When Eight Bells Toll (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes

When Eight Bells Toll (1971)

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Movie Info

Anthony Hopkins stars in this convoluted adventure yarn, scripted by Alistair MacLean. Hopkins is Philip Calvert, a water-logged James Bond. Calvert plays a 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. Calvert begins his investigations in the bleak Scottish Highlands. Posing as marine biologists, Calvert and his partner Hunslett (Corin Redgrave) find something fishy and hostile among the Scottish inhabitants. They also suspect that the rich and smooth Greek tycoon Sir Arthur Skouras (Jack Hawkins), who lays anchor off the coast in his luxury yacht, may be the culprit behind the pirating of the gold bullion. Calvert and Hunslett look to be wrapping up the case, but then Charlotte (Nathalie Delon) appears. Supposedly Sir Arthur's wife, she ends up dropping her guard and agrees to help Calvert in the retrieval of the gold. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 wide
Runtime:
Studio:
Screen Media

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Cast

Anthony Hopkins
as Philip Calvert
Robert Morley
as Sir Arthur Arnold-Jones
Natalie Delon
as Charlotte
Jack Hawkins
as Skouras
Corin Redgrave
as Hunslett
Derek Bond
as Lord Charnley
Wendy Allnutt
as Sue Kirkside
Peter Arne
as Imrie
Edward Burnham
as Macullum
Tom Chatto
as Lord Kirkside
Leon Collins
as Tim Hutchinson
Del Henney
as Dungeon Guard
Maurice Roëves
as Helicopter Pilot
Jon Croft
as Durran
Charles Stewart
as Sgt. MacDonald
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Critic Reviews for When Eight Bells Toll

All Critics (1)

The picture occasionally feels like warmed-over 007, and Anthony Hopkins strains to prove himself an agile and devil-may-care hero. But several of the action sequences are effectively staged, and it's always a pleasure to see Robert Morley.

Full Review… | March 12, 2016
Creative Loafing

Audience Reviews for When Eight Bells Toll

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 once 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.

D Harrison
D Harrison

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.

Darren Harrison
Darren Harrison

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