6.6/10
1,801
26 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

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Shadey (1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A young man discovers that not only does he have the ability to read minds, but that if he holds a camera next to his head he can transmit the thoughts he sees onto film. He strikes a deal ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Saville
Stars: Antony Sher, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Macnee
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An American woman driving through Sicily to her father's funeral gives a cocky, streetwise kid a lift. His amorous attentions are soon obvious, and leads to a fairly obvious ending.

Director: Vito Zagarrio
Stars: Greta Scacchi, Luca Orlandini, Tim Finn
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1940s Kenya, a married couple join other affluent British expatriates in a lifestyle of recklessness and excess, but soon find themselves in a troubling situation.

Director: Michael Radford
Stars: Sarah Miles, Joss Ackland, Greta Scacchi
A Very British Coup (TV Mini-Series 1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Harry Perkins, steel worker and trade unionist from Sheffield, becomes Prime Minister of the UK by a landslide, partly because of corruption and public disillusionment with the Conservative... See full summary »

Stars: Ray McAnally, Marjorie Yates, Geoffrey Beevers
Fantasy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On a routine flight from Hong-Kong to Japan, a British military transport aircraft's fate may or may not depend on a prophetic nightmare.

Director: Leslie Norman
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Sheila Sim, Alexander Knox
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The son of a priest slain by the Mau Mau moves in with a police officer and his wife in 1950 Kenya.

Director: Harry Hook
Stars: Bob Peck, Edwin Mahinda, Phyllis Logan
The Innocent (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

This densely-packed film is based on a book by Tom Hart about the struggles of a young Yorkshire boy trying to come to grips with squabbling parents, a doctor who wants to institutionalize ... See full summary »

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Andrew Hawley, Kika Markham, Kate Foster
Musical | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unnamed Traveler boards the Guildford-Waterloo train and proceeds to daydream about his life and of having interactions with his fellow passengers.

Director: Ray Davies
Stars: Tim Roth, Kenneth Colley, Claire Parker
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After the nurse who declares that a recent surgical death was a murder dies also, an enigmatic Scotland Yard inspector arrives to investigate.

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Alastair Sim, Sally Gray, Trevor Howard
Never Let Go (1960)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A cosmetic salesman sets out to prove to himself and his wife that he is not a failure.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Richard Todd, Peter Sellers, Elizabeth Sellars
Convict 99 (1938)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A disgraced school master, Benjamin Twist, is mistaken for a tough prison governor and assigned the charge of a prison for particularly hardened criminals. Believing he is being sent to a ... See full summary »

Director: Marcel Varnel
Stars: Will Hay, Moore Marriott, Graham Moffatt
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of the rise of a madame of a suburban brothel catering to older men, inspired by the real experiences of Cynthia Payne.

Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Julie Walters, Alec McCowen, Shirley Stelfox
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Defense of the Realm See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Ian Bannen had recently appeared in a number of other spy and espionage productions including Gorky Park (1983), Eye of the Needle (1981) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979). See more »

Goofs

While details are secret, it is generally assumed that a nuclear weapon has to be 'armed' before it would explode.

It would be absurd to have bombs in an aircraft that would wipe out the entire airbase if an aircraft crashed on landing. 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 »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

They're out to get you...
25 April 2001 | by heedarmySee all my reviews

This taut, underrated little thriller might be called a British version of "The Parallax View". Ian Bannen plays a Profumo-like MP targeted by the security services because he knows too much. His career is ruined by muck-raking reporter Gabriel Byrne but the latter's determination to get to the bottom of the story, and his guilt at the death of a colleague (the superb Denholm Elliott), lead him down unexpected political byways...

"Defence of the Realm" can boast excellent location work and a convincing recreation of the vanished world of the "old" hard-drinking Fleet Street. The tone becomes darker and more claustrophobic as the film goes on and the apolitical Byrne enters a paranoid world of car headlights in the rearview mirror, bugged telephones and rifled apartments. The film taps into many of the issues that concerned the British Left in the mid-eighties (secrecy, American missiles on UK soil, the unaccountability of the security services, newspaper obsession with sexual gossip to the exclusion of harder material) and builds to a clever, if shocking, double-twist climax. Well worth locating and viewing.


38 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 26 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed