Special Bulletin (1983)

TV Movie   |    |  Drama


Special Bulletin (1983) Poster

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 »


7.7/10
930

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  • Special Bulletin (1983)
  • Special Bulletin (1983)
  • Special Bulletin (1983)
  • Special Bulletin (1983)
  • Special Bulletin (1983)
  • Special Bulletin (1983)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


7 October 2002 | JohnnyReb
BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES OF WOTW
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

Critic Reviews


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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.


Quotes

John Woodley: This is not the time to go into the ethical questions - and many are raised here involved in giving unrestricted access to the airwaves - uh, the point right now is that lives are being threatened. Now this group, whoever they are, has proved its ...


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.


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.


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.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama

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