Frank Overton did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying General Bogan, USAF in Fail-Safe.
Fail-Safe has a large cast in its story which jumps back and forth between the plane itself, the president (Henry Fonda) talking to the Russian premier with a young Larry Hagman as his translator, the pentagon with Walter Matthau playing against type before he had a type as a callous political science professor, and a dread filled General played by Dan O'Herlihy, and the Air Force headquarters that is run by Overton's General Bogan. Overton, who is probably best known for his role on Star Trek or playing the sheriff in To Kill a Mockingbird, plays the important role of General Bogan who must handle perhaps the most problematic group of people during the extremely tense situation.
Frank Overton plays General Bogan as a calm controlled figure who is very much a man who try his very best to diffuse the situation no matter what it might take. Overton handles his performance very well as a man set out in his duty but he carefully alludes to the emotional strain that Bogan has to face. Bogan never cracks staying assured the whole time, but Overton is effective by showing that it is not that Bogan is unemotional but he is a man who is doing his very best to stay in control of his situation. Although every situation is a stressful one the place Bogan is in is perhaps the most because it eventually is decided that the USAF must help the Soviets bring down their own planes.
Overton makes the most out of his part of Bogan who does his best to avert disaster even though many other men in the room are not really behind the idea of shooting down their own men and helping the enemy. Overton brings the emotional weight necessary in his scenes to show the urgency in Bogan to stop the upcoming travesty while to still reflecting his underlying unease in needing to give away the position of his own men. Bogan stays on course the entire time, but Overton is very effective in showing the building frustrations in Bogan. Overton lets these frustrations out in the right which are the worst times such as when either his own men or the Russians won't listen due to distrust.
Overton's best moment though is a quieter one where he talks to his Russian counterpart for a brief moment while the mayhem rages around them. Overton is excellent in this scene by honestly not becoming overly emotional in this scene either even though it is a very tender scene, one of the few of them in the film. Overton nicely plays the scene in a simple but very poignant fashion as he shows for a moment a Russian and American having understanding even though it is only for a moment. Overton succeeds by making it in a powerful moment by just giving that remarkable but brief moment of reflection where Bogan is allowed to feel the weight of the situation at the scale of an individual. Frank Overton's fulfills his role well making an impact within the large cast and amplifying the power of the scenes with the USAF war room.