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Eye of the Needle

Donald Sutherland , Kate Nelligan    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.94
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Eye of the Needle + The Eagle Has Landed (Widescreen) + The Odessa File [Import]
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Eye of the Needle is a superbly effective World War II spy thriller from the Ken Follett bestseller of the same name. Donald Sutherland is "the Needle," a German spy in England bearing critical information on Allied invasion plans that he must deliver personally to the Führer. He's so named because of his preferred method of assassination, the stiletto. As played by Sutherland, he's a coldly calculating psychopath, emotionlessly focused on the task at hand, whether the task is to signal a U-boat or to gut a witness to avoid exposure. On his way back to Germany, a fierce storm strands him on an island, occupied only by a woman (Kate Nelligan), her disabled husband, and the lighthouse keeper. A romance of sorts develops between the woman and the spy, due to an estrangement of affections between the woman and her husband, whose accident has rendered him emotionally crippled as well. Much of the suspense of the latter half of the movie has to do with this romance, and the way it begins to reveal the Needle's motivations and whether there's a sympathetic personality buried somewhere inside him, though he remains by-and-large tantalizingly enigmatic. Early on, we discover that he may not enjoy the hand life has dealt him. When a courier asks him about the way he lives, and "What else can one do?" the Needle answers, "One can just stop." But as the film makes amply clear in its final third, one doesn't stop, does one? The direction by Richard Marquand (known primarily for thrillers such as this one and Jagged Edge, although he also did Return of the Jedi) is crisply done, boasting numerous suspenseful episodes, including a deadly encounter between Sutherland and the disabled husband, which is jaw-droppingly surprising. --Jim Gay

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By falcon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
for a WW2 story from 1981,this one is pretty good.it does move slow at
times though.it is also pretty low key for this kind of film.this movie
is much more character driven and relies on its two main players to
really carry the film,and that they do.Donald Sutherland plays a German
spy with ice in his veins who has no problem with murder when it suits
his needs.so really he is also an assassin of sorts.he's sort of a
Carlos the Jackal type character who may have been a real assassin who
was a chameleon and who eluded authorities and was never captured or
possibly even seen.anyway back to the movie.Kate Nelligan plays the
love interest(and more than that) and does well in the role.Christopher
Cazenov plays David,Lucy's(Kate Nelligan) husband in a very strong
supporting performance. the movie has its share of suspense and
action,but again it's low key i found the writing quite good.it's based
on a novel by Ken Follett.one thing that stood out in this movie is its
subtlety.there's no over the top rah rah rah attitude that's evident in
many later movies.but then this is a German/English production and not
an American made movie.the point is,it's refreshing to see a well
written story with well written characters that doesn't bombard your
senses with sentimentality and inspirational pap.i liked this movie
quite a bit.i give "Eye of the Needle" a 3.5/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HURRICANE ON STORM ISLAND March 22 2008
Early 1980's hit has apparently disappeared. Sutherland plays a World war 2 German spy who comes upon the landing plans for D-Day, As "the eye", all he need do is to be picked up by a German u- boat. Sutherland speaks perfect English and German, and has left a bloody trail around Britain for 4 plus years.Now, he's at it again, commiting 2 more murders, repeatedly seducing a vulnerable woman, all in the name of relaying war instructions from Storm Island to Germany.The finale is unforgettable, a stark movie ending in a fitting fashion. Well cast backup players, most unknown in the USA, play their roles expertly, and Sutherland is Sutherland, the viewer either appreciates his work or doesn't. The background musis, when used at all, is apt, and the photography is vintage British Isles. Pick up a copy for entertainment and/or a good collector's item.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-made spy thriller Dec 10 2010
The year is 1944, and a German spy (code-name: "the Needle") has photos that could damage the Allies' plans for D-Day. While trying to get the photos to a U-boat, he is shipwrecked on a remote island off the coast of Scotland, which is home to a disabled man, his lonely wife, and their child.

This movie is very intense and scary, thanks to Donald Sutherland who plays the Needle, a cold and calculating killer who racks up quite a body count. He's convincing even though his British accent isn't. Kate Nelligan costars as the needy wife who rescues him and quickly falls for him. Her British accent is quite good and she is excellent in the part.

The rain-soaked island with waves crashing on its cliffs is picturesque at times and also very claustrophobic and creepy at the end. Miklos Rosza's ("Ben-Hur") chilling score adds to the excitement. The last half hour had me on the edge of my seat. Recommended for those who like WWII thrillers. With violence and nudity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A PIERCING NEEDLE June 22 2004
Donald Sutherland has tended to be one of our finest actors, overlooked and dismissed by many critics. Sure, he's done some floppers (e.g. Virus), but in this movie he shows why he's such a riveting performer. He plays the Needle, a cold, psychotic killer, who is a German spy and holds the key to knowledge of the D-Day invasion. He ends up shipwrecked on a lonely island, inhabited only by a reclusive cripple and his devoted, if lonely, wife. Kate Nelligan (so good in "Dracula" with Frank Langella) is perfect as Lucy, the woman whose need for love leads to an affair with the Needle. Christopher Cazenove turns in a good performance as her husband, whose bitterness over his auto accident, has turned him into an uncaring, selfish man. Director Richard Marquand keeps the movie moving at a leisurely pace, but packs some powerful suspense scenes; the score by Miklos Roza is admirable, and the scenery is lush and beautiful. I havent' read Ken Follett's novel, but this is a great movie and hopefully did it justice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "A" or "F" Sutherland In One of His "A" Films May 26 2001
Hubby and I long ago nicknamed Donald Sutherland "A or F Sutherland." This is because his movies tend to be either "A"s or "F"s with nothing inbetween. "Eye Of The Needle" is one of his very best "A" films. It is based on the equally superb novel of the same name. It is rare when a novel and its film version are equal in excellence but this is one of those rare happenings. Sutherland plays a German spy, called "The Needle," stationed in England during WWII. He uncovers the real destination of the planned Allied D-Day invasion. In trying to get this information to his country and escape on a German submarine, he ends up stranded on an island with Kate Nelligan and her bitter and crippled husband. This is unfortunate for the Needle. For he finds himself emotionally captivated, as well as sexually, with Nelligan. Although he has always been able to ruthlessly kill anyone who stood in his mission's way before, Nelligan's fierce courage handicaps him. A love story as well as a war-espionage story, it is an exhilirating experience from start to finish. See it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine cast, good film.
Fine film sent wrong region, part of an order the rest of which was OK.
Published 18 days ago by Walter A. Babiak
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD cannot be played in Canada
I didn't realize that this DVD cannot be played in Canada, only in Europe! It should be stated explicitly right on the top that it is only for Region 2.
Published 4 months ago by Michael Soltys
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy an old movie!
For any lovers of World War II history this is a wonderful older film. Donald Sunderland and Kate Nelligan are excellent in it, the story keeps you in its grip so curl up at home... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Christine Emmett
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye of the needle
Great entertainment, however, odd that Donald Sutherlands hat remains glued to his head all through the movie despite rain and wind
Published 11 months ago by James P Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars the need to be loved.
It proves that when you are in the deprived of tenderness sometimes we do things that we regret afterwards. but I think that he did love her and he did let her kill him.
Published 14 months ago by estelle cazelais
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Petersen
MARVELOUS, keeps you rivitrd to the story. One of my favorite Follrt works. ZThe book is sensational. I edon't have a DVD
Published on April 15 2004 by "2twocool"
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent.
This saga of a German WWII spy is absolutely fantastic. Donald Sutherland turns in a wonderful performance as Faber ( a great performance is not always given by Sutherland). Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2003 by "librarian-in-training"
3.0 out of 5 stars Good 70's thriller
I rented this after having read the book, so my opinion is biased toward the excellent book. But this actually follows the book closely. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2002 by T. SIMPSON
4.0 out of 5 stars A WWII romantic thriller
The Allies are preparing for the invasion of Normandy and are trying to produce false intelligence to confuse the Nazis. Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2002 by Jeffrey Leeper
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