Search - Defense of the Realm on DVD

Defense of the Realm
Defense of the Realm
Actors: Gabriel Byrne, Greta Scacchi, Denholm Elliott, Ian Bannen, Fulton Mackay
Director: David Drury
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
PG     2003     1hr 36min

"Taut, extremely entertaining" (Leonard Maltin) and laden with suspense, this fast-moving chiller stars Gabriel Byrne as a Cold War reporter who discovers that free speech comes at a deadly price. Co-starring Greta Scacchi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Gabriel Byrne, Greta Scacchi, Denholm Elliott, Ian Bannen, Fulton Mackay
Director: David Drury
Creators: Roger Deakins, Michael Bradsell, David Puttnam, Lynda Myles, Robin Douet, Martin Stellman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/03/2003
Original Release Date: 11/21/1986
Theatrical Release Date: 11/21/1986
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

An absolute cracker
Glyn Davies | UK | 03/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The showbiz adage of 'never work with children or animals' was, within the British film industry, extended to 'never work with children, animals or Denholm Elliot'. He was, rightly, labelled a 'scene stealer' and with his passing, one of the 'true stars' were lost.Gabrielle Byrne and Greta Scacchi star in this 1984 UK film, but the film, despite featuring a young Robbie Coltrane ( Cracker ), is forever Elliot's. Massively underrated, this film is a powerful indictment of the true 'powers that be'. Governments come and governments go, but the engine room remains in place, along with the stokers.Is this a political thriller, a journalistic thriller, a shadowy thriller even - scary too, maybe ?. Probably all and more besides. It's very taut, very fast, very complex and, perhaps, very true to life ( the scary bit ). Underhand and double dealing are rife and little mercy is shown to the designated stooges. Elliot, as Vernon Bayliss, suffers no fools here and realising the enormity of the truth and confiding in nobody, pays a heavy price for his refusal to be swept along with the tide of seemingly incontrovertible proofs. Perhaps Fox Mulder saw this film and coined 'trust no-one' from Elliots' performance.What is sure, though, is that a field day awaits conspiracy theorists who watch this. There is no sex, no violence and no profanity and I defy anyone to watch this film only once."
One you missed at the theatre.
Phil Watkins | Kansas City, MO USA | 12/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Saw this little gem when it originally was released theatrically. Needless to say, I was impressed.Starring a terrific Gabriel Byrne (does this guy ever age?), it is a very tight story of a newspaper reporter (Byrne) who comes across a story of a Member of Parliament having an affair with a prostitute, who is also seeing a KGB agent.But things are much more complex than they initially appear, and it becomes a much thicker paranoia thiller (one of my favourite themes). If you liked "The Parallax View" (1974) - or favour conspiracy theories - then you'll like this very British effort.Watch for the gaggle of reporters camped on the Minister's doorstep. Durning the scene, a car backs into one of the reports, knocking him down. It is never explained...The DVD transfer is exceptional, though in typical MGM fashion, there are no extras except for the original trailer."
Defense of the Realm
Richard Cunningham | United States | 12/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Overlooked. Something of a quiet sensation when it came out in the mid 1980's. Starring Gabriel Byrne(in his first lead role), Greta Scacchi, and Denholm Elliot. The script could have been written by John Le Carre. A complex, claustrophobic, dark, fast-paced film which requires alertness on the part of the audience."
A thinking person's movie
cmc | Mexico D.F. Mexico | 11/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Fast moving all too credible movie showing dealing with the issue of press freedom versus what should be considered secrets of the state.
Great casting. This is a gem that is surprisingly little known."