Following a triple professional hit a U.S. agent arrives in Amsterdam to investigate a heroin smuggling ring. He finds a city rife with drugs and a police force unable or unwilling to do ... See full summary »
On the remote Norwegian Bear Island, used as a submarine base by the Germans during WW2, U.N. scientist Larsen sends a distress signal using an emergency NATO frequency and is received by scientific vessel Morning Rose.
Following the death of his family in an aeroplane crash, a man plots an elaborate revenge scheme on those responsible. By setting himself up as a criminal, he plans to get close to a ... See full summary »
Nicol Williamson takes the lead role in this star-studded 1969 version of William Shakespeare's tragedy. Prince Hamlet mourns both his father's death and his mother's marriage to Claudius. ... See full summary »
Too many things have been going wrong in too many Formula One races. Johnny Harlow, world champion driver and apparent cause of the latest accident, decides the time has come to sort things... See full summary »
Towards the end of the film Calvert fires a rocket-powered grappling-hook to help scale the cliff. This is clearly attached to a box of thin twine which is shown rapidly emptying as the rocket heads upwards. When the hook lands and catches onto the base of a cannon, the twine has magically evolved into a 1 inch thick rope which Calvert then uses to climb the cliff. See more »
[Uncle Arthur staggers out of a cabin, looking very seasick]
Boats would be wonderful... if only one didn't have to go to sea in them.
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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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