Harold, a professional gambler, and his girlfriend Bonita, a lounge singer, follow Willie, a young blackjack dealer, around the western U.S. Harold has a jinx on Willie and can't lose with ... See full summary »
Financial wizard "Doc" Fletcher (Sir Michael Caine) is sent by crime boss Joe Fiore (Martin Balsam) to buy a bank in Switzerland in order to more easily launder their profits. When he ... See full summary »
John Preston is a British Agent with the task of preventing the Russians detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the UK. The Russians are hoping this will shatter the "special relationship" between the two countries.
A war veteran tries to investigate the murder of his son who was working as a Russian translator for the British intelligence service during the Cold War. He meets a web of deception and paranoia that seems to be impenetrable.
In eighteenth century Scotland, during the Jacobite Rebellion, David Balfour claims his inheritance from his uncle who has him shanghaied on a ship where David meets fugitive Jacobite rebel Alan Breck.
A British agent's son is kidnapped and held for a ransom of diamonds. The agent finds out that he can't even count on the people he thought were on his side to help him, so he decides to track down the kidnappers himself.Written by
The Scotland Yard detectives put a 'bug' in Tarrant's telephone and leave the telephone with the dial facing the typewriter on the desk. When Tarrant arrives home and checks the telephone, it has been turned 90 degrees and the dial now faces to the right, towards the bed. See more »
He knew my name and he knew the name of this department. Both of these things imply serious breaches of security.
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The opening credits are formed from images of children's alphabet blocks. See more »
Don Siegel will always be remembered as the man who gave us Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers and Dirty Harry, as well as being the mentor of Clint Eastwood when he was just starting out in the acting business. Here he tackles very atypical material with a low-key British spy thriller based on the book Seven Days To A Killing by Clive Eggleton. Although this is not really Siegel's kind of thing, he manages to coax sound performances from an impressive cast, and gets across a certain degree of excitement. From time to time the suspense slackens a little, but on the whole this is an engaging enough potboiler.
Major John Tarrant (Michael Caine) is a secret agent who is distraught to learn that his son has been kidnapped by a gang who want a batch of diamonds for his safe return. Tarrant's boss Cedric Harper (Donald Pleasance) has never got on well with Tarrant, and even goes so far as to suggest that maybe the kidnapping is an elaborate double-cross hatched by Tarrant himself in order to get hold of the diamonds. Supported by his wife Alex (Janet Suzman), Tarrant steals the diamonds needed for his son's safety, and attempts to elude his own colleagues plus the police long enough to secure the return of the young boy.
Critical opinion at the time seemed to be of the view that The Black Windmill was a bad film. Generous critics were kind enough to call it average. Perhaps everyone still had Siegel's extraordinarily good Dirty Harry fresh in their memories and were unable to accept that he couldn't always make films of that standard. The Black Windmill, while stilted and a touch dry in parts, is certainly not a full-scale dud. It has interesting plot twists, good acting (always good to see John Vernon in any of his '70s villainous roles), intriguing character clashes, and a nice sense of genre. I'd rather have a low-key thriller like this than one of the modern spectacular-but-empty popcorn actioners. Try not to be influenced by the negative buzz.... give The Black Windmill a try. It's no classic, but it's better than you might expect.
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