The movie's finale replaces Alistair MacLean's original detective style summation ending from the novel with instead a big shoot-out. See more »
Towards the end of the film Calvert fires a rocket-powered grappling-hook to help scale the cliff. This is clearly attached to a box of thin twine which is shown rapidly emptying as the rocket heads upwards. When the hook lands and catches onto the base of a cannon, the twine has magically evolved into a 1 inch thick rope which Calvert then uses to climb the cliff. See more »
While When Eight Bells Toll is not a masterpiece in my eyes, I myself would hardly call it a dud. Perhaps a little too short, and I do agree that some of the fight scenes leave you wanting more and some scenes such as the wooden boat exploding do make you raise your eyebrows as if to say "just why did they do that?", however there is a huge amount to redeem it.
I have to say When Eight Bells Toll is likable and entertaining for what it is. It has superb location shooting and a rousing score. It has an interesting and exciting plot, brisk pacing, decent direction and sharp and cynical dialogue. It also has the great Anthony Hopkins playing a role atypical to any other he's played. No-nonsense and a hero in a sense, Calvert as a character is very entertaining and likable and Hopkins is exactly that too. Even better is Robert Morley who provides a deliciously comic turn as Calvert's spy-master, while Nathalie Delon is beautiful and luscious as the lovely Charlotte.
Overall, an entertaining film. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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