Eye of the Needle Reviews
A German spy has infiltrated the English militia and is in the process of returning secrets to Adolf Hitler when his boat is caught in a storm and crashes on a small island. A small family resides in the light house on the island and initially helps the spy. The wife falls in love with the spy, but when she discovers his background, their relationship is strained.
"The word surrender is not to be found in the German vocabulary."
Richard Marquand, director of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Until September, and The Legacy, delivers Eye of the Needle. The storyline for this picture is a nice blend of World War II drama and horror thriller. The acting and action sequences were outstanding and the film contains a perfect conclusion. The cast includes Donald Sutherland, Kate Nelligan, Stephen MacKenna, and Philip Martin Brown.
"These planes are made of plywood."
I have been DVR'ing Donald Sutherland movies religiously since reading a reference to his characters in a recent novel. I will say some of my favorite Donald Sutherland pictures are placed during the World War II era (Kelly's Heroes, The Eagles has Landed, and Eye of the Needle). This movie starts a little slowly but has an ending that reminded me of The Shinning. This movie is definitely worth your time and a classic thriller set in an interesting time period.
"I am going to the house of death, said the swallow."
The crux of the plot is that Sutherland is a German spy who uncovered the Anglo-American scheme to keep General Patton up north in a fake generalship, something the Germans never thought possible since he was a respected opponent of theirs since his success against them in the Africa campaign and into Italy.
But now here comes the spy with proof that can blow the lid off the hoax that the Allies have hatched for the D-Day invasion.
Unfortunately, our spy stumbles on an island with a lighthouse and radio (very important to the plot) plus a husband and wife. The husband is a crippled RAF flier who uncovers the spy's true intents and almost succeeds in killing him... but that doesn't work and its up to the woman who has a child and wants sex worse than anything.... until she too discovers everyone, including her husband, is ending up dead.
The light goes on in the mind our little lady of adultery. Seeing everyone around her dead, she figures her newfound "lover" is nothing but a snake in the grass.
A thriller to the very end, watch this on a rainy night if possible, as rain is everywhere in the plot. I had to dry out my clothes more than once just watching this one.
Diabolical David Sutherland is at his best in this war flick, very well shot, acted and directed. The bed scenes are a bit tame for our times, but no doubt were risque for the eighties. By the way, I could predict the woman would get into bed with Sutherland since her hubby had no use of his legs. I use mine all the time to great effect.
Ian Bannen co-stars as Percy Godliman as a leading military role trying to stop the talented and illusive Faber. Not unlike Scotland Yard their efforts more the most part almost lend a feel of "Keystone Cops" to the Brits.
[more review to follow)
I wanted to try to write something clever, but how can something clever come from something so boring? Here's the best I can do...
It seems to me that they tried to throw in every ticket-selling element they possibly could. A spy, plenty o' murders, war, a massive storm, a wedding, a cripple, a fire, a character shipwrecked on a remote island, a horridly cliche (and awfully despicable) love affair, an alcoholic, and a little kid.
Though the love story element is by far the most irritating.
The wife of a man confined to a wheelchair, happily cheats on the father of her child with a complete stranger, while the understandably depressed hubby sleeps upstairs. What's more, even after learning that this creepy lover has beaten and thrown her legless husband off of a cliff , she still decides to sleep with him one more time - but not before drugging her child so they can get down in peace. Is this supposed to be romantic? The cheesy music during the cringe-worthy love scenes sure suggests it.
Meanwhile, back in the "spy" side of the story, Sutherland is a good actor, but I just don't buy his performance in this role. And though a ruthless german super-spy with the outcome of the war in his hands, this character would rather picnic with this boring married woman than carry out his duty.