6.6/10
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25 user 11 critic

Defense of the Realm (1985)

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.

Director:

David Drury

Writer:

Martin Stellman
Reviews

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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:
Gabriel Byrne ... Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen
Greta Scacchi ... Nina Beckman
Denholm Elliott ... Vernon Bayliss
Ian Bannen ... Dennis Markham
Fulton Mackay ... Victor Kingsbrook
Bill Paterson ... Jack Macleod
David Calder ... Harry Champion
Frederick Treves ... Arnold Reece
Robbie Coltrane ... Leo McAskey
Annabel Leventon Annabel Leventon ... Trudy Markham
Graham Fletcher-Cook ... Micky Parker
Steven Woodcock Steven Woodcock ... Steven Dyce
Alexei Jawdokimov Alexei Jawdokimov ... Dietrich Kleist
Danny Webb ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Defense of the Realm See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$750,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First feature film as a full producer for Lynda Myles. See more »

Goofs

While Nick is sitting at Vernon's desk the typewriter on the desk is flat (in normal typing position). The shot changes to a close-up of news articles Nick is holding in his hand and the next shot shows the typewriter flipped up on its back. See more »

Quotes

Vernon Bayliss: Vodka and Coca-Cola. Detente in a glass!
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

Canon
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Pachelbel
Arranged by Dominic Muldowney
See more »

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User Reviews

 
British conspiracy thriller in the best tradition.
29 October 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

DEFENCE OF THE REALM is a solid and engaging little British conspiracy thriller with much in common with Hollywood cinema. Sure, it's lower budgeted than those kind of films, and certain key scenes (like a plane crash) are excised through lack of funds to shoot them which makes it feel a little choppy in places. But this variously reminded me of the likes of THE CONVERSATION, ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, and even the recent Oscar-winner SPOTLIGHT in its positing of dedicated journalists fighting against an oppressive and unseen foe.

The film features Gabriel Byrne in his breakthrough role as a dedicated young journalist investigating a spy plot involving a government minister. The plot twists and turns throughout and I don't really want to say anything about it as that would spoil it. However, it's complex stuff and this is the kind of film that deserves, no, requires full attention, otherwise the viewer might be left feeling confused. There are fine suspense scenes, good twists, and lots of moments of creeping unease. The strong supporting cast includes roles for Robbie Coltrane, Denholm Elliott (particularly fine), Greta Scacchi, Fulton Mackay, Ian Bannen, and Bill Paterson.


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