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When Eight Bells Toll Reviews

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Anthony L

Super Reviewer

February 11, 2014
When Eight Bells Toll has a great poster, full of promises of action packed...action etc. The truth is that this is more like James Bond on a shoestring. Philip Calvert certainly isn't James Bond anyway, he's more like Bergerac on a rainy day. If you don't understand what I mean by 'like Bergerac on a rainy day' then lucky you, although I did like a bit of John Nettles action on a Tuesday afternoon. He had a great leather jacket if I recall. I digress. When the film is serious it's too serious and when the film is camp and ridiculous it's too camp and ridiculous (if anything ever can be that is). Light relief comes from Robert Morley's pompous 'M' figure and Jack Hakins who plays a Greek art collector Sir Arthur Skouras who is a piano short from being a full blown Liberace tribute act. Everything else is laughable/forgettable/rubbish.
June 16, 2012
Ask your standard movie fan which Alistair MacLean adaptation they prefer and the vote would most likely be split between THE GUNS OF NAVARONE and WHERE EAGLES DARE, but, whilst I absolutely love the latter of those two, my personal favorite has been for many years WHEN EIGHT BELLS TOLL - a spy thriller penned by MacLean in the late 1960s and filmed with Anthony Hopkins in the lead role in 1971.
I saw the movie many years ago on British television and always longed to see it once more.
Watching it again after all these years my passion for this action adventure is unfailing, I consider this to be the best spy thriller that [Bond producers] EON Productions NEVER made.
With a simply superb cast that sees Hopkins joined by Robert Morley (as a rather snobbish boss) and Jack Hawkins (as a suspicious millionaire) this movie is simply brimming over with "Bondian" elements that include beautiful girls (bad and good), thrilling action, underwater battles, building suspense and a roaring soundtrack. It's the most entertaining couple of hours of spy thriller action that I have had the opportunity to enjoy in almost two decades.
Hopkins plays secret agent Calvert who travels to the coast of Scotland disguised as a marine biologist to investigate the disappearance of bullion ships in the Irish Sea. There he encounters a colorful array of characters, both friend and foe before a climactic battle in an underground boathouse.
April 3, 2014
Hopkins cuts a convincing former Navy man turned Mi6 officer. The editing is fast and the pace is very good. The interplay between Hopkins and Morley is amusing. A surprisingly enjoyable spy yarn.
Carlton M Raines
August 14, 2013
This is a James Bond style thriller Anthony Hopkins is fantastic in this role,Robert Morley is great as his usual self, pompus, and well educated, but made for the big screen, naval secret-service agent who is assigned to find out why millions of pounds of gold bullion are being stolen under the noses of the British government. Some of the boat scenes are fantastic, its a very enjoyable film x
February 4, 2013
It really is an alternative Bond, and Hopkins is far better than some critics (eg Leonard Maltin) have you think. The interplay with Morley is especially fun.
April 22, 2011
I just love this film
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