AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Ice Station Zebra
Director: John Sturges (Dir)
Release Date:   1968
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles opening: 23 Oct 1968
Duration (in mins):   152
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Cast:   Rock Hudson (Comdr. James Ferraday)  
    Ernest Borgnine (Boris Vaslov)  
    Patrick McGoohan (David Jones)  
    Jim Brown (Capt. Leslie Anders)  
    Tony Bill (Lieut. Russell Walker)  
    Lloyd Nolan (Admiral Garvey)  
    Alf Kjellin (Colonel Ostrovsky)  
    Gerald S. O'Loughlin (Lieut. Comdr. Bob Raeburn)  
    Ted Hartley (Lieut. Jonathan Hansen)  
    Murray Rose (Lieut. George Mills)  
    Ron Masak (Paul Zabrinczski)  
    Sherwood Price (Lieut. Edgar Hackett)  
    Lee Stanley (Lieutenant Mitgang)  
    Joseph Bernard (Dr. Jack Benning)  
    John Orchard    
    William O'Connell (Survivors)  
    Michael T. Mikler (Lieut. Courtney Cartwright)  
    Jonathan Lippe (Russian aide)  
    Ted Kristian (Wassneyer)  
    Jim Dixon (Earl MacAuliffe)  
    Boyd Berlind (Bruce Kentner)  
    David Wendel (Cedric Patterson)  
    Ronnie Rondell (Lyle Nichols)  
    Craig Shreeve (Gafferty)  
    Michael Grossman (Kohler)  
    Wade Graham (Parker)  
    Michael Rougas (Fannovich)  
    Jed Allan (Peter Costigan)  
    Lloyd Haynes (Webson)  
    Buddy Garion (Edward Rawlins)  
    T. J. Escott (Lieut. Carl Mingus)  
    Buddy Hart (Hill)  
    Gary Downey (Lorrison)  
    Robert Carlson (Kelvaney)  
    Don Newsome (Timothy Hirsch)  
    Jim Goodwin (Survivor)  
    Bill Hillman (Phillip Munsey)  
    Dennis Alpert (Gambetta)  

Summary: U. S. Navy Comdr. James Ferraday, stationed in Scotland, receives orders from Admiral Garvey to take his nuclear submarine to a British North Pole weather station called Ice Station Zebra. Ferraday's mission, which he does not yet know, is to recover a capsule from a grounded Russian space satellite containing reconnaissance photographs of all U. S. and Russian missile sites. Also aboard the sub are two British agents, David Jones and Boris Vaslov, the latter a communist defector, and two U. S. Marine officers, Lieut. Russell Walker and Capt. Leslie Anders. En route, the vessel is sabotaged and almost exceeds its implosion depth before the crew can repair the damage and regain normal depth. Ferraday's suspicions that Vaslov is responsible are rejected by Jones, who vouches for his associate's loyalty and, instead, accuses Anders of sabotage. Once the sub reaches Ice Station Zebra, a search party finds only fire-gutted buildings and the frozen corpses of the base personnel. As the search for the capsule begins, Ferraday learns from the sub's radar that Russian aircraft are approaching. Jones is knocked unconscious and recovers to find Anders and Vaslov fighting; assuming that Anders is the spy, Jones kills him. Later, as the capsule is recovered, Russian paratroops under the command of Colonel Ostrovsky land in the area. Vaslov now reveals his traitorous nature by attempting to hand the capsule over to the Russians, but Jones hurls Vaslov against an iceblock and strangles him. Though Ferraday is obliged to give up the capsule, he destroys it as the Russians are lifting it by recovery aircraft. With the photographs lost to both sides, Ferraday and Ostrovsky agree that the incident shall be publicized as an example of the friendly cooperation between two great nations. 

Production Company: Filmways, Inc.  
Production Text: A Martin Ransohoff Production
Distribution Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.  
Director: John Sturges (Dir)
  Thomas J. Schmidt (Asst dir)
Producer: Martin Ransohoff (Prod)
  John Calley (Prod)
  James C. Pratt (Assoc prod)
Writer: Douglas Heyes (Scr)
  Harry Julian Fink Jr. (Screen story)
Photography: Daniel L. Fapp (Dir of photog)
  John M. Stephens (Addl arctic photog)
  Nelson Tyler (Addl arctic photog)
Art Direction: George W. Davis (Art dir)
  Addison Hehr (Art dir)
Film Editor: Ferris Webster (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Henry Grace (Set dec)
  Jack Mills (Set dec)
Music: Michel Legrand (Mus comp & cond)
Sound: Franklin Milton (Rec supv)
Special Effects: J. McMillan Johnson (Spec visual eff)
  Carroll L. Shepphird (Spec visual eff)
  Clarence Slifer (Spec visual eff)
  H. E. Millar Sr. (Spec eff)
  Ralph Swartz (Spec eff)
  Earl McCoy (Spec eff)
  Robert R. Hoag (Opt eff)
Make Up: William Tuttle (Makeup)
Production Misc: Ralph W. Nelson (Unit prod mgr)
  John M. Connolly (USN Ret.) (Tech adv)
  Norman Stuart (Dial coach)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the novel Ice Station Zebra by Alistair MacLean (London, 1963).
Authors: Alistair MacLean

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Filmways, Inc. 2/7/1968 dd/mm/yyyy LP36295

Physical Properties: col: Metrocolor
  Sd:
  gauge: 35 & 70
  Widescreen/ratio: Super Panavision, see note

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): English
  Communists
  Defectors
  Espionage
  Loyalty
  North Pole
  United States. Army. Parachute troops
  Photographs
  Reconnaissance
  Russians
  Sabotage
  Artificial satellites
  Scotland
  Secret agents
  Submarine boats
  Traitors
  United States. Marine Corps
  United States. Navy
  Weather stations

Note: Road shows presented in Cinerama. 

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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