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Callan (1974)

PG  |   |  Thriller  |  1974 (UK)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 333 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 2 critic

David Callan, top agent/assassin for the S.I.S., was forced to retire because he had lost his nerve. Now, Callan is called back into service to handle the assassination of Schneider, a ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Callan (1974)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Eric Porter ...
Hunter
Carl Möhner ...
...
Jenny
...
Russell Hunter ...
Kenneth Griffith ...
Michael Da Costa ...
The Greek (as Michael da Costa)
Veronica Lang ...
Liz, Hunter's Secretary
Clifford Rose ...
...
Arthur (as Dave Prowse)
Don Henderson ...
George
...
Padilla
David Graham ...
Wireless operator
Yuri Borienko ...
Security porter
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Storyline

David Callan, top agent/assassin for the S.I.S., was forced to retire because he had lost his nerve. Now, Callan is called back into service to handle the assassination of Schneider, a German businessman. His former boss promises Callan that he'll be returned to active status if he follows orders, but as always Callan refuses to act until he knows why Schneider has been marked for death. This film is a remake of the same story presented in "A Magnum for Schneider." Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Callan... doesn't make friends - and all his enemies are dead! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1974 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Neutralizer  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film with optical soundtrack (mono) encoded with A-type Dolby noise reduction. See more »

Goofs

The events of the film refer to the attempt on Schneider's life as taking place on Sunday 22nd October, which would date the film to 1972. The tax disc on his car, however, is dated Nov 73. This is also verified by a newsstand reference to Royal Wedding pictures - this was the marriage of Princess Anne to Captain Mark Phillips, also in November 1973. See more »

Quotes

Lonely: You hit Arthur?
David Callan: I hit him... and he died of it.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Wet Job (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Cry of Freedom
(uncredited)
Music by George Frederick Root
Arranged by Marcus Dods
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Recommended thriller
10 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a tight, intelligent thriller closely based on the fine novel Red File For Callan, from which the great 1960s-1970s Thames TV series developed. David Callan is a solitary, mentally unstable killer, who is given one last chance to return to "The Section", a shadowy British government security department. Callan hates to kill, but is qualified for little else, and has been forced by his old masters into a dull, mundane office job with a harassing boss. His test is to murder someone

  • a man whom it turns out he knows, an apparently harmless businessman


with whom he shares an interest in military history and battle games. The film boasts a first-class performance from Edward Woodward as Callan, reprising his TV role with confidence. Russell Hunter is also extremely good as Lonely, a smelly petty crook who Callan employs to get him a gun. Sadly the film was made with little style, and the military band score is disappointingly out of kilter with Jack Trombey's fine, moody Callan TV theme.

The Callan character was an icon in British television history, and was extremely popular with viewers. This story got its first outing as A Magnum for Schneider (the book's original title) in a 50 minute slot on Armchair Theatre, a famous British TV drama anthology. (This unofficial pilot can now be seen on a very good DVD compilation of what early episodes are still unwiped, called "Callan: The Monochrome Years" (Network DVD, 2010).) Callan was seen, like The Ipcress File, as an antidote to the invulnerable 007. Why there were no other Callan films made, since the creator James Mitchell wrote several filmable novels about the character, is a mystery.

Callan boasts one technical distinction: according to the Guinness Book of Movie Facts and Feats, this was the first film to be released with a Dolby encoded mono soundtrack. (A Clockwork Orange used Dolby noise reduction in its making some years before but used a conventional soundtrack on its release prints.) When I saw Callan on its release at a local cinema, I remember thinking the sound was uncommonly clear and the dialogue for once actually audible.


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