EYE OF THE NEEDLE
After a Whidbey Island, Washington State beach fire on a cold, clear November day, the Eye of the Needle was intriguing enough WWII movie that only one of the six people watching fell asleep. Had to rewatch it the next day when there was no laughing, talking or spouting sarcasm to see how it really unfolded.
A 1981 United Kingdom film, made to look and sound like 1944, Eye of the Needle included two unrelated stories that converge on Storm Island, a fictitious island somewhere off the coast of England. The fate of D-Day, the fate of the free world, depends upon the outcome of this spy thriller.
|The Love Story
David (Christopher Cazenove), an RAF pilot and his pregnant newlywed wife Lucy (Kate Nelligan) – drinking & driving from their wedding – crash, and the husband loses parts of both lower legs. Despondent he retreats to Storm Island tending the lighthouse and neglecting his wife and child. Can’t be a man in 1944 with no legs, he claims.
|The Spy Story
Simultaneously in England, Henry Faber (Donald Sutherland), nicknamed the “Needle” for the stiletto switchblade he uses to kill – kills with one almost bloodless stab to the heart – is a lonely, alienated German Spy posing as a British Officer. The “Needle” discovers where the D-Day invasion will land and tries to convey the information to the Germans. Faber tries to reach a UBoat in the English Channel to hand off the information but crashes on Storm Island and is taken in by the Lighthouse Keeper David and his wife Lucy. Luckily, a lighthouse with a radio is an ideal place to transmit a message to Germany.
The first half of the film sets up the story with actual footage of WWII, 1940’s music, and cars thereby developing a good 1944 vibe. The second half of the film, when these two stories converge on Storm Island, has intrigue, sex, murder, psychological tension and physical violence. The story builds to a thrilling finale, and D-Day happened so you know what….