Defence of the Realm (Defense of the Realm) (1985)
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as Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen
as Vernon Bayliss
as Nina Beckman
as Dennis Markham
as Victor Kingsbrook
as Jack Macleod
as Harry Champion
as Arnold Reece
as Leo McAskey
as Trudy Markham
as Frank Longman
as Humphrey Channing
as Philip Henderson
as Danny Royce
as Anthony Clegg
as Lt. Col. Lehane
as Micky Parker
as Steve Dyce
as Peace Girl
as Dietrich Kleist
Critic Reviews for Defence of the Realm (Defense of the Realm)
There are marvelous performances by several British character actors, especially Denholm Elliott and Ian Bannen, and feelings of nerve-racking paranoia are evoked as a reporter, played by Gabriel Byrne, uncovers unexpected motives while investigating a Ca
Audience Reviews for Defence of the Realm (Defense of the Realm)
Defense of the Realm is a difficult movie to follow, especially for the first 20 minutes or so. There is so much background noise which makes it difficult to hear the leading characters, and at the beginning, you don't really who which characters are important either. Adding to the incomprehensibility is the mumbling diction of Denholm Elliott and Bill Forsyth. Eventually, I became very intrigued by the plot's suspense. The movie shows a newspaper reporter played by Gabriel Byrne who picks up the trail of a cover-up plot, but by whom and what it is that is being covered up remain fuzzy. He is interrogated by some sort of "spooks" at MI-something or other with no legal rights whatsoever. Unfortunately, all this big suspense leads up to an insufficient event to warrant this much covering-up. We are really never told exactly what it is that happened, just given innuendos to make us think this is a really BIG deal! The ending is completely unsatisfying. There is no depth of characterization, just a lot of suspicion, of the sort designed to make the public distrustful of their government officials. The whole thing seemed like a paranoid piece of fluff, despite the presence of so many excellent British actors/actresses.
Pretty slow-moving, but the payoff is worth it. I imagine this film would be more captivating in 1980s Britain.
"Defense of the Realm" ends on a bleak and cynical note - unless you count the somewhat contrived epilogue - and gets there with intelligence and a sharp, bitter edge.
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