6.6/10
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23 user 11 critic

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
Reviews

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Thriller

A reporter exposes a government scandal.

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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

As with the spelling of the then recent movie Best Defense (1984) (which is also spelt "Best Defence" in some territories), this UK film's title had its spelling changed from "Defence of the Realm" to "Defense of the Realm" for its American release stateside in the USA. 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

[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

Passion Chorale
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
" Do you believe information should be available to everyone? "
28 February 2009 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

Democratic governments are said to work in the public interest. All well and good. However, when that government decides to work in secret, then it becomes an enemy, not only to the people it purports to work for, but is contrary to the spirit of democracy. This is the premise to this film entitled " Defense of the Realm." In this story, our hero Nicholas Mullen (Gabriel Byrne) is an inquisitive newspaper reporter who stumbles across a sensitive story involving the cover-up murder of a school boy. The lad's death is hushed up by government authorities and involves a prominent cabinet official. The case is ultra secret so that when a Parliament official seeks to inquire into the death of the school boy, those who want to keep it from being re-opened, first seek to scandalize him, then discredit the first newsman who helps him, then anyone else who gets involved. After his colleague is found dead, Mullen takes up the challenge of exposing his friend's murder and soon finds himself threatened, then targeted for assassination. The movie is stark drama and with the aid of exceptional actors like Denholm Elliott, Ian Bannen and Robbie Coltrane produces an exciting and heart thumping atmosphere. A fine film and highly recommended as a late night thriller. Excellent! ****


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