Released only seven months after DR. STRANGELOVE by the very same studio, the virtually identical, albeit totally serious, FAIL SAFE was a relative failure at the box office. Kubrick had gone to Columbia's top brass and threatened a plagiarism lawsuit. (His film was based on Peter George's
almost unknown novel Red Alert
.) Since Columbia was distributing both DR. STRANGELOVE and FAIL SAFE, it appeased Kubrick by releasing his film first, and, of course, that cult classic captured the lion's share of viewers, leaving FAIL SAFE to appear as a serious, comparatively dreary rehash.
In it, a squadron of SAC bombers flies off to drop nuclear bombs on Moscow afte...