Twilight's Last Gleaming

Watch Twilight's Last Gleaming

"We have invaded Silo 3. We are prepared to launch nine nuclear missiles. We demand ten million dollars, Air Force One... and you, Mr President."
  • R
  • 1977
  • 2 hr 26 min
  • 6.7  (3,680)

Twilight's Last Gleaming is a tense and thought-provoking political thriller set during the Cold War, released in 1977. Directed by Robert Aldrich, the film stars an excellent cast of actors, including Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, and Roscoe Lee Browne. The story revolves around a group of disgruntled US Air Force officers who stage a nuclear missile hijacking at a military base in Montana, imprisoning the base's commander and threatening to launch the missiles unless their demands are met. The hijackers are led by General Lawrence Dell (played by Lancaster), who was betrayed by the government during the Vietnam War and has now taken extreme measures to expose what he sees as the corruption and lies that have been perpetuated by the country's leaders.

As the clock ticks down and tension builds, the US President (Widmark) and his advisors - including Secretary of Defense Arthur Renfrew (Charles Durning) and National Security Advisor MacKenzie (Joseph Cotten) - are forced to negotiate with the rogue soldiers and consider the possibility of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

What follows is a gripping, suspenseful tale of politics, power, and morality, as the characters grapple with the consequences of their actions and are forced to confront uncomfortable truths about themselves and their country. The hijackers' demands - which may seem radical and even insane at first - are revealed to have a certain logic and reason behind them, forcing the President and his team to consider whether the country's nuclear policy is truly serving its citizens or merely perpetuating a cycle of fear and violence.

At the heart of the film is Lancaster's powerful performance as General Dell, who is both sympathetic and deeply flawed. As a former war hero who has become disillusioned with the government's actions, he is motivated by anger and a desire for revenge, but also by a genuine concern for the welfare of his fellow citizens. His commanding presence and unwavering resolve make him a compelling protagonist, even as his actions become more extreme and dangerous.

Widmark is also excellent in his role as the President, who is at once a powerful leader and a man struggling to maintain control in a rapidly escalating situation. As the stakes get higher and higher, he is forced to confront the hard truths about his own leadership and the country's nuclear policy, and make difficult decisions that will determine the fate of millions.

The supporting cast is also strong, with notable performances from Browne as Dell's right-hand man, and from Durning, Cotten, and other familiar faces such as Melvyn Douglas and Richard Jaeckel. The film's score by Jerry Goldsmith is also a standout, adding to the tension and drama of the story.

Overall, Twilight's Last Gleaming is a gripping and thought-provoking film that remains relevant today, as nations continue to grapple with the dangers and implications of nuclear weapons. With its powerhouse cast, intense action, and moral complexity, it is a must-see for fans of political thrillers and classic cinema.

Twilight's Last Gleaming
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 26 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (3,680)