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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Black Windmill [DVD] (1974)
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on 21 June 2017
A very good family film
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on 15 November 2015
This is another of the excellent post- Harry Palmer spy thrillers made by Michael Caine,which were much more gritty and serious than his more famous creations. In this very dark story,Caine and his family are the unsuspecting victims of the self serving cynicism and corruption that inevitably occurs among the ranks of those in society who wield absolute power and wish to retain it by any means.. Fear, desperation,and great anger drive Caine to finally determine who the culprit is,and he takes his revenge,and recovers what he has lost,in violent,full, and satisfying measure
Extremely believable and exciting movie,which reminds us once again,of just how badly people in governance and at the top of the social heap,can behave when they perceive their own,personal well being to be threatened.
Good Buy for your Michael Caine collection!,
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on 17 August 2012
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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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 16 February 2007
The Black Windmill has a workable premise, a unspectacularly decent cast (Delphine Seyrig, Donald Pleasance, Janet Suzman, Clive Revill, Dennis Quilley, Edward Hardwicke and Joss Ackland among them) and a good director in Don Siegel, but it never catches fire. Michael Caine, playing a very different spy to Harry Palmer - more of a middle class career army officer who never needed to be blackmailed into the job - finds himself being set up by the vicious kidnappers of his young son to steal some diamonds intended for some dubious operation, eventually finding himself having to avoid his employers, the French and British police and take out the very bad guys (hey, it is John Vernon). All of which sounds at least more energetic than the film actually is. It moves along with competence, dotting the `i's and crossing the `t's, but even though a surprising amount happens in the last half hour, it never seems to develop any tension or urgency. Along the way there's a nice Sean Connery joke and a neat scene that manages to reference both The Sound of Music and Caine's own Battle of Britain, but the good Scope composition and the typical 70s Roy Budd score make more of an impression than anything else in the film.

Uiniversal's DVD has no extras, but it does boast a good 2.35:1 widescreen transfer that at least ensures the film looks its best and has none of the panning-and-scanning problems of the TV prints.
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on 5 July 2013
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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on 12 July 2009
Michael Caine gives an effectively understated and terse performance as the persistently tough John Tarrant in this solid outing from the legendary Don Siegel who gave us Dirty Harry and the excellent Charley Varrick. The Black Windmill has a sense of urgency and pace to it as Tarrant strives to do a deal with a gang of criminals, led by the ever-dependable John Vernon, in order to get his boy back. He is a typical Siegel hero who will stop at nothing to bring justice to his persecutors.

There are several muscular set-pieces that liven up the film, such as a motorway explosion, a foot chase through a train station that is quite reminiscent of Clint Eastwood running all over San Francisco in Dirty Harry, a dramatic prison van escape and the bullet-riddled finale worthy of any decent '70s action movie.
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on 25 May 2008
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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on 16 December 2010
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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on 15 May 2011
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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on 4 April 2012
(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.
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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