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North Sea Hijack is a 1980 British action film starring Roger Moore, James Mason, Anthony Perkins, and Michael Parks. The movie was directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and based on the novel Esther, Ruth and Jennifer by Jack Davies. The film tells the story of a group of terrorists who hijack a supply ship in order to take over a North Sea oil rig and demand a ransom from the British government. The only hope to stop them is Rufus Excalibur Ffolkes, a cat-loving eccentric mercenary played by Moore.

The film was a vehicle for both Moore and Perkins to try to escape typecasting given to them from other film roles. Moore wanted to show his versatility as an actor and play a character different from his usual suave and sophisticated roles, such as James Bond. Perkins wanted to avoid being typecast as a psycho after his iconic performance as Norman Bates in Psycho. He played the role of Kramer, the leader of the terrorists, who suffers from a terminal illness and has a personal grudge against Ffolkes.

The film was shot in various locations in Ireland and England, but mainly in Galway, where the production spent five to six weeks in 1979. The Galway City Docks were transformed into a Norwegian port, where the supply ship Esther is hijacked by Kramer and his men. The dock scenes involved several explosions, gunfights, and stunts, which attracted large crowds of spectators. The production also used Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara in County Galway, as the headquarters of Ffolkes’ private army. The castle is a 16th-century tower house that overlooks Galway Bay and is a popular tourist attraction.

The film was released in April 1980 in the UK and in December 1980 in the US, where it was retitled Ffolkes. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Moore’s performance but criticized the plot and the direction. The film was also a box office disappointment, failing to recoup its budget of $8 million. However, the film has gained a cult following over the years and is considered one of Moore’s best non-Bond films.


Galway City Docks

Dunguaire Castle



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