When Eight Bells Toll

Synopsis: In a vein similar to James Bond movies, British Agent Philip Calvert is on a mission to determine the whereabouts of a ship that disappeared near the coast of Scotland.
Director(s): Etienne Périer
Production: Screen Media
94 min

(Rotors whirring)

- Hello.

- well, Philip Calvert.

You look well. How was Malta?

A bloody sight warmer than here.

How are you?

You look smart.

Good clothing allowance in intelligence.

we get an allowance

for pens and paper clips.

Ah, danger lurks

behind every filing cabinet.

How's it feel to be at Headquarters?

The Mediterranean fleet

will be floundering. why am i here?

- All right, sir.

- That was my idea, actually.

we've got this sort of problem, you see,

and you being so clever with nautical

things, underwater and all that.

- You mean if it's wet, i'm your man.

- So to speak.

So am i going to be the world's

first underwater spy?

That's funny. i like that. No.

it's about these ships. Bullion vessels.

Hijacked off the face of the earth

or rather the high seas.

- who by? Human exiles?

- Philip, please.

it is, as they say,

a matter of national importance.

i doubt the nation gives a damn.

it's not their gold.

The same story each time. Crews

put ashore in some place in ireland

then released, by which time

the ships are taken to God knows where.

what are we supposed to do

to save the nation for democracy?

Between the two of us, Philip -

with my organisational genius

and your physical talents -

we must evolve a master plan

to take before the chief.

- which is whom?

- Sir Arthur Arnford-Jones KCB etcetera.

Yes. Quite an impressive record...

i suppose.

i see that like all men employed

in highly-specialised branches,

you have a questionable attitude

towards authority.

i don't know that i care for that.

it says here,

''Unsuitable for routine investigation.

''Operates best under extreme pressure.

''At this level, he's unique.''

Do you suppose that's true?

- it must be if it's on the file.

- i'm not happy about this...

Yes. Do sit down.

i'm not happy about this, Calvert.

i should have preferred my own men

with the assistance of Lord Charnley

and Lloyds, of course.

i have everybody

breathing down my neck.

The Admiralty, the government,

the Americans

and the insurance assessors -

grubby little men with gabardine

raincoats and dandruff.

i don't have dandruff, sir.

You don't need to demonstrate

your questionable attitude to authority

quite so early.

well, what have you and Mr er...

- Hunslett, sir.

- Hunslett.


what have you come up with?

Right. it's this.

Let's conceal two men with

a transmitter on the next bullion ship,

so if she's hijacked

we'll know where she is.

The men can send signals at

prearranged times and frequencies

and we can take bearings.

it may be that Mr Hunslett and myself

could then shadow the ship.

Could men be concealed like that?

it seems rather far-fetched.

i don't like it. it's too dangerous.

Too many ifs and buts.

with all due respect,

you haven't had an if or a but.

The next ship is the Nanceville.

Eight million quids' worth

of gold bullion.

Surely that's worth a risk or two?

- i insist on using my own men.

- OK.

i met them. They should be able

to take care of themselves.

They're excellent men.

They can certainly look after themselves.

- Show them in, Mr...

- Hunslett.

Come in, gentlemen.

- Henry! Up here, quickly.

- Voltec. You go round the back.

Come on!

Pick him up.

How did it go?

Not good.

- Let's get out of this armour.

- what was not good about it?

- Too strong an opposition.

- They were good men.

- The enemy were better.

- Uncle Arthur won't like this.

- Do you think i like it?

- So much for our plan.

They were able to transmit

and we were able to follow.

it was all justified -

if you discount loss of llfe, that ls.

Rate this script:4.7 / 6 votes

Alistair MacLean

Alistair Stuart MacLean (Scottish Gaelic: Alasdair MacGill-Eain; 21 April 1922 – 2 February 1987) was a Scottish novelist who wrote popular thrillers and adventure stories. His works include The Guns of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare – all three were made into popular films. He also wrote two novels under the pseudonym Ian Stuart. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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