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The Black Windmill [DVD] (1974)

4.0 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence, Delphine Seyrig, Clive Revill, John Vernon
  • Directors: Don Siegel
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Aug. 2006
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GALHI8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,951 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Michael Caine stars in this thriller as John Tarrant, a military intelligence agent whose son is kidnapped by two of his colleagues after they decided to round up a diamond smuggling ring. Using the child as leverage, they hope to force Tarrant to co-operate. While Tarrant agrees to go along with their scheme for now, all the while he is searching for his missing child, and waiting for the perfect moment to take his revenge.

Synopsis

British secret agent Major John Tarrant (Michael Caine, Get Carter) has his son kidnapped by ruthless gunrunners who demand a batch of uncut diamonds in exchange for his son's life. As Tarrant embarks on a chilling trail of revenge, he is forced to steal the diamonds and he finds himself having to not only contend with the criminals but his colleagues too. Action director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry) takes the unusual step of making a British spy thriller. The Black Windmill is based on the book Seven Days to a Killing by Clive Eggleton and features a host of good performances by the talented cast, which includes Donald Pleasance (Halloween) as Tarrant's boss Cedric Harper.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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I bought the film & the book, Seven Days to a Killing, to see how closely they matched. They did in term of an overall synopsis but I found the book more believable as a part spy, part detective novel rather than the film's attempt to emulate a Bond movie. Essentially, they are both about an operative - played by Michael Caine in the film - whose son is kidnapped & tortured to force the security services to part with a load of money (in the book it is to be converted into diamonds - in the film it's just diamonds). The book is overtly anti-Russian as the baddies are KGB; not so in the film but in both cases they are helped by a traitor. I liked the book as it's pacey but the action's in the UK whereas the film takes in France & is less believable though it's fascinating to see the cross-channel hovercraft being used as part of the high-tech scenery.
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This isn't up there with The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin or Get Carter - but that's not to say it's a bad film. The photography and music give it some class, the cast are excellent and the plot is interesting rather than thrilling. It does have it's moments though, and I would be quite happy to watch it again.

Michael Caine supported by the likes of John Vernon, Janet Suzman, Donald Pleasance, Joss Ackland and Delphine Seyrig can't be a complete waste of time - we even get a brief but memorable appearance by Catherine Schell. I agree it's more likely to be enyoyed by fans of Michael Caine and British espionage films in general, but it's by no means a duffer.
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A nice letter box 2.35.1 image & no extras, which is not that bad.

But the film itself just seems to amble on. Fine performances from the cast it just seems that Don Siegle, who gave us terrific paced movies as Dirty Harry & Telefon just seem to be stuck in the slow groove with this 1.

A fine book which had a really interesting story line just seems to plodding along.

No doubt with the never ending stream of remakes going on, maybe this 1 will reappear.

Not terrible, just not great.
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The young son of a British intelligence agent (Michael Caine), who is working on breaking an arms smuggling ring, is kidnapped by the very people his father is investigating. When they demand a ransom of uncut diamonds which are held by his superiors, Caine finds they refuse to aid in the rescue of his child and it falls on his shoulders to get justice done. Directed by Don Siegel, this spy thriller is uneven. The first portion is very good what with Caine playing a variation on his Harry Palmer roles, only this time with a wife (Janet Suzman, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA) and child. It jumps the shark toward the last third when it becomes far fetched and an uninspired bang-bang conclusion. The script seems rather sloppy in the details as in when Caine remarks how his son made him take him to THE SOUND OF MUSIC four times though the boy doesn't appear to have been born when the film came out. Donald Pleasence makes for a chillingly bureaucratic MI6 head and the wonderful Delphine Seyrig is marvelous as a rather slutty kidnapper. With Clive Revill, John Vernon, Joss Ackland, Catherine Schell, Denis Quilley and Hermione Baddeley.

The Universal DVD from Great Britain is a handsome anamorphic wide screen 2.35 transfer.
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Format: DVD
I remember this vividly from childhood and loved the action sequences, the drama and the imagery. Don't know why it had such bad reviews back in 74 and why it doesn't seem to be more appreciated now. Now that is a mystery.
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Format: DVD
(THE FILM):Michael Caine stars as an espionage agent whose young son is kidnapped. Complicating matters is the fact that the kidnappers (John Vernon and Delphine Seyrig) are Caine's own colleagues. They want to secure Caine's aid in rounding up a diamond smuggling ring, and they don't care who they have to hurt to do so. He agrees to go along, all the while searching for his missing son. Janet Suzman co-stars as Caine's estranged wife, who is compelled to join him in his search.
WHAT CAN I SAY?
The story runs with a different angle compared to the other thrillers made during the same time (1970s).
There are no screen gimmicks but is more nearer to reality of a spy life
Michael Caine,, gives a wonderfull performance as a secret agent, without showing any emotions, and will do any thing to get his son whose is kidnapped working alone in a wild journey to track down the kidnappers. He finally catches up with them in the black windmill of the title, and the action is finally reminiscent of a James Bond film

The Black Windmill was Filmed in Europe,its an interesting spy film that is gritty and at the end has Lots of physical stunts. directed by American Don Siegel the man who give us Dirty Harry,
if you loved Michael Caine in the Ipcress File you will love this Fabulous and violent British thriller
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Format: DVD
I've watched many Michael Caine movies and this certainly is one of his better films, my second favorite (with "Hannah and her Sisters" being my favorite Michael Caine film).
The plot is very captivating, the actors very well cast and the locations are marvellous, especially the scenes filmed inside the windmill.
I would rate "Hannah and her Sisters" with 6 stars, this one definitely 5 stars, but "Alfie" only 2 stars although it's very popular, but just not my cup of tea.
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