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When Eight Bells Toll (1971)

In a vein similar to Bond movies, a British agent Philip Calvert is on a mission to determine the whereabouts of a ship that disappeared near the coast of Scotland.

Director:

(as Etienne Perier)

Writer:

(screenplay) (as Alistair Maclean)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sir Arthur Artford Jones ('Uncle Arthur')
...
Charlotte
...
...
Roy Hunslett
Derek Bond ...
Lord Charnley
...
Lavorski
...
Lt. Williams - Helicopter Pilot
Leon Collins ...
Tim Hutchinson
Wendy Allnutt ...
Sue Kirkside
Peter Arne ...
Capt. Imrie
Oliver MacGreevy ...
Quinn (as Oliver Macgreevy)
Jon Croft ...
Durran
Tom Chatto ...
Lord Kirkside
Charlie Stewart ...
Sgt. Macdonald
Edit

Storyline

In a vein similar to Bond movies, a British agent Philip Calvert is on a mission to determine the whereabouts of a ship that disappeared near the coast of Scotland.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ship | british | scotland | agent | raid | See All (163) »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 March 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Noite das Oito Badaladas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was made and released only about a year after the very similarly titled "When the Bell Tolls" (aka When the Bell Tolls (1969)). See more »

Goofs

When gunmen shoot at a helicopter which is supposedly crashing, the smoke disappears into their guns. This shows the film was run backwards and the helicopter was taking off. In the film's trailer (available with the DVD) the shot is run correctly. See more »

Quotes

[Uncle Arthur is discussing the work involved in dealing with the bullion robbers]
Philip Calvert: I have everybody breathing down my neck: the Admiralty, the Government, the Americans... and the insurance assessors. Grubby little men with gabardine raincoats and dandruff.
Philip Calvert: Well I don't have dandruff, Sir, if it's any consolation.
Uncle Arthur: Yes, I don't think you need demonstrate your questionable attitude to authority *quite* so early.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nostalgia being what it used to be...
8 March 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Hopkins could have been Bond and I think he'd have made a good one. In fact, a review at the time of his performance in When Eight Bells Toll proclaimed he played his character Calvert in a way that "made James Bond look like a lounge lizard." The film is a fondly remembered actioner from my childhood (well, early teens). Although there's no way in which the pyrotechnics on show could bear realistic comparison with the CGI-dominated eye-candy extravagance of today's equivalents (witness the studio bound finale in the boat house if you really need convincing), it remains a brisk, fun way to idle away the best part of two hours.

The script is sharp, the dialogue cynical, the action belts along nicely - and Robert Morely's Whitehall mandarin thrust into the field is an eccentric delight. Nathalie Delon (whatever happened to her?) is an icy femme fatale who couldn't act to save her life (or anyone elses) and Jack Hawkins, who had throat cancer, is voiced by Charles Gray. Jack's lip-synching is well-duff to say the least. He's almost a good five minutes behind. Add Old Vic stalwart Corin Redgrave as Calvert's pragmatism-challenged sidekick and you have a recipe for some top fun.

The plot (McGuffin) is some nonsense about missing bullion ships, but it's no more than a hook to hang the action on. For me, this is a case of nostalgia most certainly being what it used to be. I just love it.

For anyone who likes the early seventies Bond movies, it's almost an essential accoutrement.

Right, next stops on the Alistair MacLean '70s movie DVD trail - Fear Is The Key, Caravan To Vaccares and the sublime Puppet On A Chain.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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