When Eight Bells Toll

  • UK When Eight Bells Toll

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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. (official distributor synopsis)


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English On the one hand it wanted to be as Bond-like as possible, while on the other hand it wanted to be different from those films... And the result is a pleasant compromise. The quality of the book and the fact that MacLean wrote the screenplay himself is evident in the honest spectacle, as no scene (and almost no sentence) is wasted, almost everything plays a role in the subsequent minutes. The viewer does not get bored, the protagonist played by the excellent Anthony Hopkins entertains with his peculiarly dry humor, and it all flows by nicely. What bothered me, however, was the music by Walter Stott (who became Angela Morley two years later, but that doesn't belong here), which simply ripped off John Barry's Bond films, it did so badly and unimaginatively, and it was boisterously played even in scenes where it didn't fit at all (it was especially annoying during the boat fight and the graveyard brawl). Otherwise, pretty good work. I think I liked the part with the helicopter the most. It's quite a shame that the "liquidator" Agent Calvert never returned. ()

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