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When Eight Bells Toll [DVD]

Anthony Hopkins , Jack Hawkins , Etienne Périer    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
Price: £3.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Jack Hawkins, Robert Morley, Nathalie Delon, Corin Redgrave
  • Directors: Etienne Périer
  • Writers: Alistair MacLean
  • Producers: Denis Holt, Elliott Kastner, Jerry Gershwin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 17 May 2004
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001P1B3O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,347 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Anthony Hopkins stars in this high seas drama, as the Naval Secret agent on a mission to stop the hijacking of gold bullion in the Irish Sea and encountering the wrath of a small Hebridian port where boats and people have often disappeared.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: 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. ...When Eight Bells Toll ( When 8 Bells Toll )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars satisfyingly taut thriller 23 Feb 2006
By Mr. Stephen Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was one of the later film versions of an Alister Maclean novel, and is a tidy little thriller with little time wasted.
Anthony Hopkins plays a secret service agent tasked with solving the pirating of millions of pounds of gold bullion in the North Sea. This search takes him to remote locations in the Hebrides, unravelling the secrets of a small town where people and yachts have been disappearing. Being an Alister Maclean novel, nothing and nobody is what they at first appear – the usual ingredients are present and correct – the femme fatale, the damsel in distress, the double crossing, the dour and unstoppable agent… even Maclean’s dry sense of humour, which often gets lost in the translation to the big screen, comes through – probably as a result of Maclean writing the screenplay from his novel.
The pace of the film is perfect, with a running time of 90 minutes not leaving you feel the film has outstayed its welcome. The actions scenes are fine, if a little outdated.. the scenes skulking around the castle even reminded me of possibly my favourite Maclean movie – Where Eagles Dare (the actor who played the castle Kommandant, General Rosemeyer, is also in this movie, making another link). Music is pretty good for a 70’s score, with a brash theme that crops up anytime our hero is running or flying around – which is a significant part of the time.. it’s the sort of music which would not have been out of place in an episode of ‘The Professionals’. Another piece of inter-movie trivia – the stunts for the movie were done by Vic Armstrong and Bob Simmons, both Bond movie veterans. Watching this movie, one can almost imagine Hopkins playing Bond.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best all-around MacLean book makes a great movie 15 Dec 2004
By Darren Harrison VINE VOICE
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. My prayers were answered when it was finally announced for DVD release in Region 2. Armed with a new region-free DVD player, I ordered it and anxiously checked my Maryland mailbox every day until its arrival.
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.
This DVD sports a fine transfer with only the theatrical trailer as a special feature. Still it is very entertaining and well worth putting your hard earned cash for. A simply cannot recommend it strongly enough.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated 28 Nov 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a cracking little thriller.Anthony Hopkins makes for a somewhat muted and distant hero. However he utterly convinces in the action department. One fight scene set in a cemetary although clumsily staged looks authentic. For me the real highlight is Robert Morley's turn as Hopkins Whitehall spy chief. What a wonderful actor he was and this semi comedic role is a fitting memory of him.
Other attributes of this film, the scottish locations. The helicopter sequence when Hopkins is searching the coastline almost has a documentary feel to it. Also Sir Anthony looks like he could handle himself if push came to shove. Well worth a look and at an attracive price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy entry of the MacLean movie library 9 Jun 2011
I like Alastair MacLean stories - or at least those up to around 1974. Thereafter forget them, even though I do have them because I'm OCD about collecting series. Accordingly I always looked to see the film adaptations and found half to be great and half to be absolutely bombed out turkeys. Gobble gobble.

When 8 Bells Toll is a good one. Certainly one that could easily be slotted into the Bond franchise of that time (early 1970s). Anthony Hopkins as the lead actor playing special agent Calvert is convincing as the tough action guy sent up by his secret service boss, wonderfully played by Robert Morley, to find out what happened to gold bullion shipments that always seemed to vanish at sea between the Bristol Channel and Scotland.

By the way, did anyone notice a cameo role by Prentis Hancock as one of the two dead agents at the beginning? He was one of the cast of Space 1999. I digress.... Corin Redgrave as a bookish sidekick does the thinking ("It's what I do well") while Calvert does the doing bit. On the way he encounters vicious henchmen, surly locals and a suspicious millionaire (Jack Hawkins).

When Calvert gets too close he's targeted by the bad guys and the helicopter he's in is shot down and the pilot (Maurice Roeves in yet another of his great supporting roles) is killed. Finally all is revealed and the only bit I found slightly silly is the climax when a load of shark fishermen help Calvert, armed to the teeth with Stens and Sterling sub-machine guns. Better to have used Royal Marines as in the book.

I loved Robert Morley's role. The scene where Calvert is taking him by small boat to the bigger one in the harbour in the early hours in a rainstorm... "it's the dawn, sir." "I know, I've seen it before." "Duck shooting, was it?" "Don't be so damned impertinent! Especially at sea. Especially before breakfast!" Great script.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very. Good
Published 12 days ago by bernie 65
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent James Bond style film with great locations filmed around ...
Excellent James Bond style film with great locations filmed around the isle of mull in Scotland great cast and a fast moving storyline
Published 14 days ago by Graham Mark Attwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 23 days ago by MR D C MACLEAN
4.0 out of 5 stars Great action packed yarn!
Good performance from Hopkins, great location . Bond/thriller fan's will not be disappointed with this. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Arnoldsmate
4.0 out of 5 stars This won't be a Fair review
This won't be a Fair Review as I have purchased this for a Friend who doesn't have the internet, they Disc was New.
Published 3 months ago by Keith Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant film
I watched this film when I was a teenager and enjoyed it very much as I liked Anthony Hopkins who starred in it
Published 3 months ago by sheila anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars A gritty adventure that stands the test of time
This cracking "boys own" adventure story delivers a decent enough tale with plenty of action thrown in. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. S. Storey
3.0 out of 5 stars Eight bells toll only rang.
Another classic film worth seeing once.
But does not have the spice of Fear is the Key.
3 Stars only for When Eight Bells Toll.
Published 7 months ago by Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars clasic
saw this in the cinema when it fist came out and still love it ...could have been a bond story to be honest
Published 8 months ago by Scott carmichael
1.0 out of 5 stars Interminable
Hopkins as the Welsh James Bond? His mission: find some gold. There is a European actress thrown in as love interest who delivers probably the worst acting I have ever seen in a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Johns
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