Eye of the Needle (1981)

R  |   |  Romance, Thriller, War  |  24 July 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,815 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 25 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.



(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:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 »


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 »


Faber: [calling on radio to submarine] Singvogel. Hier ist die Nadel. Kommen.
["Songbird. This is the Needle. Come."]
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For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
Sung by wedding guests with modified lyrics ("For They Are Jolly Good Fellows")
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User Reviews

A Surprisingly Good Wartime Thriller
23 May 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This film about a German agent trying to escape from Britain might seem to offer limited scope for interest, but Sutherland's menacing performance and the events on the island turn it into something approaching a study in psychopathy, laden with uncertainty and fear. The vulnerability of Lucy (Kate Nelligan, a sensitive and intelligent but definitely pre-feminist woman helps to give the film an added poignancy. Sutherland's performance is such that we are always fascinated by the damaged and ruthless character he portrays. Those who dislike war films may find themselves surprised by this film.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How terribly lonely Lucy was Kathleenr88
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