6.3/10
2,468
27 user 24 critic

The Black Windmill (1974)

A British Agent's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director:

Don Siegel

Writers:

Leigh Vance (screenplay), Clive Egleton (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Maj. John Tarrant
Donald Pleasence ... Cedric Harper
Delphine Seyrig ... Ceil Burrows
Clive Revill ... Alf Chestermann
John Vernon ... McKee
Joss Ackland ... Chief Supt. Wray
Janet Suzman ... Alex Tarrant
Catherine Schell ... Lady Melissa Julyan
Joseph O'Conor ... Sir Edward Julyan
Denis Quilley ... Bateson
Derek Newark Derek Newark ... Monitoring Policeman
Edward Hardwicke ... Mike McCarthy
Maureen Pryor Maureen Pryor ... Jane Harper
Joyce Carey ... Miss Monley
Preston Lockwood Preston Lockwood ... Ilkeston
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Storyline

A British agent's son is kidnapped and held for a ransom of diamonds. The agent finds out that he can't even count on the people he thought were on his side to help him, so he decides to track down the kidnappers himself. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Seven days to a killing...the ultimate exercise in controlled terror.

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Generally speaking, this movie is looked upon unfavorably in comparison with "The Ipcress File"(1965), also with Michael Caine. See more »

Goofs

In the roof garden where Tarrant's wife sends the toy fire engine down the slide towards him, as Tarrant turns to re-enter the house, the reflection of the boom mic can briefly be seen in the glass doors behind. See more »

Quotes

Cedric Harper: He knew my name and he knew the name of this department. Both of these things imply serious breaches of security.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are formed from images of children's alphabet blocks. See more »

Connections

References Sleuth (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Underneath the Spreading Chestnut Tree
(uncredited)
(trad.)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Give me... my bloody... son back.
26 May 2019 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Like a forerunner of Taken crossed with a '60s espionage movie (Harry Palmer with a dash of Bond), The Black Windmill stars Michael Caine as Major John Tarrant, an MI6 agent whose son is kidnapped and held for ransom. When his superiors refuse to part with the asking price - half a million in uncut diamonds - Tarrant goes rogue, stealing the stones to make the payoff.

Even though the plot for this thriller isn't quite water-tight, the assured direction from Don Siegel (Dirty Harry) and strong performances from a great cast (which includes Donald Pleasence, John Vernon, Clive Revill and Joss Ackland) ensure that the film is an entertaining ride, with some well staged action sequences and plenty of intrigue.

Fans of star Caine will not be disappointed - he puts in a fine performance as the calm, collected spy pushed to take matters into his own hands - whilst Vernon makes for a suitably cruel foe. Both actors meet for a mid-movie engagement in which Tarrant test-runs a very Bond-esque briefcase armed with a rocket, and again for a satisfying shootout in the titular structure.

While not a 'classic' like Dirty Harry, largely thanks to the awkward questions that arise from the twisty plot and uneven pacing, there is still plenty to enjoy here for fans of the genre.

6.5/10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1974 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Drabble See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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