6.6/10
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23 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.

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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)
...
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:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the airbase is never mentioned. However at one point Nick views a press clipping which states that 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

Ministry Man: You would agree, would you not, that certain things bearing on the defence of the realm are best left unsaid.
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: If you mean covered up, no, I wouldn't.
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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 »


Soundtracks

Canon
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Pachelbel
Arranged by Dominic Muldowney
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User Reviews

 
So-so, bit hard to follow
11 January 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It seemed quite promising, but was hard to follow in places, not helped by one or two outdoor scenes not transforming well onto a TV screen. I'd recorded it, so on several occasions was able to rewind to have another go at understanding it. It might help if I was to watch the entire film again from start to finish, but I can't be bothered. As I understand it, a youth fleeing from the police clambers over a very nasty looking fence onto the runway of an American air base and gets killed by an aircraft that's landing with a nuclear bomb on board. This precipitates an emergency exodus from the base. Cue cover-up, investigated by local MP who gets set up, leading to investigation by reporter.

Byrne does well as the reporter, but as is often the case Denholm Elliott impresses the most. Greta Scacchi is very bland.


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