6.6/10
1,643
22 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:
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...
...
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Dennis Markham
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Victor Kingsbrook
...
...
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  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$750,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

Markham's wife's name is spelled "Trudy Markham" when a typist takes dictation from Nick over the phone and in the rolling credits. In a newspaper clipping that Mullen looks at, her name is spelled "Trudi" in the headline. See more »

Quotes

[Byrne pours his coffee into a potted plant]
Jack Macleod: Aw, Christ, what did that geranium ever do to you?
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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 »

Connections

Remade as Defence of the Realm See more »

Soundtracks

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

They're out to get you...
25 April 2001 | by 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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