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

PG  |   |  Thriller  |  21 November 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,499 users  
Reviews: 21 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 6.6/10

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



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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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Defense of the Realm  »

Box Office


$750,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Breakthrough feature film role of actor Gabriel Byrne. See more »


While Nick is sitting at Vernon's desk the typewriter on the desk is flat (in normal typing position). The shot changes to a close-up of news articles Nick is holding in his hand and the next shot shows the typewriter flipped up on its back. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987) See more »


Music by Johann Pachelbel
Arranged by Dominic Muldowney
See more »

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User Reviews

Clever stuff
2 May 2001 | by (East Sussex, UK) – See all my reviews

Well put together, and it will not do your paranoia any good at all! (But then, if you're not a bit paranoid, there's something wrong with you!)

Perhaps the characters could do with filling out a little, but on the whole, this is a very well-crafted thriller, to which you have to pay attention, as there are no big info-dumps or exposition: you have to work out a lot for yourself.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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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