The Black Windmill (1974) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A British agent's son is kidnapped and held for a ransom of diamonds. The agent finds out that he can't even count on the people he thought were on his side to help him, so he decides to track down the kidnappers himself. Written by [email protected] Runtime: 106 min Release Date: 02 Aug 1974
For this work, scenes of "action", a Don Siegel specialty, are less significant than those that generate characterization and plot, functioning to release tension rather than keep it at bay, although the director's customary taut pacing and stoniness are here, within a twisty story largely faithful to its source, a Clive Egleton novel: "Seven Days to a Killing", strongly scripted by Leigh Vance to further define the character-focused film. A cleverly fresh storyline involves a kidnapping, the victim being son of MI-5 operative John Tarrant Michael Caine , with a <more>
ransom demand for greater than one half million pounds worth of uncut diamonds that are resting within a Defence Ministry safe, as an unknown traitorous official has informed the abductors, with subsequent dual scenario devices of Tarrant's struggle to retrieve his son held by illicit arms syndicate villains, along with Ministry efforts to culpably link Tarrant with the conspiracy. The film benefits from attention to continuity, no loose ends rupturing one's concentration, with heed to detail perhaps its primary strength, yet telling contributions come from many, including players Caine, who adds a needed element of engagement to his Harry Palmer persona, Delphine Seyrig giving a splendidly nuanced performance as companion of the principal evildoer played with effectual guile by John Vernon , and Donald Pleasence earning the acting laurels here as a dispassionate MI-5 security chief, along with Clive Revill, Joss Ackland, and ever intense Janet Suzman.Siegel's hand is apparent in the spare deployment of music, with scoring and silence each appropriately employed; palette and filter for well-composed cinematography and montage shooting is in London, Paris and the Sussex countryside ; a symbolic use of clothing colours; and accomplished post-production efforts, all increasing the worth of a piece undervalued by some reviewers, indeed by Caine himself, unfortunate in the event as the film is one of Siegel's finest, his skill with improvisation mating well with capable workmanship.
Fabulous 70's thriller worthy of any collection: (by CatoTSR2)
Yet another Bond/Harry Palmer homage' or pastiche in parts. The Black Windmill has now become a Don Siegel timeless classic. Overshadowed by miles by Dirty Harry in its day, TBW was a rough diamond twinkling in its wake. Fabulous casting unparallelled and the acting was timed and placed to the second. This movie based on the Egleton novel was true to form in all areas. The story of the Whitehall spook having his son kidnapped while bosses had their own mits in the pot, is compelling and addictive. The film theme score in fairness appears to be a transposed rehash of Fear Is The key <more>
Alastair Mclean However the genius of Roy Budd is allowed these minor trivialities in such circumstances. Caine is sheer brilliant in his usual manner in these roles, along with Suzmann/Vernon and a whole host of luvvies that went on to stellar TV careers this really is a great "Cribs" movie.
I watched this movie and at first I was going to stop. There is swearing in the first 10 or 15 minutes and after that no more. Michael Caine is a good actor who is some kind of secret agent whose son is kidnapped for money and diamonds. He goes to great lengths to get the government officials to help him get his son back who about 10 years old but they refuse to give him the diamonds. Then he does what a good father does. He snoops around his bosses offices finds the info he needs and get the diamonds out of a safe deposit box.He then has to meet up with the criminals who get lots of joy <more>
causing pain to people they capture or need. His son is heard screaming in calls to him in pain. Michael Caine is on the run from bad and good people. Lots of physical stunts. Very violent movie, I could not wait for it to be over but it was a good movie full of action and intrigue.Warning>>> in one of the scenes a woman takes off her coat is nude and proceeds to lay in a bed. Her boss takes a picture of her to make it look like MC is a compromised agent. Michael Caine is a good man and does not know the picture is taken in his room. The crime team leaves other things to make him look guilty to his boss and the police.
In 1965, Caine created the role of Harry Palmer in the Ipcress File. It was good enough to spawn two follow-ups: Funeral in Berlin and the Billion Dollar Brain. By 1974, the movie-going public was used to seeing him in the role of a secret agent. Here he gets in trouble, and although you know that by the end of the film he will emerge victorious, or will he? I'm not telling. But the excruciating fun is in trying to figure our what will happen next. Filmed in Europe, Black Windmill" is directed by Don Siegel. Clint Eastwood credits Don for his success as a director, and, of course, <more>
Siegel also directed some of Clint's best movies. The pacing is even throughout and builds to a suspenseful climax. Let it not be overlooked that Donald Pleasence in a supporting role is at his usual best. The human chameleon that adapts beautifully to whatever role is given him. John Vernon is especially menacing. To me, seeing old movies a second or third time is like visiting with old friends. Everybody has their own "Casablanca" and "Shawshank Redemption." If you haven't seen this one yet, please do. It will become one of your "old friends" which I'm sure you will visit again and again.