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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 1,401 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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Thriller

A reporter exposes a government scandal.

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Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Andrew Hawley, Kika Markham, Kate Foster
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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

[Mullen shows Bayliss a group photograph in which Markham and Kleist are laughing together at a Prague conference]
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: You better take a look at that, Vernon.
Vernon Bayliss: Okay, so what does that prove?
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: It proves that your friend was lyin'. He said categorically that he'd never met Kleist before.
Vernon Bayliss: Well, isn't it possible that Kleist could just have been another face in the crowd? That Markham didn't know who he was?
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: Come on, Vernon! There's Markham, there's Kleist.
Vernon Bayliss: Well, that doesn't prove that Markham's a ...
[...]
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

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

Soundtracks

Passion Chorale
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

They're out to get you...
25 April 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This taut, underrated little thriller might be called a British version of "The Parallax View". Ian Bannen plays a Profumo-like MP targeted by the security services because he knows too much. His career is ruined by muck-raking reporter Gabriel Byrne but the latter's determination to get to the bottom of the story, and his guilt at the death of a colleague (the superb Denholm Elliott), lead him down unexpected political byways...

"Defence of the Realm" can boast excellent location work and a convincing recreation of the vanished world of the "old" hard-drinking Fleet Street. The tone becomes darker and more claustrophobic as the film goes on and the apolitical Byrne enters a paranoid world of car headlights in the rearview mirror, bugged telephones and rifled apartments. The film taps into many of the issues that concerned the British Left in the mid-eighties (secrecy, American missiles on UK soil, the unaccountability of the security services, newspaper obsession with sexual gossip to the exclusion of harder material) and builds to a clever, if shocking, double-twist climax. Well worth locating and viewing.


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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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