When Eight Bells Toll (1971)

GP  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  30 April 1971 (Ireland)
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Reviews: 26 user | 8 critic

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.


(as Etienne Perier)


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


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


GP | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 April 1971 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

A Noite das Oito Badaladas  »

Box Office


SEK 2,201,563 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Debut film in the English language for French actress Nathalie Delon. 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 »


[Uncle Arthur staggers out of a cabin, looking very seasick]
Uncle Arthur: Boats would be wonderful... if only one didn't have to go to sea in them.
See more »

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User Reviews

When Bond takes a vacation.
15 May 2009 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

Between OHMSS in 1969 and Diamonds are Forever in 1971 there was a chance that Bond would be retiring for good. The Rank Film Corporation figured that Alistair MacLean's maverick secret agent Philip Calvert would be the best to take his place.

Obviously that didn't work out. Bond continued to prosper while Calvert faded into obscurity. You shouldn't count him out completely though as there is plenty of rugged and gritty thrills here in the vain of cold war thrillers that the high-key and glossy Bond films lack.

However, a cold war villain or a madman wishing to take over the world ain't the antagonists here. A bunch of thugs hijacking ships and hiding out in a lonely port in the highlands are Calvert's enemies. Though I don't really care about such low-octane crimes and I failed to connect with the plot.

Despite a touch of humour, some unusual scenery and the occasional tough guy moment there's just not enough of W8BT to get into. The film is over in 90 minutes and feels a bit rushed. I think it would have befitted considerably from a slower pace and an extra twenty minutes.

Still, it's fun to see a young Anthony Hopkins doing the action hero thing, even if I have do damn clue what the title means.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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