Defence of the Realm (1986)

Defence of the Realm (1986)

Taglines: Just how far will a government go to hide the truth?

A reporter Mullen ‘stumbles’ on a story linking a prominent Member of Parliament to a KGB agent. In fact it is also linked to a near Nuclear disaster involving a teenage runaway and an Americal USAF base. Has there been a Government cover-up,Mullen teams up with Vernon Bayliss, an old hack, and Nina Beckam the MP’s assistant to find out the truth.

Defence of the Realm (US title Defense of the Realm) is a 1986 British political thriller film directed by David Drury, starring Gabriel Byrne, Greta Scacchi, and Denholm Elliott, with Robbie Coltrane in a supporting role.

The film takes its title from the 1914 Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), passed in the United Kingdom at the start of the First World War, which gave the Government executive powers for as long as war continued to suppress public criticism, imprison people without trial, and commandeer economic resources for the war effort.

Defence of the Realm (1986)

About the Story

Following a crash of a nuclear bomber at an American Air Force base in the English countryside, Dennis Markham (Ian Bannen), a prominent Member of Parliament and opponent of the American nuclear presence in the United Kingdom, is reported by a London paper to have been seen leaving a woman’s home. When the woman is found to also be familiar with a dignitary from East Germany, Markham’s loyalty to his country is questioned. He is hounded by the media and is forced to resign.

The author of the newspaper exposé, Nick Mullen (Gabriel Byrne), continues his work with colleague Vernon Bayliss (Denholm Elliott) who suspects that Markham is being framed for his views. When Bayliss dies from a mysterious ‘heart attack’, Mullen suspects something deeper at work and finds evidence of a cover-up concerning a near-nuclear accident and a secret US Air Force base. With the help of Markham’s secretary, Nina Beckman (Greta Scacchi), Mullen continues to investigate the affair despite the attempts of the British Government to stop him. In the end, Mullen and Beckman are seemingly killed in an explosion, but Mullen’s story about the cover-up is published.

Defence of the Realm Movie Poster (1986)

Defence of the Realm (1986)

Directed by: David Drury
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Greta Scacchi, Denholm Elliott, Ian Bannen, Fulton Mackay, Annabel Leventon, Alexei Jawdokimov
Screenplay by: Martin Stellman
Production Design by: Roger Murray-Leach
Cinematography by: Roger Deakins
Film Editing by: Michael Bradsell
Costume Design by: Louise Frogley
Set Decoration by: Harry Cordwell
Art Direction by: Diana Charnley
Music by: Richard Harvey
Distributed by: Hemdale Film Corporation
Release Date: January 1, 1986