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The cynical Washington Beltway crowd and military industrial complex piss off the wrong U.S. Air Force Colonel.

Lawrence Dell (Burt Lancaster) escapes from military prison and executes a plan to take control of a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile site in Montana. A decade earlier, as a USAF Colonel, Dell had participated in a meeting with the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in which the true motives for US involvement in the Vietnam War were freely discussed. Dell now believes that the American people should be told the truth about that war, and that nuclear blackmail is the only way to accomplish his goal.

Also starring Charles Durning (as an inexperienced and somewhat naive US President who is in the dark about Dell's secret information), Richard Widmark (as a dangerous and scheming US Army General), Paul Winfield and Joseph Cotten.

Due in part to the politically controversial nature of the film, it was shot just outside Munich rather than in the United States. The military equipment portrayed in the movie was West German, since the US military refused to cooperate in the production.

Although a few of its plot elements require some suspension of disbelief, this is a taught, exciting post-Watergate cold war drama, with a powerful political message that may be more relevant now than it was 35 years ago.

And it stars Burt Freakin' Lancaster.

Here is a recent New York Times review:

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