Eye of the Needle (1981)

R   |    |  Romance, Thriller, War

Eye of the Needle (1981) Poster

A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband.

Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.




  • Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan in Eye of the Needle (1981)
  • Donald Sutherland in Eye of the Needle (1981)
  • Donald Sutherland in Eye of the Needle (1981)
  • Kate Nelligan in Eye of the Needle (1981)
  • Kate Nelligan in Eye of the Needle (1981)
  • Christopher Cazenove in Eye of the Needle (1981)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review

User Reviews

20 April 2016 | ma-cortes
| Thrilling and suspenseful WWII intrigue movie based on Ken Follet's bestseller novel
This top-notch mystery movie with ingenious plot contains tension , mystery , surprises and , of course , a suspenseful ending , dealing with a Nazi German spy acting undercover as an Englishman who becomes involved with a married woman . The title "Eye of the Needle" is that it is a reference to the eye of the stiletto blade that Nazi spy Henry Faber uses to kill his enemies . This World War II movie is set in London 1940 , during the Blitz when it opens , there a German Superspy , the Needle (Donald Sutherland) gravitates towards murder and treason . Meanwhile , a young couple goes out in their ¨Just married¨ car , but they have a strong accident . Four years later , a new allied offensive to take place : Normandy or Calais ¿ ; then , the Needle discovers a vital evidence about the Allies D-Day invasion : Operation Overlord . As The Needle capable of terrible violence , he often uses killing means to carry out his purports , at the same time being relentlessly chased by Godliman (Ian Bannen) . While en route to report his Nazi commander , Admiral Canaris : Secret Service chief , he makes for the Scotish coast to escape on a U-Boat when his small boat is shipwrecked before being picked up and the Needle is washed ashore . Posing as a shipwrecked sailor , he washes on a deserted England island , off the Scottish coast , being saved by a family formed by a crippled man (Christopher Cazenove) , his wife (Kate Nelligan) and child . And the spy becomes involved with the spouse while he waits to be picked up and he , then , begins to contemplate his role in the war , as both of them must decide between their love or country .

Interesting drama/thriller plenty of thrills , taut , intrigue and twists . The film relies heavily on Donald Sutherland character when he falls in love with the woman and their lovely as well as twisted relationship . Despite of the fashion-able sex and violence , this is a satisfyingly old-fashioned sort of film that avid fans of the genre will love . Nice acting by Donald Sutherland as a German spy carrying information that will reveal the target and being stranded on an isolated island ; Donald gives a perfect performance as a cold killer using his trusty switchblade against suspects . This was one of three films in five years where Donald Sutherland played a German character who was either a Nazi or son of a Nazi . The movies are Bear Island (1979), Eyed of the needle (1981) and The Eagle Has Landed (1976). None of the main characters , Sutherland , Nelligan, Cazenove , is very sympathetic , but all of them are well drawn , which is more important here . Support cast is frankly good , such as Ian Bannen as relentless pursuer , David Hayman as Canter , Bill Frazer and debut credited theatrical feature film of actor Bill Nighy and first full length feature of Rik Mayall.

Colorful and brilliant cinematography by Alan Hume shot on location in Mull , Argyll , Oban and Bute, Scotland , Blackbush Airport, Hampshire, and in Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England . A cottage and lighthouse were constructed on the The Isle of Mull for the production . Impressive and breathtaking musical score by Hollywood maestro Miklos Rozsa in one of his last soundtracks . This intelligent thriller that the Bristish production seems to produce every two or three years was compellingly directed by Richard Marquand . He was hired by George Lucas after seeing ¨Eye of the needle¨ and only non-American to direct a Star Wars film : ¨The return of the Jedi¨, Lucas was mainly impressed how Marquand was able to finish a difficult production on time and on Budget , a factor which was critical on a huge production like Star Wars . His first film was the terror one titled ¨The legacy¨(79) , he went on with the successful ¨The jagged edge¨ (85) . However , his career failed with flops such as : ¨Until September¨ (84) a routine romance movie and a musical : ¨Hearts of fire¨ (87) until his early death.

Metacritic Reviews

Critic Reviews

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to the SXSW 2019, what to watch on TV, and a look back at the 2018-2019 awards season.

Around The Web


Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com