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The Black Windmill (1974)

 -  Action | Crime | Thriller  -  July 1974 (UK)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,553 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 12 critic

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.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

The ultimate exercise in controlled terror.

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1974 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Drabble  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a book on Michael Reeves, Nicky Henson was interviewed for a role. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the film where the van is blown up on the motorway, it becomes clear that the scene is filmed on an incomplete stretch of motorway (possibly the M3, which was completed in 1974) as lane markings are missing from one carriageway. See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Underneath the Spreading Chestnut Tree
(uncredited)
(trad.)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Efficient but strangely unexciting
16 February 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The Black Windmill has a workable premise, an unspectacularly decent cast (Delphine Seyrig, Donald Pleasance, Janet Suzman, Clive Revill, Dennis Quilley, Edward Hardwicke and Joss Ackland among them) and a good director in Don Siegel, but it never catches fire. Michael Caine, playing a very different spy to Harry Palmer – more of a middle class career army officer who never needed to be blackmailed into the job – finds himself being set up by the vicious kidnappers of his young son to steal some diamonds intended for some dubious operation, eventually finding himself having to avoid his employers, the French and British police and take out the very bad guys (hey, it is John Vernon). All of which sounds at least more energetic than the film actually is. It moves along with competence, dotting the 'i's and crossing the 't's, but even though a surprising amount happens in the last half hour, it never seems to develop any tension or urgency. Along the way there's a nice Sean Connery joke and a neat scene that manages to reference both the Sound of Music and Caine's own Battle of Britain, but the good Scope composition and the typical 70s Roy Budd score make more of an impression than anything else in the film.

Uiniversal's Region 2 DVD has no extras, but it does boast a good 2.35:1 widescreen transfer that at least ensures the film looks its best and has none of the panning-and-scanning problems of the TV prints.


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