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When Eight Bells Toll (1971, Anthony Hopkins, Nathalie Delon)

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In When Eight Bells Toll Philip Calvert (Anthony Hopkins) is a rough-and-ready naval secret service agent called in by controller Uncle Arthur (Robert Morley) to solve the piracy of a fortune in gold bullion. With sidekick Hunslett (Corin Redgrave), he follows the trail to Scotland and the yacht of Greek millionaire Sir Anthony Skouras (Jack Hawkins), who’s accompanied by his wife Charlotte (Nathalie Delon). As the action mounts, the double-crosses increase and the bodies pile up, is Calvert on the right track or is Skouras innocent?

Made in the decade when Bond was the height of cinematic popularity, Perier’s film is tougher (he hints at more than a professional relationship between Calvert and Hunslett) but just as thrilling, with stunts and explosions galore. Hawkins, whose voice had to be dubbed due to the throat cancer that would kill him two years later, and Morley provide excellent support, the latter offering light relief while Nathalie Delon, making a rare appearance in an English-speaking role, supplies the suitably enigmatic and glamorous love interest.

production details
UK / 94 minutes / 1971

Director: Etienne Perier
Writer: Alistair MacLean

cast
Robert Morley as Uncle Arthur
Corin Redgrave as Hunslett
Jack Hawkins as Sir Anthony Skouras
Ferdy Mayne as Lavorski
Edward Burnham as Macullum
Prentis Hancock as Agent (uncredited)
Anthony Hopkins as Philip Calvert
Nathalie Delon as Charlotte
Derek Bond as Lord Charnley
Maurice Roeves as Lt. Williams – Helicopter Pilot
Leon Collins as Tim Hutchinson
Wendy Allnutt as Sue Kirkside
Peter Arne as Capt. Imrie
Oliver MacGreevy as Quinn
Jon Croft as Durran
Tom Chatto as Lord Kirkside
Charlie Stewart as Sgt. Macdonald
Del Henney as Dungeon Guard
Bill Brandon as Thug (uncredited)
Harry Fielder as Thug on Boat (uncredited)
Martin Grace as Thug (uncredited)
Charles Gray as Sir Anthony Skouras (voice) (uncredited)
Barrie Hesketh as Seaman (uncredited)
Bill Hibbert as Thug (uncredited)
George Leech as Thug (uncredited)