The Black Windmill (1974) 1080p

Movie Poster
The Black Windmill (1974) 1080p - Movie Poster
Action | Crime
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
106 min
IMDB Rating:
6.3 / 10 
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Directors: Don Siegel [Director] ,

Movie Description:
A British agent's son is kidnapped and held for a ransom of diamonds. The agent finds out that he can't even count on the people he thought were on his side to help him, so he decides to track down the kidnappers himself.


  • The Black Windmill (1974) 1080p - Movie Scene 1
  • The Black Windmill (1974) 1080p - Movie Scene 2
  • The Black Windmill (1974) 1080p - Movie Scene 1

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a couple of issues

Two English boys are kidnapped by a criminal crew. One of the boys is the son of British intelligence officer Major Tarrant (Michael Caine). Cedric Harper (Donald Pleasence) is his boss and Sir Edward Julyan (Joseph O'Conor) is the head of MI6. Tarrant is in a meeting with them and others when he gets a call from his wife. Their son has been taken and ransomed for diamonds. Eventually, he has to battle both sides to get his son back.

While I like the premise, I am taken back by two issues. First, I got confused by several scenes in the movie. It's possibly due to my stupidity. I don't know the reason for the naked picture session. When the second boy shows up in the hospital, I assumed him to be the Tarrant boy. I kept losing track of the characters. The plot seems simple but I couldn't catch every scene. The second issue is Caine. I never get a sense of terror, anger, tension, or trauma coming from Major Tarrant. In fact, one scene has him making a joke wink as he makes an escape. The performance lacks the needed desperation. It doesn't fit. He's doing it wrong or the directing is wrong. I still like the premise but the execution is off overall.

Give me... my bloody... son back.

Like a forerunner of Taken crossed with a '60s espionage movie (Harry Palmer with a dash of Bond), The Black Windmill stars Michael Caine as Major John Tarrant, an MI6 agent whose son is kidnapped and held for ransom. When his superiors refuse to part with the asking price - half a million in uncut diamonds - Tarrant goes rogue, stealing the stones to make the payoff.

Even though the plot for this thriller isn't quite water-tight, the assured direction from Don Siegel (Dirty Harry) and strong performances from a great cast (which includes Donald Pleasence, John Vernon, Clive Revill and Joss Ackland) ensure that the film is an entertaining ride, with some well staged action sequences and plenty of intrigue.

Fans of star Caine will not be disappointed - he puts in a fine performance as the calm, collected spy pushed to take matters into his own hands - whilst Vernon makes for a suitably cruel foe. Both actors meet for a mid-movie engagement in which Tarrant test-runs a very Bond-esque briefcase armed with a rocket, and again for a satisfying shootout in the titular structure.

While not a 'classic' like Dirty Harry, largely thanks to the awkward questions that arise from the twisty plot and uneven pacing, there is still plenty to enjoy here for fans of the genre.

6.5/10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.

Weak script and direction dull a potentially griping spy thriller

Michael Caine was 23 years old when he began making films in 1956. Within a decade he had reached star status with such films as "Zulu" of 1964, "The Ipcress File" of 1965 and "Alfie" of 1966. He would continue to have big hit films for the next two decades, and several beyond that. But, his hits were interspersed with some lesser films. A number were average and some even below average.

"Black Windmill" is one of the first of his so-so movies. The film is based on a 1973 novel, "Seven Days to a Killing," by British novelist Clive Egleton.

The idea of the plot is a good one, and the film has a cast of fine actors. But the screenplay is poor. The film direction and editing are weak and appear to leave holes in places. The story is very slow and Caine's, character, Maj. John Tarant, is weak and poorly scripted. His performance is even less than mediocre, at least through the first two-thirds of the film.

This movie had the potential to be a griping spy and crime thriller. But, the poorly written story and lack of energy among most of the cast quickly tire an audience. It's a strain to rate this film even six stars, which I give on the strength of two performances. Donald Pleasance is very good as the hypersensitive, nearly schizoid MI-6 chief, Cedric Harper. And John Vernon is very good as the hardened criminal plot leader.
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