Cannon, Barry Newman, Hart Bochner
Fail Safe (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow.

Directors: Stephen Frears, Martin Pasetta
Stars: Walter Cronkite, Richard Dreyfuss, Noah Wyle
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war.

Director: Jimmy T. Murakami
Stars: Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills, Robin Houston
Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The effects of a nuclear holocaust on the working class city of Sheffield, England and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly
The War Game (TV Movie 1966)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A docudrama depicting a hypothetical nuclear attack on Britain.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Dave Baldwin
Ground Zero (1987)
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A second generation cameraman in Australia finds evidence that his father had filmed a nuclear test that allowed aboriginies to be exposed to and killed by radiation. He begins a search for... See full summary »

Directors: Bruce Myles, Michael Pattinson
Stars: Colin Friels, Jack Thompson, Donald Pleasence
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Flanders ... John Woodley
Kathryn Walker ... Susan Myles
Roxanne Hart ... Megan 'Meg' Barclay
Christopher Allport ... Steven Levitt
David Clennon ... Dr. Bruce Lyman
David Rasche ... Dr. David McKeeson
Rosalind Cash ... Frieda Barton
Ebbe Roe Smith ... Jim Seaver
Roberta Maxwell ... Diane Silverman
Robert Kay Robert Kay ... George Takashima
J. Wesley Huston J. Wesley Huston ... Bernard Frost
Frank Dent Frank Dent ... Dr. Jason Halpern
Charles Lanyer Charles Lanyer ... Merritt Cunningham
Mie Hunt Mie Hunt ... Ellen Stevens
Bruce Fields Bruce Fields ... Walter S. Letteau
Edit

Storyline

A TV reporter and cameraman are taken hostage on a tugboat while covering a workers strike. The demands of the hostage-takers are to collect all the nuclear detonators in the Charleston, SC area so they may be detonated at sea. They threaten to detonate a nuclear device of their own if their demand isn't met. Written by Keith Chang <changk@ucs.orst.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boletín especial See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When this film was first broadcast, the network superimposed the word "dramatization" on the bottom of the screen every few minutes and ran disclaimers after every commercial break, to remind people it was only a movie. That didn't stop some people in Charleston, S.C. from panicking anyway. See more »

Goofs

When the RBS newsroom transfers to their reporter Megan Barclay in Charleston, she begins her report saying; "The situation began approximately 1 hour ago". The report then screens some video from their reporting team and then shows some Super-8 footage which was filmed by a tourist on a sightseeing boat. Super-8 is a film, not video, format. Normally the cost of the film cartridge included postage to a Kodak laboratory where it would be developed and then mailed back to the owner. In this instance, After the boat had reached shore, it would have been necessary to take the film to a Kodak developing facility to be processed, after which it could be taken to the news studio. Due to the time required to get the film to a laboratory for processing and then to get to the news studio it would have been impossible to do this within the time allowed. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Bruce Lyman: We're a group, we're a group that believes in survival, and I am a former strategic weapons planner for the Pentagon, so I know whereof I speak. There has been a serious change in the strategic thinking of our leaders; they now believe that they can wage nuclear war, they believe that they will wage nuclear war and they believe they can win it. Now if that frightens you, that's good, we're here in Charleston today because Charleston is a major staging area for nuclear offense. You have Poseidon...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opens with a commercial advertising shows for the fictional RBS network, followed by the title "Special Bulletin" as the commercial is interrupted. There are no opening credits, making this one of the first TV movies ever produced without some sort of opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The video release omits the "dramatization" on-screen disclaimer seen throughout the original TV broadcast. The DVD released through the Warner Archive Collection does contain the on-screen disclaimers. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Under Siege (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES OF WOTW
7 October 2002 | by JohnnyRebSee all my reviews

I was in the studio of WMAR-TV the night this excellent "disaster" film was shown, due to the fact that the Management heard about our OTR Club and that we had WOTW in our collection. I was invited to watch the show and to compare it with the panic b/cast on the 11 o'clock news that followed.

I told them it was very well done, and was very realistic. Had they not had the disclaimers on the screen it could have well been taken for the real thing. I told them if they would have cast real reporters in the major roles it would have added something to the show. Orson Welles used real names of NY based reporters for the broadcast of WOTW which really gave it that authentic feeling. And with the "Secretary Of State" sounding like Roosevelt was the icing on the cake.

I pointed out that at the time Special Bulletin was aired the American public was not as gullible as they were in 1938.(We even played some clips of WOTW to compare it with Special Bulletin). We were on the brink of War and any program like that, would of course cause concern, which, unfortunately it did.

Al in all this film was very well done and was more or less a tribute to Orson Welles and WOTW.

JohnnyReb


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed