Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Overlooked Movies -- Seven Days in May

The recent events in Egypt reminded me of this movie, which is about a plot to stage a military coup in the U. S.  The book the movie is based on was kind of a big deal when I was in college, so I read it and then a few years later saw the movie, which was also kind of a big deal.

Probably very few people reading this remember General Edwin Walker, that is unless you've been reading some of the JFK assassination novels that have come out recently.  Walker was an ultra-conservative general who ran for governor of Texas at about the time this book came out and who was later arrested for his involvement in rioting at the University of Mississippi when a black student tried to enroll.  Someone tried to assassinate Walker after that, and that's where he comes into the Kennedy novels, as some believe Lee Harvey Oswald was involved.

So here's the "what if":  What if a general like Walker decided that it was time to get rid of the president?  This is an SF novel in a way, since the setting was in the 1970s, about ten years after the publication of the novel and the appearance of the movie.  The general (Burt Lancaster) is opposed to the president's signing a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union, and in seven days the general's troops will stage the coup.  A Marine colonel (Kirk Douglas) finds out about this and tells the president.  The rest of the movie is a race against time to get the evidence needed to stop the plot.

Lots of good performances here, especially Douglas and Lancaster.  Edmond O'Brien as a heavy-drinking senator get the Oscar nomination, though.  


Anonymous said...

Read the book, saw the movie. It's interesting that I can remember Lancaster & Douglas (and Ava Gardner) but had to look up who played the President (Fredric March).


pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, I need to see this again.

Todd Mason said...

BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN took something from Walker, as well.

Marsdon said...

One of my favorite movies. Last watched it a couple of years ago when it was on Netflix.