The Golden Age returns in B&W; Critic's choice: TV


TV harks back to its first Golden Age at 9 p.m. today on WJZ, Channel 13, with a live, black-and-white broadcast -- an adaptation of "Fail Safe," the 1964 Cold War drama about a potential American nuclear strike on Moscow.

Sidney Lumet directed the original film in which, thanks to a faulty transmission of orders, U.S. bombers are sent to the Soviet capital -- and make it past the point of no return before horrified military leaders can stop them.

The original starred Dan O'Herlihy, Walter Matthau, and Fritz Weaver, with Henry Fonda as the president who must assure Soviet leaders it's all a terrible mistake. Tonight, it's George Clooney (who sold CBS on the idea), Noah Wyle, Harvey Keitel, Don Cheadle, Brian Dennehy, Hank Azaria, James Crom-well and Sam Elliott, with Richard Dreyfuss as president, all under the direction of Stephen Frears.

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