Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
By Dawn’s Early Light
By Dawn’s Early Light is an HBO Original Movie which is set in the year 1991. It is based on the 1983 novel Trinity's Child , written by William Prochnau .
- Powers Boothe .... Maj. Cassidy
- Rebecca De Mornay .... Capt. Moreau
- James Earl Jones .... Looking Glass General - 'Alice'
- Martin Landau .... President
- Darren McGavin .... Condor - Secretary of Interior
- Jeffrey DeMunn .... E-4 Admiral - 'Harpoon'
- Rip Torn .... E-4 Col. Fargo
- Peter MacNicol .... Lt. Cmdr. Tom Sedgewicke
- Glenn Withrow .... Lt. Tyler
- Ronald William Lawrence .... Lt. Hooker
- Kieran Mulroney .... Lt. Radnor
- Nicolas Coster .... Gen. Renning - 'Icarus'
- Ken Jenkins .... Looking Glass Colonel - 'Sam'
- Randal Patrick .... Maj. O'Toole
- Daniel Benzali .... FEMA Director Bascombe
- Robert O'Reilly .... FEMA Radioman
- Annabella Price .... FEMA Bunker Nurse
- Ann Gillespie .... Looking Glass Captain
- Dana Kimmell .... Tyler's Wife
- Glenn Morshower .... F-18 Pilot
- Jon Steuer .... Timmy Tyler
- Danielle von Zerneck .... Radnor's Wife
- Katherine Cortez .... Moreau's Roommate
- Jon Cedar .... SAC Colonel
- Paul Tompkins .... SAC Aide #1
- Tony Rayner .... SAC Computer Operator
- Richard Speight Jr. .... SAC Guard (as Richard Speight)
- T.R. Marino .... SAC Aide #2
- Steve Eastin .... Smitty
- Steve Rankin .... Col. Flanders - E-4 Pilot
- Mike Gomez .... E-4 Co-Pilot
- Scott Trost .... E-4 Radioman
- Pat Skipper .... Secret Service Agent
- Adrian Ricard .... Mother in Woods
- Douglas Tolbert .... Little Boy in Woods
- Bill Moynihan .... Hooded Medic
- Dagmar Stanec .... Turkish Controller
- Ray Nazzari .... Turkish Coordinating Inspector
- Richard Assad .... Turkish Controller
As the Soviet Union begins to undergo radical political change, a group of renegade Soviet military officers steal a nuclear missile and launch it towards the Soviet Union from Turkey. When the missile hits, Soviet defense systems see the weapon was launched from Turkey, and assume a NATO attack is in progress.
The Soviet response begins, launching ICBMs at the United States from both submarines and land based silos. At the same time, China launches an attack against the Russian border, per a treaty with the United States (this treaty is never fully discussed and the China-Russia war is not covered in the film).
After much convincing, the President of the United States orders an initial counter-assault just after Washington, D.C. is struck by a nuclear missile. The President is evacuated, but is presumed killed when a second nuclear missile explodes near to his helicopter. The President is, however, only wounded yet now completely blind from exposure to the light of the nuclear explosion.
Assuming the President is dead, the United States military locates the Secretary of the Interior and installs him as the next President of the United States. The Secretary of the Interior orders an all out assault on the Soviet Union, including the destruction of leadership bunkers and the launch of all U.S. submarine based nuclear missiles. The Secretary of the Interior holds fast to his decision, even after learning that the President of the United States is still alive.
To prevent the Secretary of the Interior from ordering the final assault, the President contacts the backup Air Force command plane which recognizes that the President is still alive and pledges to stop the Secretary of the Interior. The command plane hunts down Air Force One and, at the last minute, is able to ram the plane just before the Secretary of the Interior issues the order to escalate the nuclear conflict. The real President then orders a stand down of all nuclear and military forces.
Throughout the entire film, a sub-plot focuses on a single B-52 Stratofortress crew from the time of their emergency launch in Spokane to receiving orders to enter the Soviet Union and begin destroying cities. A romance plot is also hatched, in that the pilot and co-pilot of the B-52 are secret lovers. The B-52 crew eventually decides to turn back, at which time one of the officers onboard becomes insane and attempts to kill the pilot. After a struggle, every officer except for the pilot and co-pilot are killed who then commence to desert from their assignment. The end of the film shows the plane flying into the sunset, just after the President has ordered a stand down of the military.
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