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The Black Windmill (1974)

A British agent's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cedric Harper
Alf Chestermann
Chief Supt. Wray
Alex Tarrant
Lady Melissa Julyan
Joseph O'Conor ...
Sir Edward Julyan
Denis Quilley ...
Derek Newark ...
Monitoring Policeman
Mike McCarthy
Maureen Pryor ...
Jane Harper
Joyce Carey ...
Miss Monley
Preston Lockwood ...


A British agent's son is kidnapped and held for a ransom of diamonds. The agent finds out that he can't even count on the people he thought were on his side to help him, so he decides to track down the kidnappers himself. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Seven days to a killing...the ultimate exercise in controlled terror.


Action | Crime | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 August 1974 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Drabble  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actor Michael Caine was aged around forty-one years when Caine starred in this movie. See more »


The Scotland Yard detectives put a 'bug' in Tarrant's telephone and leave the telephone with the dial facing the typewriter on the desk. When Tarrant arrives home and checks the telephone, it has been turned 90 degrees and the dial now faces to the right, towards the bed. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are formed from images of children's alphabet blocks. See more »


References Live and Let Die (1973) See more »


Underneath the Spreading Chestnut Tree
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User Reviews

Under the spreading chestnut tree
28 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

Under the spreading chestnut tree When I held you on my knee, we were happy as can be Under the spreading chestnut tree.

Under the spreading chestnut tree I'll kiss you and you'll kiss me Oh how happy we will be Under the spreading chestnut tree" They say the chestnut tree symbolizes honesty ,charity and justice.So this song which could seem somewhat irrelevant over the cast and credits and is heard again in the last scene (sung by a school children choir).And if the message is not clear enough ,the letters of the credits are written on small cubes and when they are in trouble,Caine and his wife take the pseudos of Mr Trapp and Maria,cause they've seen "the sound of music" four or five times with their abducted child . Many things will remind you of "the man who knew too much" (essentially second version) ,even a song plays the role of "que sera sera" .A good private joke even mentions Sean Connery ,future co-star of Caine in "the man who would be king" In spite of the run of the mill plot,Don Siegel makes the best of it ,with strong scenes and an accelerated tempo :the opening sequence ,with the "military" men, gives the jitter ;Delphine Seyrig,an extremely talented French actress famous for her parts in Demy's Truffaut's and Bunuel's movies finds here her first part of a villainess.Hear how she smoothly speaks!She was fluent in English so she was not dubbed! ,fortunately ! Unlike so many veterans trapped in the seventies ,Don "body snatchers" Siegel carried on with exciting movies:the stunning "beguiled" -which tops both "Harry" and "Escape from Alcatraz" which are not flabby stuff either-"the Shootist" with a terminally-ill John Wayne .

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