I think the movie was about some sort of cold-war brinkmanship. There was a B-52 bomber heading towards Russia, and they were not sure if they were going to drop the bombs or if the whole situation was a misunderstanding.

The B-52 pilot had a female co-pilot. For a while they had fighter jets accompanying them, but the fighters were running low on fuel and had to turn back. The pilots were not sure if they should complete their mission or hold off.

Lots of footage of sunset as the B-52 flew high above the clouds (of the arctic circle?)

There was a separate plot thread about what was happening on the ground. Possibly an explosion that had incapacitated the Whitehouse staff - hence the move to retaliate against Russia by the gung-ho people left in command.

I was sure the film was called something like "Into the night" ...but it definitely wasn't a Jeff Goldblum comedy thriller - so I must be wrong on that bit.

Not a comedy. Felt rather sad and poignant (but I was a teenager at the time so that might not be totally accurate).

Saw the movie on TV in the UK in 1993/1994ish.

Sorry I can't give any more details - I remember the beautiful cinematography/sad feel of it more strongly than the plot.

1 Answer 1


"By Dawn's Early Light" (1990)


The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a limited nuclear exchange in this film

Detailed plot on Wikipedia:

A B-52 bomber, callsign "Polar Bear 1", takes flight just minutes before an ICBM wipes out Fairchild Air Force Base. The bomber is piloted by Major Cassidy and his female co-pilot (and secret lover) Captain Moreaux.

Polar Bear 1 is attacked by a trio of MIG-25s over Alaska.

Rebecca De Mornay plays the female bomber pilot.

You can watch the complete movie here:

  • 1
    Thanks. Haven't seen the film yet - the book is terrific. Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 21:29
  • 1
    Yes! Thank you @casspir! That's been bugging me for years. Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 7:49

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