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Eye of the Needle (1981)

 -  Romance | Thriller | War  -  24 July 1981 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,198 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.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Title: Eye of the Needle (1981)

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Cast

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 ...
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

german | love | spy | u boat | murder | 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nålens öga  »

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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland plays the central character Heinrich 'Henry' Faber, a Nazi German spy acting undercover as an Englishman in this movie. As such, a Canadian plays a German impersonating an Englishman. See more »

Goofs

When Faber pulls into the train station in the cab, an 80s-style sign for National Westminster Bank can been seen in the cab's rear window. Also in the same shot on the side window of the cab an 80s style blue car can be seen. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

When My Little Pomeranian Met Your Little Pekinese
(1933) (uncredited)
Written by Jack Little, Ira Schuster and Dave Oppenheim
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Would It Really Appeal To Women ?
17 January 2005 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I agree with the commentator who described this as a chick flick because my gut instinct is that the second half of the movie takes on the quality of a bizarre love story . However any female sitting through this would have to endure a story of a ruthless Nazi spy slaughtering anyone who stands in the way of his mission and some of the violence is quite brutal ( Channel 4 showed this in the late afternoon ) which I doubt would appeal to a female audience or indeed a family audience . As I said the second half of EYE OF THE NEEDLE changes in genre slightly so for all the lads who enjoyed the war/spy story will become rapidly bored with the second half romantic interlude . I've never read Ken Follet's novel but I got the impression it was something of a pot boiler that women read on sunny beaches so perhaps the story has been badly translated to screen ?

That's not to say the movie is bad . Donald Sutherland carries the movie as the cold , ruthless but charming " Needle " who'd probably cut his mother's throat if it expanded the cause of Hitler . It'd be easy for Sutherland to go right over the top in the role but he plays the part in a subtle manner and I did enjoy the aspects where it's revealed he's a spy and the subsequent hunt for him ( Even if it leaves a plot hole - How was he able to operate in Britain for four years after his first murder ? ) , but unfortunately if you enjoyed this aspect then you'd probably be annoyed with the second half and the amount of violence in the early part of the movie means much of the audience the film was intended for wouldn't want to see the latter half


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