Movie Review: Seven Days in May (1964) ****

Based on a political thriller novel written by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II (1962), Seven Days in May enjoys a good screenplay (by Rod Serling), and pointed direction (by John Frankenheimer). The escalating plot, driven by excellent acting on the part of Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, is said to have been influenced by the right-wing anti-Communist political activities of General Edwin A. Walker after he retired from the military. But for me, it represented a theme I once saw in a very different film called The Wave; about how relatively easy it is for a group (or a nation) to turn to Totalitarianism under the “right” circumstances, and the “right” charismatic leader at the helm. It delivers its point very effectively while relying on suspense and action rather than speeches. I can easily see a remake of this film starring George Clooney… :-)

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