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A Line in the Sand (2004)

Gavin Hughes, an illegal arms dealer turned government informant, must travel to Iran in a terrorist sting that will earn him immunity from his checkered past, but nothing will go as planned.


James Hawes


Gerald Seymour (novel)




Credited cast:
Ross Kemp ... Gavin Hughes / Frank Perry
Saskia Reeves ... Meryl Rogers
Mark Bazeley ... Geoff Markham
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brana Bajic Brana Bajic ... Farah Asad
Paul Birchard Paul Birchard ... Littelbaum
Patrick Burke Patrick Burke ... Publican
Saskia Butler Saskia Butler ... Dawn
Katy Cavanagh-Jupe ... Leanne (as Katy Cavanagh)
Jack Chissick ... Gary
Stephen Critchlow Stephen Critchlow ... Rev. Peter Wilson
Mike Dowling Mike Dowling ... Harry
Vincent Franklin ... Sammy Cargill
Jake Greene Jake Greene ... Tom (aged 5)
Elliot Henderson-Boyle Elliot Henderson-Boyle ... Stephen
Tam Hoskyns Tam Hoskyns ... Penny Flower


English agriculture equipment salesman Gavin Hughes (Ross Kemp) is recruited by a British-U.S. intelligence agency to report what he learns during a business trip to Iran. His information is used to blow up a bus carrying 24 of Iran's scientists working on weapons of mass destruction. Needless to say, the Iranians are pretty upset with Gavin. Once back in England, Gavin is compelled to leave his (cheating) wife and son, and assume a new identity in a different town. Four years later, Gavin is living a quiet life in a seaside village with a new woman and her son when the Iranians learn of his new identity as Frank Perry. The Iranians dispatch their arch assassin, the Anvil, to kill him. Intelligence sources discover the Anvil's intents and work to protect Gavin/Frank, but it may be a matter of too little firepower against a malevolent terrorist.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


The War On Terrorism Is Being Fought At Close Range.


Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 June 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

L'informateur See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Originally scheduled for broadcast in September 2001 but shelved until 7 June 2004 because a major part of the story involved Middle-Eastern terrorists. This was deemed to be too sensitive after the terrorist attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001. See more »

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User Reviews

Neat, plausible, well-paced
12 January 2003 | by khatcher-2See all my reviews

This is a neat thriller which undeservedly seems to have been rather overlooked by the general public. Based on the novel of the same name by Gerald Seymour, who is a specialist in thrillers with a true background, such as the Gulf War, Israeli incursions into the Beka'a Valley, or a dead Englishwoman found in a mass grave in Croatia, among other settings, A Line in The Sand is basically very characteriological rather than high-strung action, and as such ends up being all the more plausible.

Gary Hughes is a businessman who frequently travels to Iran selling his products; but he is coerced into giving information to the British Secret Service. However his cover is blown and the Secret Service force him into hiding and give him a change of identity. But the Iranians have sent out a hitman ....

Good interpretation here by Ross Kemp, no overacting but well held in line, as well as by Saskia Reeves and others who are not even credited here or on the Meridian TV web site.

Two episodes of a little over an hour each, shown here in one near 140 minute programme. Not at all too long as the story line pace is well maintained as well as keeping steadily on a credible level. Even John Le Carré would have been pleased with this story - and you cannot do much better than that.

* Violence is minimal so do not understand the `R' rating.

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