When Eight Bells Toll is a 1971 action film directed by Étienne Périer and starring Anthony Hopkins, Jack Hawkins, Robert Morley, and Nathalie Delon. Set in Scotland, it is based upon Scottish author Alistair MacLean’s 1965 novel of the same name.
When Eight Bells Toll is a first-person narrative novel written by Scottish author Alistair MacLean and published in 1966.It marked MacLean’s return after a three-year gap, following the publication of Ice Station Zebra (1963), during which time he had run several restaurants.. When Eight Bells Toll combines the genres of spy novel and detective novel.
Directed by Etienne Périer. With Anthony Hopkins, Jack Hawkins, Robert Morley, Nathalie Delon. In a vein similar to the James Bond movies, British Agent Philip Calvert (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is on a mission to determine the whereabouts of a ship that disappeared near the coast of Scotland.
British Treasury secret agent Phillip Calvert (Anthony Hopkins) is sent to investigate the hijacking of five cargo ships in the Irish Sea, tracking the latest hijacked ship, the Nantesville, carrying £8 million in gold bullion—to the Scottish Highlands and the sleepy port town of “Torbay” on the “Isle of Torbay” (actually filmed in Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull).
Posing as marine biologists, Calvert and his partner Hunslett (Corin Redgrave) find the local inhabitants suspicious and hostile. They suspect that Cypriot tycoon and shipping magnate Sir Anthony Skouras (Jack Hawkins), whose luxury yacht Shangri-La is anchored off the coast, may be behind the pirating of the gold bullion.
While searching the surrounding area in a Royal Navy Helicopter, Calvert makes contact with a group of remote shark fishermen who appear more friendly than Torbay’s locals. Calvert also meets the occupants of a castle, Lord Kirkside and his teenage daughter, who behave strangely as well as being hostile.
Producer Elliott Kastner hoped that the film would be the first of a series of spy adventures films featuring MacLean’s Philip Calvert character by capturing James Bond series fans after the anticipated demise of that series (Sean Connery was believed to be planning to quit the Bond role, and some thought that the Bond series would end after his departure)