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Callan (film)


Jan 1, 2022
article - Callan (film)

Callan is an 1974 Britishthriller film directed by Don Sharp and starring Edward Woodward, Eric Porter and Carl Möhner.[1][2]

1974 film by Don Sharp


UK theatrical poster
Directed by Don Sharp
Written by James Mitchell
Based on novel A Red File for Callan by Mitchell
Produced by Harry Benn
Derek Horne
Starring Edward Woodward
Eric Porter
Carl Möhner
Catherine Schell
Cinematography Ernest Steward
Edited by Teddy Darvas
Music by Wilfred Josephs
Magnum Films
Distributed by EMI UK
Release date
May 23, 1974 (London)
June 12, 1974
Running time
106 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

It was based on the pilot episode of the ITV television series Callan which ran from 1967 to 1972.[3]

. . . Callan (film) . . .

David Callan (Edward Woodward), a leading intelligence agent/assassin in the employment of the S.I.S., was forced into retirement when he lost his nerve. Now, he is called back into service to handle the assassination of Schneider, a German businessman. Colonel Hunter (Eric Porter), his former employer, promises Callan that he’ll be returned to active status as long as he follows his orders. But Callan refuses to act until he knows exactly why Schneider has been marked for death…

Aside from Woodward as Callan, the only actors to reprise their television roles in the film were Russell Hunter and Clifford Rose who played Lonely and Snell respectively. All other recurring characters were recast for a wider audience release.

The script by James Mitchell is based on his original TV pilot “A Magnum for Schneider” and the novelization thereof, Red File for Callan, although only the novel is listed in the film’s credits (as A Red File for Callan). The film was based more on the novel than on the original television script.

Callan’s boss Hunter is played by Eric Porter, and Meres too is re-cast, this time played by Peter Egan. The only recurring actors from the TV series were Edward Woodward as Callan, Russell Hunter as Lonely, and Clifford Rose as Dr Snell.

Callan was the first film with a Dolby-encoded optical soundtrack.[4]

The film was shot at Lee Studios. Director Don Sharp called it “a joy to film” in part because Woodward’s “character was so set but he came to it so fresh again.”[5]

Sharp said the film received “lovely notices”.[5]

The Observer called it “surprisingly enjoyable”.[6]

  1. BFI.org
  2. Vagg, Stephen (27 July 2019). “Unsung Aussie Filmmakers: Don Sharp – A Top 25”. Filmink.
  3. CALLAN Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 41, Iss. 480, (Jan 1, 1974): 144.
  4. Sergi, Gianluca (2004). The Dolby Era: Film Sound in Contemporary Hollywood. Manchester University Press. p. 46. ISBN 0719070678.
  5. Sharp, Don (2 November 1993). “Don Sharp Side 6” (Interview). Interviewed by Teddy Darvas and Alan Lawson. London: History Project. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  6. Cross-country parable Milne, Tom. The Observer 26 May 1974: 31

. . . Callan (film) . . .

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. . . Callan (film) . . .