Eye of the Needle (1981)

R  |   |  Romance, Thriller, War  |  24 July 1981 (USA)
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A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband.



(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen MacKenna ...
George Belbin ...
Faith Brook ...
Barbara Graley ...
George Lee ...
Arthur Lovegrove ...
Colin Rix ...
Barbara Ewing ...
Chris Jenkinson ...
William Merrow ...
Patrick Connor ...


A German spy carrying information that will reveal the target of Operation Overlord becomes involved with the wife of a crippled man on an isolated island off the Scottish coast while he waits to be picked up. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

german | love | spy | u boat | murder | See All (88) »


Codename: "The Needle". Only one person can stop him: The woman who loves him ! See more »


Romance | Thriller | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nålens öga  »

Box Office


SEK 5,742,895 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though Donald Sutherland portrays a Nazi German spy, he is never seen in German Nazi military uniform in this movie and only vaguely as a German army cadet in a black-and-white group photo. See more »


Just before ditching the stolen motor cycle Faber crossed Connel Bridge near Oban. In the period of the film it was a railway and road bridge, and there were no signs of railway lines. (In the 1960s it was also a toll bridge.) See more »


Faber: [calling on radio to submarine] Singvogel. Hier ist die Nadel. Kommen.
["Songbird. This is the Needle. Come."]
See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
Sung by wedding guests with modified lyrics ("For They Are Jolly Good Fellows")
See more »

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User Reviews

Donald Sutherland at his best in one of the most fascinating spy films ever!
3 March 2005 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

Director Richard Marquand and all the crew involved brought us a memorable film that keeps us on the edge of our seat from the beginning to the very last minute. The story follows a Nazi spy named Henry Faber (an extremely vicious Donald Sutherland), also known by his code name "The Needle", who is on to an important information about the Allies invasion plan to Europe during WW2 and might cause a disaster if he gets with that information to Berlin. Kate Nelligan gives a perfect performance as the naive Lucy who gets involved with the dangerous Henry Faber. Adopted from Ken Follet's novel, The film successfully keeps the tension on high level in just about every scene. The film is shot in a remarkably beautiful locations in Europe and really captures the alienated atmosphere during WW2. All in all this is a perfect film that shouldn't be missed by anyone who is looking for a powerful and memorable experience. This one is highly recommended 10/10.

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