Blu-Ray Review: The Black Windmill

The Tarrants receiving a phone call

It must be strange to be born to a generation which doesn’t remember ‘domestic’ terrorism in the UK. Whilst ‘the Troubles’ cast a shadow over Northern Ireland for three decades, the spectre of the IRA was a constant threat in mainland Britain. Indeed, we seem to be heading in that direction again. Long before Islamic terrorism, MI5 and MI6 spent their time trying to disrupt and prevent Irish republicanism. This is the backdrop to The Black Windmill.

Intelligence officer, Major Tarrant (Michael Caine) is assigned to try and infiltrate a group of arms smugglers. His estranged wife (Janet Suzman) receives a call from a stranger claiming that he’s kidnapped their son, David. The caller wishes to speak to his boss, the head of the division, Cedric Harper (Donald Pleasence). ‘Drabble’ demands that they pay a ransom of £500,000 worth of uncut diamonds or the Tarrants will never see their child again.

The Black Windmill is a spy thriller where enemies stalk in every corner, hiding in the shadows. Tarrant must do battle against friend and foe to save his son, and the veneer of the former army officer wears thin. Don Siegel’s film is a twisty and compelling espionage drama. Caine, as usual, eats up every scene and the writing cleverly serves up a number of red herrings. The Black Windmill is an entertaining ride.

Special features:

  • Reversible sleeve with alternate artwork
  • Interview with actor Joss Ackland
  • Interview with cinematographer Ousama Rawi
  • Trailer

The Black Windmill is released on Blu-ray by 101 Films on 29 March.

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