7.1/10
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61 user 32 critic

Eye of the Needle (1981)

A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband.

Director:

Richard Marquand

Writers:

Ken Follett (based on the novel by), Stanley Mann (screenplay)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Faber
Stephen MacKenna ... Lieutenant
Philip Martin Brown ... Billy Parkin
Kate Nelligan ... Lucy
Christopher Cazenove ... David
George Belbin George Belbin ... Lucy's Father
Faith Brook ... Lucy's Mother
Barbara Graley Barbara Graley ... David's Mother
George Lee George Lee ... Constable
Arthur Lovegrove Arthur Lovegrove ... Peterson
Colin Rix Colin Rix ... Oliphant
Barbara Ewing Barbara Ewing ... Mrs. Garden
Chris Jenkinson Chris Jenkinson ... German SS Officer
William Merrow William Merrow ... German Radio Operator
Patrick Connor Patrick Connor ... Inspector Harris
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Storyline

A German spy carrying information that will reveal the target of Operation Overlord becomes involved with the wife of a crippled man on an isolated island off the Scottish coast while he waits to be picked up. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | german | woman | love | u boat | See All (89) »

Taglines:

To love a stranger is easy... To kill a lover is not. See more »

Genres:

Romance | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ojo de la aguja See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$17,583,634

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,583,634
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The exotic location of the coast-swept isle known as "Storm Island" which features in the second part of this movie was portrayed in this film by The Isle of Mull, which is also known as Mull, and is located off the west coast of Scotland. It is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides and is situated in the Scottish council district of Argyll and Bute. It's Scottish Gaelic wording is spelt Muile and is pronounced mule in their dialect. It is the fourth largest island of both Scotland and also Great Britain. This island setting is depicted in this film as having few buildings and residents though in real life it is far more cosmopolitan and occupied containing its own villages, castles, and tourist spots. As a filming location, at the time of production, the island had been most famous for being the island setting in the Powell-Pressburger film, I Know Where I'm Going! (1945). See more »

Goofs

When Faber pulls into the train station in the cab, an 80s-style sign for National Westminster Bank can been seen in the cab's rear window. Also in the same shot on the side window of the cab an 80s style blue car can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Faber: [calling on radio to submarine] Singvogel. Hier ist die Nadel. Kommen.
["Songbird. This is the Needle. Come."]
See more »

Alternate Versions

NTSC DVD R1 and PAL DVD R2, have different endings. European PAL DVD version ending is approx. 1.5 minutes longer. In the last scene, the helicopter arrives and lands, there is a conversation with the commander about the radio transmission being interrupted and finally the child arrives and reunites with his mother. it's sort of a happy end. This ending was cut from NTSC DVD version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Roses and Moonlight
(uncredited)
Music by Alan Moorhouse
KPM Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Surprisingly Good Wartime Thriller
23 May 1999 | by Paul-250See all my reviews

This film about a German agent trying to escape from Britain might seem to offer limited scope for interest, but Sutherland's menacing performance and the events on the island turn it into something approaching a study in psychopathy, laden with uncertainty and fear. The vulnerability of Lucy (Kate Nelligan, a sensitive and intelligent but definitely pre-feminist woman helps to give the film an added poignancy. Sutherland's performance is such that we are always fascinated by the damaged and ruthless character he portrays. Those who dislike war films may find themselves surprised by this film.


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