6.2/10
1,770
23 user 12 critic

The Whistle Blower (1986)

A war veteran tries to investigate the murder of his son who was working as a Russian translator for the British intelligence service during the Cold War. He meets a web of deception and paranoia that seems impenetrable.

Director:

Simon Langton

Writers:

Julian Bond (screenplay), John Hale (novel)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Frank Jones
James Fox ... Lord
Nigel Havers ... Bob Jones
John Gielgud ... Sir Adrian Chapple
Felicity Dean ... Cynthia Goodburn
Barry Foster ... Charles Greig
Gordon Jackson ... Bruce
Kenneth Colley ... Bill Pickett
David Langton ... Government Minister
Dinah Stabb Dinah Stabb ... Rose
James Simmons ... Mark
Katherine Reeve Katherine Reeve ... Tiffany Goodburn
Bill Wallis Bill Wallis ... Ramsay Dodgson
Trevor Cooper ... Inspector Bourne
Peter Miles Peter Miles ... Stephen Kedge
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Storyline

Twenty-eight year old idealist Bob Jones is contemplating leaving his position as a Russian translator at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) as those at the top have issued a new whistle blowing policy - encouraging employees to report any suspicious behavior - in light of the highly publicized case of Ramsay Dodgson, a Soviet spy who was working undetected in the organization for ten years before being caught. Bob does not like the idea of being at the mercy of work colleagues, most, like Dodgson, who he did and does not know. In private, he confides to his father, widowed businessman and retired Navy officer Frank Jones, that part of his want to leave the job, which also entails eavesdropping on private conversations between Soviet officials on a multitude of everyday topics, is that he believes the British and by association Americans are just as corrupt as the Russians in how they infiltrate institutions most of the public see as commonplace, this belief to which ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They all know the identity of the country's most dangerous spy. But which one of them will finally blow the whistle? See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

5 June 1987 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Kreuzfeuer der Agenten See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only theatrical movie featuring the British Intelligence Agency G.C.H.Q. (Government Communications Headquarters). See more »

Goofs

In the final confession letter, the USSR is referred to as the "United States of Soviet Russia", rather than the more accurate translation of the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Miss Donald: The only way we'll know when and at what targets a nuclear button will be pressed is by electronic espionage. That's what makes it so appalling that Dodgson, a self-confessed and convicted Soviet agent, was able to hold a position of trust here for ten years. It must not happen again. Each of you, not only section heads, but each and every one of you, has simply got to report oddities of behaviour among your colleagues, strange events or anything else that strikes you as out of the...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

It's A Long Way To Tipperary
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams (uncredited)
[Played by marching band at Remembrance Day Parade]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
the man in the white hat
26 April 2013 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"I still believe the man in the white hat always wins," Bob Jones (Nigel Havers) tells his father (Michael Caine). They'll both have reason to doubt that later on.

Caine plays Frank Jones, a man whose son works as a linguist at GCHQ. A mole for the Russians has been discovered, and since then, Bob Jones has become suspicious that something strange is going on, especially after there are a couple of "suicides." He confides in his father, who is concerned that Bob keep his job in a difficult economy, especially since he wants to marry a young woman with a child. She's in the process of getting a divorce.

When something happens to Bob, Frank tries to get to the bottom of it and learns some ugly truths, particularly when a journalist he is on his way to see meets with an unhappy end.

Michael Caine gives an excellent, touching performance as a man trying to make things right, and Nigel Havers is wonderful as his son. There are spot-on performances by James Fox, John Gielgud, Barry Foster, and Gordon Jackson in his final film.

Very good film, perhaps a bit dated now, with the British trying to keep the Americans as happy allies, and it doesn't give any final or easy answers. The novel was written in 1984, and this film was released in 1987.

A Brit on this board referred to this as a "Michael Caine filler" - I guess he has made a ton of films, but he's always worth seeing.


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