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Defense of the Realm (1986)
"Defence of the Realm" (original title)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,386 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 11 critic

After a newspaper reporter helps expose a Member of Parliament as a possible spy, he finds that there's much more to the story than that.

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Title: Defense of the Realm (1986)

Defense of the Realm (1986) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen
...
Nina Beckman
...
Vernon Bayliss
...
Dennis Markham
...
Victor Kingsbrook
...
Jack Macleod
...
Harry Champion
Frederick Treves ...
Arnold Reece
...
Leo McAskey
Annabel Leventon ...
Trudy Markham
Graham Fletcher-Cook ...
Micky Parker
Steven Woodcock ...
Steven Dyce
Alexei Jawdokimov ...
Dietrich Kleist
...
Danny Royce (as Daniel Webb)
Prentis Hancock ...
Frank Longman
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Storyline

A reporter Mullen 'stumbles' on a story linking a prominent Member of Parliament to a KGB agent. In fact it is also linked to a near Nuclear disaster involving a teenage runaway and an Americal USAF base. Has there been a Government cover-up,Mullen teams up with Vernon Bayliss, an old hack, and Nina Beckam the MP's assistant to find out the truth. Written by Matthew Stanfield <mattst@cogs.susx.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Just how far will a government go to hide the truth?

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Defense of the Realm  »

Box Office

Gross:

$750,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the airbase is never mentioned. However at one ponint Nick views a press clipping that states the (presumed) hit-and-run driving incident occurred in the village of Brandon. That's in Suffolk, adjacent to the US airbase at RAF Lakenheath. (However, the building Nick is seen parked outside when he asks, and is denied, permission to visit the base commander, is not at Lakenheath, it looks more like RAF Uxbridge which would have been easier to get permission to film at, and is also very close to the Shepperton studio where the film was made.) See more »

Goofs

Markham's wife's name is spelled Trudy Markham in the rolling credits. In a newspaper clipping that Mullen looks at, her name is spelled "Trudi" in the headline. See more »

Quotes

[Byrne pours his coffee into a potted plant]
Jack Macleod: Aw, Christ, what did that geranium ever do to you?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The research done for this film is shown by the acknowledgment at the end of the credits: "The Producers wish to thank the STAFF and MANAGEMENT of THE TIMES NEWSPAPERS FOR THEIR HELP." See more »

Connections

Remade as Defence of the Realm See more »

Soundtracks

Passion Chorale
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good British thriller
7 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gabriel Byrne stars in "Defence of the Realm," a 1985 film also starring Denholm Elliott, Greta Scacchi, Ian Bannen and Robbie Coltrane. Byrne plays Mullen, an aggressive newsman who is responsible for a story leading to the downfall of a Parliament member - he was seen leaving a madam's house, as was a KGB agent. However, he soon learns that there's much more to the story than that and that the man has been set up because he knew to much.

This is a very good story with handsome Byrne heading up an excellent cast of foreign faces that will be very familiar to Americans. All of the acting is good, with a standout performance by Denholm Elliott. The beautiful Greta Scacchi, an asset to any production, is totally wasted here, however.

What I liked best about this, and many other British films, is that you have to pay attention - first of all, so that your ears can adjust to the sound of not only the accents but also adjust to the way the British allow room tone to mix in with the dialogue, which we're not used to here. It gives the atmosphere a much more realistic flavor.

Worth seeing.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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one of the worst endings to a film ever dave_starsky77
What *is* that music? mrsalex
characters in the opening scene fkelleghan
Is This Based On A Boo? england1982
Location of Nick's flat and the watchers' lair. roo1
may be based on true story from 1958 ernestnwonton
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