MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 3,713 this week

Eye of the Needle (1981)

 -  Romance | Thriller | War  -  24 July 1981 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 5,983 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 16 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 23 Apr 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 04 Jun 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 31 Dec 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 10 Feb 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Eye of the Needle (1981)

Eye of the Needle (1981) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Eye of the Needle.
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Lust, Caution (2007)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An espionage thriller set in WWII-era Shanghai, in which a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Wei Tang, Joan Chen
36 Hours (1965)
War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Germans kidnap an American major and try to convince him that World War II is over, so that they can get details about the Allied invasion of Europe out of him.

Director: George Seaton
Stars: James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Taylor
Enigma (2001)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young genius frantically races against time to crack an enemy code and solve the mystery surrounding the woman he loves.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet, Saffron Burrows
Lifeboat (1944)
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Several survivors of a torpedoed ship find themselves in the same boat with one of the men who sunk it.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, John Hodiak, Walter Slezak
Sliver (1993)
Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Carly Norris is a book editor living in New York City who moves into the Sliver apartment building. In the apartment building, Carly meets two of her new neighbors, author Jack Lansford who... See full summary »

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Sharon Stone, William Baldwin, Tom Berenger
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An older British reporter vies with a young U.S. doctor for the affections of a beautiful Vietnamese woman.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Do Thi Hai Yen
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On the eve of WWII, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Expatriate American Harry Morgan helps to transport a Free French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sexy lounge singer.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An American woman of Irish, Jewish-German parentage goes undercover in Nazi Germany.

Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Michael Douglas, Melanie Griffith, Liam Neeson
China Moon (1994)
Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Detective Kyle Bodine falls for Rachel Munro who is trapped in a violent marriage. After shooting her husband, Kyle relucantly agrees to help hide the body, but Kyle's partner is showing an... See full summary »

Director: John Bailey
Stars: Ed Harris, Madeleine Stowe, Charles Dance
Witness (1985)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young Scottish woman joins the French Resistance during World War II to rescue her Royal Air Force boyfriend who is lost in France.

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Cate Blanchett, James Fleet, Abigail Cruttenden
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Stephen MacKenna ...
Lieutenant
...
Billy Parkin
...
Lucy
...
David
George Belbin ...
Lucy's Father
Faith Brook ...
Lucy's Mother
Barbara Graley ...
David's Mother
George Lee ...
Constable
Arthur Lovegrove ...
Peterson
Colin Rix ...
Oliphant
Barbara Ewing ...
Mrs. Garden
Chris Jenkinson ...
German SS Officer
William Merrow ...
German Radio Operator
Patrick Connor ...
Inspector Harris
Edit

Storyline

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 | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

german | love | spy | murder | island | See more »

Taglines:

To love a stranger is easy... To kill a lover is not. See more »

Genres:

Romance | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eye of the Needle  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 5,742,895 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The novel, "Eye of the Needle" by author Ken Follett, on which this movie is based, was his first best-seller book, selling over three million copies prior to the production of this movie. The novel was first published in 1978 and the Mystery Writers of America awarded it the 1979 Edgar Award. The novel was originally entitled "Storm Island", the setting of which represents the second half of both the novel and the film. See more »

Goofs

In the scene when needle goes to the base where all the mock-ups are, the Jeep the MPs are riding is a Willys Model M-38, which was not manufactured until 1950. See more »

Quotes

Faber: The war has come down to the two of us.
See more »


Soundtracks

Roses and Moonlight
(uncredited)
Music by Alan Moorhouse
KPM Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Somewhat unpromising but effective mixing of WW2 spy fare with an intense romantic thriller works superbly
22 February 2006 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Eye of the Needle is an oddly structured but nonetheless extremely effective film which in many ways is quite old fashioned in tone and feel,with the addition of a little 'modern'sex and violence. For almost the first half,the film is a fairly conventional but quite gripping spy thriller,as a German agent causes havoc in World War 2 England. There are few surprises,but Donald Sutherland is mesmerising to watch {even if his accent wavers} and the plot at least sounds almost plausible. The keen eyed,however,may spot mistakes in the period detail.

Then Sutherland is washed up on a Scottish island inhabited by a crippled man and his frustrated wife,and the film changes into an incredibly tense mixture of romance and thrills. Sutherland and Nelligan's affair may be basically sexual,but there is real chemistry between them and a real sense of desperation,of two lonely people throwing themselves together. The last half hour is real edge-of-the-seat stuff,perhaps almost bordering on psycho-thriller,but it really works.

Throughout the film Sutherland remains the villain and does do some nasty things,but it's a measure of his performance that occasionally we do come close to sympathising with him. Acting-wise though the film really belongs to Nelligan,a tragically underused and beautiful actress who has to go through the motions of loneliness and frustration,than lust,then fear,and eventually heroism,and does so superbly.

Aided tremendously by the last ever score from the legendary film composer Miklos Rozsa,who provides a moving love theme and some especially thrilling music for the last section of the film,Eye of the Needle perhaps shouldn't really work as well at it does,but that's a measure of it's quality.


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How terribly lonely Lucy was Kathleenr88
Again, the last scenes... Helicopters? I don't think so... gblawson
Won't watch the movie bdgone75
Question about the ending Ted-Striker
Imagine an Extended Ending The-Demon
Need help with this movie? branpick
Discuss Eye of the Needle (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?