6.6/10
1,517
21 user 11 critic

Defense of the Realm (1986)

Defence of the Realm (original title)
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.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Stormy Monday (1988)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a corrupt American businessman tries to strong arm his way into businesses in Newcastle, England, he is thwarted by an club attendant and his waitress girlfriend.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Melanie Griffith, Tommy Lee Jones, Sting
Musical | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An unnamed Traveler boards the Guildford-Waterloo train and proceeds to daydream about his life and of having interactions with his fellow passengers.

Director: Ray Davies
Stars: Tim Roth, Kenneth Colley, Claire Parker
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The son of a priest slain by the Mau Mau moves in with a police officer and his wife in 1950 Kenya.

Director: Harry Hook
Stars: Bob Peck, Edwin Mahinda, Phyllis Logan
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A war veteran tries to investigate the murder of his son who was working as a Russian translator for the British intelligence service during the Cold War. He meets a web of deception and paranoia that seems impenetrable...

Director: Simon Langton
Stars: Michael Caine, James Fox, Nigel Havers
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

1908: Pascali, a spy for the Sultan, sends reports to Istanbul that nobody reads. His suspicions are roused when a British archeologist appears, who may not be quite what he seems.

Director: James Dearden
Stars: Ben Kingsley, Charles Dance, Kevork Malikyan
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A millionaire past his prime and his young wife arrive in Kenya circa 1940 to find that the other affluent British expatriates are living large as the homefront gears up for war. They are ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Radford
Stars: Sarah Miles, Joss Ackland, Greta Scacchi
Cop (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An obsessive, insubordinate homicide cop is convinced a serial killer is loose in the Hollywood area and disobeys orders in order to catch him.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of the rise of a madame of a suburban brothel catering to older men, inspired by the real experiences of Cynthia Payne.

Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Julie Walters, Alec McCowen, Shirley Stelfox
Fingers (1978)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A dysfunctional young man is pulled between loyalties to his Italian mob-connected loan shark father and his mentally disturbed Jewish concert pianist mother.

Director: James Toback
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tisa Farrow, Jim Brown
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An American woman driving through Sicily to her father's funeral gives a cocky, streetwise kid a lift. His amorous attentions are soon obvious, and leads to a fairly obvious ending.

Director: Vito Zagarrio
Stars: Greta Scacchi, Luca Orlandini, Tim Finn
Shadey (1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A young man discovers that not only does he have the ability to read minds, but that if he holds a camera next to his head he can transmit the thoughts he sees onto film. He strikes a deal ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Saville
Stars: Antony Sher, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Macnee
The Innocent (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

This densely-packed film is based on a book by Tom Hart about the struggles of a young Yorkshire boy trying to come to grips with squabbling parents, a doctor who wants to institutionalize ... See full summary »

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

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

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 »

Quotes

[SPOILER]
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: [angrily] Where'd the tip-off come from?
Harry Champion: Look, you know perfectly well I've got to protect my sources.
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: Oh yeah? Well, from now on, nobody is protecting anybody.
Harry Champion: I'm sorry, I can't tell you.
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: I want to know who told you Kleist was KGB.
Harry Champion: I can't tell you!
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: It was the same source rang me up and gave me the Prague story, wasn't it?
Harry Champion: I've no idea.
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: [chuckles] Come on, Harry. Who was it?
[...]
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

Canon
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Pachelbel
Arranged by Dominic Muldowney
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
" Do you believe information should be available to everyone? "
28 February 2009 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Democratic governments are said to work in the public interest. All well and good. However, when that government decides to work in secret, then it becomes an enemy, not only to the people it purports to work for, but is contrary to the spirit of democracy. This is the premise to this film entitled " Defense of the Realm." In this story, our hero Nicholas Mullen (Gabriel Byrne) is an inquisitive newspaper reporter who stumbles across a sensitive story involving the cover-up murder of a school boy. The lad's death is hushed up by government authorities and involves a prominent cabinet official. The case is ultra secret so that when a Parliament official seeks to inquire into the death of the school boy, those who want to keep it from being re-opened, first seek to scandalize him, then discredit the first newsman who helps him, then anyone else who gets involved. After his colleague is found dead, Mullen takes up the challenge of exposing his friend's murder and soon finds himself threatened, then targeted for assassination. The movie is stark drama and with the aid of exceptional actors like Denholm Elliott, Ian Bannen and Robbie Coltrane produces an exciting and heart thumping atmosphere. A fine film and highly recommended as a late night thriller. Excellent! ****


3 of 4 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
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
Discuss Defense of the Realm (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?