Taglines: To love a stranger is easy… To kill a lover is not.
A man calling himself Henry Faber is actually a German spy nicknamed “the Needle” because of his preferred method of assassination, the stiletto. He is a coldly calculating sociopath, emotionlessly focused on the task at hand, whether the task is to signal a U-boat or to gut a witness to avoid exposure.
In England, he has obtained critical information on the Allies’ invasion plans. Trying to make his way to Germany, he is stranded by a fierce storm on Storm Island, occupied only by a woman named Lucy (Kate Nelligan), her disabled husband David, their son, and their shepherd, Tom. A romance develops between the woman and the spy, due to an estrangement between Lucy and her husband, whose accident has rendered him emotionally crippled as well.
When David discovers their guest’s true identity, a struggle ensues, ending with the Needle throwing him off a cliff. Lucy realizes that her lover has been lying after she chances upon her husband’s dead body. “The Needle” must get to Tom’s radio to report to his superiors the exact location of the D-Day invasion. Lucy is the Allies’ last chance. He is reluctant to harm her, but she has no such qualms and shoots him as he tries to escape in a boat.
Eye of the Needle is a 1981 American spy film directed by Richard Marquand and starring Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan. Based on the novel of the same title by Ken Follett, the film is about a German spy in England during World War II who discovers vital information about the upcoming D-Day invasion. In his attempt to return to Germany with the information, he travels to the isolated Storm Island off the coast of Scotland to rendezvous with a U-boat, but his plans are thwarted by a young woman resident.
Eye of the Needle (1981)
Directed by: Richard Marquand
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Kate Nelligan, Stephen MacKenna, Philip Martin Brown, Christopher Cazenove, George Belbin, Barbara Graley
Screenplay by: Stanley Mann
Production Design by: Wilfred Shingleton
Cinematography by: Alan Hume
Film Editing by: Sean Barton
Costume Design by: John Bloomfield
Set Decoration by: Hugh Scaife
Art Direction by: Bert Davey, John Hoesli
Music by: Miklós Rózsa
Distributed by: United Artists
Release Date: July 24, 1981