6.6/10
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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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Director: John Mackenzie
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Thriller

A reporter exposes a government scandal.

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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:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to website 'Wikipedia', The Defence of the Realm Act 1914 (DORA) "gave the government wide-ranging powers during the war period, such as the power to requisition buildings or land needed for the war effort, or to make regulations creating criminal offenses. DORA ushered in a variety of authoritarian social control mechanisms, such as censorship". 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

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.
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

Passion Chorale
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

first rate

This movie is a good example of the British film industry quietly making good movies that nobody saw. Brought out at the height of the cold war , as far as i know it was only ever seen on channel 4 (which kept the british film industry alive). The plot is hardly revolutionary. A journalist (a hard bitten Gabriel Byrne)stumbles upon a coverup by the british goverment, of a nuclear accident on an american airbase (which actually happened in the 1950s, but thats another story). Shades of disaster at silo seven, presidents men and forth protocol. But where this movie is different is the feeling that THEY are following you, helped by an understated yet eerie soundtrack. Byrne is followed by a car from the american airbase, it crowds him off the road and all of its windows are seen to be blacked out. He phones the American embassy and hears his phone being tapped.We dont even see the watchers untill the very end of the movie (which weakens it slightly) Even the Kangaroo court at the end of the movie is reminicnent of Franz Kafkas THE TRIAL. This is the X FILES without ufos, yet Byrne and scacchi are more that a little reminicent of mulder and scully (who also break the rule and dont fall in love on screen). Helped by fine performances from Denholm Elliot and Fulton Mackay(Robert Maxwell?), it evokes a patina of the hidden state only equilled in the uk by EDGE OF DARKNESS and Ken Loache`s HIDDEN AGENDA. its not the best thriller ever made in the UK, but it deserves a damn sight more attention than its received. See it , before THEY do.....


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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
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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