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 1,508 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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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
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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 »


Vernon Bayliss: Vodka and Coca-Cola. Detente in a glass!
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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 »


Passion Chorale
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

Makes you think

If ever any one was in doubt that democratic governments may not be averse to using the occasional dirty tricks then this film is an eye opener. Based around a busy news paper office this is the story of one mans crusade to make sure a scandal involving a cabinet minister is not pushed under the carpet. The story is full of twists and turns as our intrepid hero gets the bit between his teeth but the powers that be haul in him and judge for yourself the meaning of their words. A must for any one into political thrillers.

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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
Location of Nick's flat and the watchers' lair. roo1
Is This Based On A Boo? england1982
may be based on true story from 1958 ernestnwonton
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