6.6/10
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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
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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

The plot borrows a few elements from the 1961 Profumo affair. That too involved a British politician sharing a woman with a Russia spy. But most of the story is very different. 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

[SPOILER]
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: [angrily] Where'd the tip-off come from?
Harry Champion: Look, you know perfectly well I've got to protect my sources.
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: Oh yeah? Well, from now on, nobody is protecting anybody.
Harry Champion: I'm sorry, I can't tell you.
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: I want to know who told you Kleist was KGB.
Harry Champion: I can't tell you!
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: It was the same source rang me up and gave me the Prague story, wasn't it?
Harry Champion: I've no idea.
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: [chuckles] Come on, Harry. Who was it?
[...]
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

 
Good British thriller
7 October 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Gabriel Byrne stars in "Defence of the Realm," a 1985 film also starring Denholm Elliott, Greta Scacchi, Ian Bannen and Robbie Coltrane. Byrne plays Mullen, an aggressive newsman who is responsible for a story leading to the downfall of a Parliament member - he was seen leaving a madam's house, as was a KGB agent. However, he soon learns that there's much more to the story than that and that the man has been set up because he knew to much.

This is a very good story with handsome Byrne heading up an excellent cast of foreign faces that will be very familiar to Americans. All of the acting is good, with a standout performance by Denholm Elliott. The beautiful Greta Scacchi, an asset to any production, is totally wasted here, however.

What I liked best about this, and many other British films, is that you have to pay attention - first of all, so that your ears can adjust to the sound of not only the accents but also adjust to the way the British allow room tone to mix in with the dialogue, which we're not used to here. It gives the atmosphere a much more realistic flavor.

Worth seeing.


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