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When Eight Bells Toll (1971)

In a vein similar to the James Bond movies, British Agent Philip Calvert (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is on a mission to determine the whereabouts of a ship that disappeared near the coast of Scotland.

Director:

Etienne Périer (as Etienne Perier)

Writer:

Alistair MacLean (screenplay) (as Alistair Maclean)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Hopkins ... Philip Calvert
Robert Morley ... Sir Arthur Artford Jones ('Uncle Arthur')
Nathalie Delon ... Charlotte
Jack Hawkins ... Sir Anthony Skouras
Corin Redgrave ... Roy Hunslett
Derek Bond ... Lord Charnley
Ferdy Mayne ... Lavorski
Maurice Roëves ... Lt. Williams - Helicopter Pilot
Leon Collins ... Tim Hutchinson
Wendy Allnutt ... Sue Kirkside
Peter Arne ... Capt. Imrie
Oliver MacGreevy Oliver MacGreevy ... Quinn (as Oliver Macgreevy)
Jon Croft Jon Croft ... Durran
Tom Chatto ... Lord Kirkside
Charlie Stewart ... Sgt. Macdonald
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Storyline

In a vein similar to the James Bond movies, British Agent Philip Calvert (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is on a mission to determine the whereabouts of a ship that disappeared near the coast of Scotland.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1970s | ship | british | scotland | agent | See All (166) »

Taglines:

From the author of "The Guns of Navarone" and "Where Eagles Dare", now - See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prentis Hancock went uncredited for his role as an Agent, but later sources include him in the cast list. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film, Calvert gives the girl a single brick of gold. She remarks that it is only one, and Calvert (straining to hold it) responds "do you know how much these bloody things weigh?!" However, earlier in the film, the deep-sea diver lifts three bars. This is physically impossible even for a strong man. If Calvert could barely lift one bar, then any diver would find three bars totally impossible, even allowing for the extra buoyancy that the bars would have in water. See more »

Quotes

[Calvert comes in covered in mud and blood, having been beaten up]
Hunslett: What happened to you?
Philip Calvert: I met a wild gypsy girl in the heather.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Nostalgia being what it used to be...
8 March 2010 | by bushtonySee all my reviews

Hopkins could have been Bond and I think he'd have made a good one. In fact, a review at the time of his performance in When Eight Bells Toll proclaimed he played his character Calvert in a way that "made James Bond look like a lounge lizard." The film is a fondly remembered actioner from my childhood (well, early teens). Although there's no way in which the pyrotechnics on show could bear realistic comparison with the CGI-dominated eye-candy extravagance of today's equivalents (witness the studio bound finale in the boat house if you really need convincing), it remains a brisk, fun way to idle away the best part of two hours.

The script is sharp, the dialogue cynical, the action belts along nicely - and Robert Morely's Whitehall mandarin thrust into the field is an eccentric delight. Nathalie Delon (whatever happened to her?) is an icy femme fatale who couldn't act to save her life (or anyone elses) and Jack Hawkins, who had throat cancer, is voiced by Charles Gray. Jack's lip-synching is well-duff to say the least. He's almost a good five minutes behind. Add Old Vic stalwart Corin Redgrave as Calvert's pragmatism-challenged sidekick and you have a recipe for some top fun.

The plot (McGuffin) is some nonsense about missing bullion ships, but it's no more than a hook to hang the action on. For me, this is a case of nostalgia most certainly being what it used to be. I just love it.

For anyone who likes the early seventies Bond movies, it's almost an essential accoutrement.

Right, next stops on the Alistair MacLean '70s movie DVD trail - Fear Is The Key, Caravan To Vaccares and the sublime Puppet On A Chain.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

When Eight Bells Toll See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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