SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964) B/W widescreen 120m dir: John Frankenheimer
w/Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmund O'Brien, Martin Balsam, George Macready, Whit Bissell, Hugh Marlowe, Bart Burns, John Houseman
An exciting suspense drama concerned with politics and the problems of sanity and survival in a nuclear age. Set "in the not-too-distant future," the plot concerns an American military officer who discovers his superiors are planning a military coup. The Fletcher Knebel-Charles W. Bailey II book has been adapted by no less than Rod Serling. The performances are excellent down the line, under Frankenheimer's taut and penetrating directorial guidance, with O'Brien's Oscar-nominated Southern senator a standout.
From The Movie Guide: "Filmed in stark black and white, unraveling its complicated plot at a rapid clip, this exciting film from John Frankenheimer, the director of the similarly taut THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, packs a grim warning about the military's potential abuse of power. Douglas, who, like Lancaster and March, contributes an outstanding performance, initiated the project after reading galleys of the novel. Given the enthusiastic cooperation of the Kennedy administration (though not of the Pentagon, whom the filmmakers understandably never approached), SEVEN DAYS IN MAY smacks of realism, from its skillfully realized sets to its wholly believable supporting performances by O'Brien, Balsam, and John Houseman. Sure to keep you on the edge of your seat."
In addition to O'Brien's nomination, the film was also nominated for Best Art Direction (Cary Odell, Edward G. Boyle).