6.6/10
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Defense of the Realm (1986)

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 nick-name of Nicholas Mullen (Gabriel Byrne) was "Nick". See more »

Goofs

Neither politicians nor military personnel would inform the media of the presence or otherwise of nuclear weapons on aircraft or ships. See more »

Quotes

[Mullen shows Bayliss a group photograph in which Markham and Kleist are laughing together at a Prague conference]
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: You better take a look at that, Vernon.
Vernon Bayliss: Okay, so what does that prove?
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: It proves that your friend was lyin'. He said categorically that he'd never met Kleist before.
Vernon Bayliss: Well, isn't it possible that Kleist could just have been another face in the crowd? That Markham didn't know who he was?
Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen: Come on, Vernon! There's Markham, there's Kleist.
Vernon Bayliss: Well, that doesn't prove that Markham's a ...
[...]
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 »


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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