By Dawn's Early Light

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By Dawn's Early Light is a 1990 American made-for-TV film about World War III breaking out between the US and the USSR.

Directed by Jack Sholder and written by Bruce Gilbert. Based on the novel Trinity's Child by William Prochnau


[The US President is vacillating on possible retaliation after the Soviets launch a nuclear strike]
US President: No, General. This is my responsibility. I will not act precipitously on the basis of some goddamn computer.
General Renning: The goddamn computer will be destroyed in 21 minutes along with everyone here.

[At SAC Headquarters, the staff are speechless at seeing the displays indicate US bases being hit, with one track headed straight for the base. SAC commander General Renning is in contact with Looking Glass officer Alice and NEACP officer Harpoon]
Gen. Renning: Harpoon, I don't know if the President will make it to Andrews. All our military bases have been hit. Who's available to succeed?
Harpoon: General, the vice-president and most of the Cabinet are in northwest Washington. We've been unable to contact. The only one we are sure of is the secretary of the interior; he was inspecting a wilderness preserve near Baton Rouge.
Renning: And the FBI are out looking for him?
Harpoon: And the Army, E-4's two hours from touchdown in Baton Rouge.
Renning: [to Alice] Alice, you're reading our new target projections in your display?
Alice: I got everything I need, sir.
Renning: And the current impact in the area clear to you, yes?
Alice: Yes, sir.
Renning: Well, I've done about all I can. You and Harpoon take it from here. Old buddy?
Alice: Yeah, Clay?
Renning: Happy Hunting!
[Alice looks at monitor showing the radar display showing SAC headquarters go to snow, indicating that it is destroyed]

[Aboard the E-4 NEACP, the admiral codenamed Harpoon tries to convince the acting President to at least recall the bombers and buy time to negotiate with the Soviets on ending the war]
Condor: Admiral, we're supposed to take his word for it?
Colonel Fargo: Mr. President, historical fact: The Soviets have always been willing to take massive losses to achieve victory.
Harpoon: Colonel, this isn't the 1950s. They're not looking for new worlds to conquer. [to Condor] Mr President I have a very hard time believing the Soviets want this war more than we do. Recall some of our bombers and see how the Soviets respond.
Condor: Hmm, well I -
Colonel Fargo: Mr. President. There is another solution. Cut the head off the chicken.

[Alice has been given new orders from the acting President]
Alice: We got a Two-One Zebra.
Colonel Sam: Jesus! You're kidding.
Alice: Wish the hell I was.

Major Cassidy: What am I supposed to do? Shoot you? Eject you? Put you down on the ice?
Captain Moreau: Turn the plane, Major. That's what I want you to do. Turn the plane.

Alice: Turn the bombers. See what happens.
Condor: You don't understand what's going on here, do you? If we stop now, we lose. This president has the determination to wage a nuclear war until an acceptable outcome is achieved.
Alice: Acceptable to whom, ir?
Condor: Acceptable to me, and the American people. Now you put another bomber on the henhouse, fast. Did you get that?
Alice: I hear you, sir.
Condor: And you put out general orders, to bring down Polar Bear One. Did you hear that?
Alice: Yes, sir.
Condor: You don't sound convinced, General.
Alice: I don't believe I am, sir.
Colonel Fargo: [whispers to Condor] Mr President, sir, we have a capability to give the orders from here.
Condor: Fine, fine. We can send the orders from here.
Alice: I suggest you do that, sir.
Condor: Am I hearing you correctly?
Alice: I believe you did.
Condor: General, you're fired.

Captain Moreau: I think we have to face up to the reality...
Major Cassidy: If we are lucky, reality is a firing squad.
Captain Moreau: And if we are unlucky?
Major Cassidy: Planet of the Apes, Darlin'. Remember Two One Zebra?.


  • Four People. Three Minutes. Two Choices. One Chance For Survival.


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