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Reilly: Ace of Spies

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Reilly:Ace of Spies
DVD Cover
Country UKD.jpg United Kingdom
Language English
Channel ITV
Creator Troy Kennedy Martin
Genre War
Broadcast 1983
No. of Seasons 1
No. of Episodes 12
Main Cast
Character Actor
Sidney Reilly Sam Neill
Basil Zaharoff Leo McKern
Count Massino John Castle
Nadina "Nadia" Massino Celia Gregory
Tanyatos John Rhys-Davies
Goschen Bill Nighy
Inspector Tsientsin David Suchet
Yakov Blumkin Alfred Molina
Capt. George Hill Hugh Fraser
Sasha Gramaticoff Brian Protheroe

British mini-series portraying the adventures of real-life spy Lt. Sidney George Reilly (Sam Neill) (1873-1925). The series is a fictionalized account of his exploits. There are twelve episodes and the stories take place in various locales such as Korea, Armenia, Germany, England, United States and Russia.

The following weapons were used in the film Reilly: Ace of Spies:


Webley Mk VI

The Webley Mk VI revolver is often seen in the hands of British agents, including Sidney Reilly (Sam Neill) in "Endgame" (Ep. 8) and Capt. George Hill (Hugh Fraser) in "Gambit" (Ep. 7). Reilly's Russian friend and attorney Sasha Gramaticoff (Brian Protheroe) fires a Webley at a portrait of Andrew Jackson in his St. Petersburg office in "Dreadnoughts and Crosses" (Ep. 5). The Bolshevik hitman, Adamson (Robert Walker), attempts to kill Reilly with a Webley in "After Moscow" (Ep. 9).

Webley Mk VI .455 Webley
Reilly's friend and attorney Sasha Gramaticoff fires a Webley through a portrait of Andrew Jackson in his St. Petersburg office.
Reilly and one of his compatriots blast off a lock on a cell door. There has been a failed counter-revolution in Moscow and they are freeing a female compatriot who is being held in Lubyanka while everything is in chaos. Lubyanka will later become infamous for being the KGB prison.
Reilly (Sam Neill) fires at pursuing Soviet agents sent to arrest him.
A Bolshevik hitman, Adamson, prepares to shoot Reilly in London. Reilly (Sam Neill) had escaped the Bolshevik secret police and made it back to London. However the Bolsheviks don't forgive or forget that easily.

Webley Mk IV Pocket Model

The Webley Mk IV pocket model is seen in "Gambit" (Ep. 7) and "Endgame" (Ep. 8), carried by R.H. Bruce Lockhart (Ian Charleson), the British envoy to Moscow, in a shoulder holster. His mistress Moura (Anna Nygh) greets Reilly at the door with it. In "Endgame" (Ep. 8), Fanny Kaplan uses one to attempt to kill Lenin.

Webley Mk IV pocket model
Lockart's mistress Moura (Anna Nygh) greets Reilly. It's Moscow in 1918. The Bolsheviks, Germans, Czarist Loyalists and various other foreign powers are all trying to outmaneuver each other and their spies.
She lets them in, but makes sure nobody is loitering in the hallway.
Lockart (Ian Charleson) loads his Webley. Things are not going well for the British agents at this point. However his mistress has nerves of steel. Notice she's reading a book.
For understandable reasons Lockart looks stressed.
Two disgruntled Bolsheviks plot to kill Lenin. They manage to shoot him though he lives. Nevertheless their action ruins any hope that Reilly had for salvaging his plan to overthrow the Bolsheviks.
A close up of the Webley used in the plot to kill Lenin.

Enfield No. 2 Mk I

Reilly (Sam Neill) keeps what appears to be an Enfield No.2 Mk I as his bedside revolver when on a mission in St. Petersburg in 1910. The use of this revolver is anachronistic to the setting of the mini-series.

Enfield No. 2 Mk I
Reilly (Sam Neill) preparing to open the door for a late night visitor.

Nagant M1887 Revolver

Swedish Nagant M1887 revolvers are seen standing in for Russian M1895 Nagants, which were quite rare in the West when the miniseries was being filmed. Reilly carries one in the holster of his Sam Browne belt in "Gambit" (Ep. 7). Several Bolsheviks in both "Gambit" (Ep. 7) and "Endgame" (Ep. 8) use Nagant revolvers.

Swedish Nagant M1887 revolver - 7.5mm Nagant
Reilly (Sam Neill) greets Colonel Berzin. Nagant Model 1887 close by - just in case.
A close up of the revolver.
Nagant being carried by one of the Bolsheviks sent to arrest Reilly in Moscow. Reilly is firing back at them with his Webley Mk VI in the frame.
The Bolsheviks storm the British embassy in St. Petersburg.
The Bolsheviks exchange fire with Commander Cromy (Barry Stokes).

Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion

In "An Affair With A Married Woman" (Ep. 1), Russian detective Tanyatos (John Rhys-Davies) uses a Colt 1851 Navy to administer the final shots to two men killed by a firing squad.

Colt 1851 Navy London Model - .36 caliber. The "London" model uses iron instead of brass components for the back strap and trigger guard.

Mauser C96

Inspector Tsientsin (David Suchet), the Chinese policeman in Port Arthur on the dawn of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, carries a Mauser C96 in "Prelude to War" (Ep. 2).

Mauser C96 "Pre-War Commercial" - 7.63x25mm Mauser
Inspector Tsientsin (David Suchet) with his Mauser C96 drawn inside Reilly's Port Arthur prison cell during the attack.

Smith & Wesson Mk II Hand Ejector

Used by Basil Zaharov (Leo McKern), an actual arms dealer who had great power and influence in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century. There is a possibility that he and Reilly crossed paths. In the mini-series they are shown as having something of a love-hate relationship. It appears that the revolver used by Zaharov in "An Affair With A Married Woman" (Ep. 1) is a Smith & Wesson Mk II Hand Ejector .

If it is a Smith & Wesson Mk II then this is a technical error. The scene when Zaharov and Reilly first meet takes place in 1901. The large frame Smith & Wesson sometimes called the 44 Frame or the N Frame wasn't introduced until 1907. The Mk II Hand Ejector didn't come out until 1915. Nevertheless it does look "correct" for the time period and ultimately it is just a prop. Additionally the series was filmed in England and it's very likely that the .455 caliber Mk II Hand Ejector would be more readily available than the Smith & Wesson 44 Special 2nd Model.

British-issued Mk.II Hand Ejector
Zaharov (Leo McKern) points his Smith & Wesson at Reilly (Sam Neill).

Colt 1878 Double Action

Reilly (Sam Neill) arms himself with one of Count Massino's revolvers, a Colt 1878 Double Action when they go hunting for pigs in "Dreadnoughts and Crosses" (Ep. 5).

Colt 1878 with 5.5" barrel - .44-40 WCF
Count Massino (John Castle) uncovers the four revolvers they will use during the hunt. Reilly takes the Colt 1878 DA, Nadia Massino (Celia Gregory) takes the large Colt New Service (modified to resemble an SAA), and Sasha Gramaticoff takes the Webley, leaving the Count with the Chamelot-Delvigne.
Reilly with his Colt.

Chamelot-Delvigne Model 1873

Count Massino (John Castle) uses a Chamelot-Delvigne Model 1873 when they go hunting for pigs in "Dreadnoughts and Crosses" (Ep. 5).

Chamelot-Delvigne Model 1873 (bare metal) - 11mm.
Count Massino (John Castle) uncovers the four revolvers they will use during the hunt. Reilly takes the Colt 1878 DA, Nadia Massino (Celia Gregory) takes the large Colt New Service (modified to resemble an SAA), and Sasha Gramaticoff takes the Webley, leaving the Count with the Chamelot-Delvigne.

Colt New Service (Mocked-Up as Colt SAA)

In "Dreadnoughts and Crosses" (Ep. 5), during the hunt for pigs, Reilly's mistress Nadia Massino (Celia Gregory) uses a Colt New Service slightly modified to resemble a Single Action Army, with adding a side-position ejector rod. Such fake SAA revolvers can be seen in many westerns.

Nickel-plated Colt New Service Revolver - .45 LC.
Count Massino (John Castle) uncovers the four revolvers they will use during the hunt. Reilly takes the Colt 1878 DA, Nadia Massino (Celia Gregory) takes the large Colt New Service (modified to resemble an SAA), and Sasha Gramaticoff takes the Webley, leaving the Count with the Chamelot-Delvigne.
Nadia with her Colt New Service (modified to resemble an SAA) during the pig hunt.

Colt M1911

After having failed in his attempt to overthrow the Bolshevik government in 1918, Reilly (Sam Neill) and one of his compatriots flee to the British Embassy in St. Petersburg. The embassy has been shut down and is staffed by just a skeleton crew of British citizens, including Commander Cromie (Barry Stokes) of His Majesty's Royal Navy, who is acting as the banker for Reilly's operation. With the counter-revolution crushed, Bolshevik troops are sent to storm the embassy and if possible arrest Reilly. Commander Cromie refuses to flee, deciding instead to defend the embassy and go down with the ship. It's interesting to note that Cromie is armed with two Colt Model 1911 pistols. I assume that they are the models chambered for the .455 Webley Self-Loading Pistol Cartridge. In real life, Cromie was described as carrying two "Browning pistols" during his standoff with the Petrograd Cheka depicted in "Endgame"(Ep. 8).

One is also used by Peters, the Cheka's executioner, to kill a female prisoner in Lubyanka in 1918. Savinkov hands over a M1911 when entering a London courtroom in "After Moscow" (Ep. 9). Georgi Schulz (Rob Heyland), a member of The Trust, carries one when escorting Reilly back to Russia in "The Last Journey" (Ep. 11).

M1911 - .455 Webley, a licensed handgun to the British Armed Forces during and after World War 1, later issued to members of the R.A.F. and Royal Navy
Being a proper English Naval Officer, Cromie (Barry Stokes) takes a few moments to groom himself. 1911 pistols at the ready.
Having squared his uniform away, Cromie prepares to greet the embassy's uninvited guests.
Cromie goes down blazing.
Georgi Schulz (Rob Heyland), a member of The Trust, loads his 1911 before escorting Reilly through to the Russian border.

Mauser C96 Bolo

Colonel Eduard Berzin (Alan Downer) of the Latvian Guard carries a Mauser C96 'Bolo' in "Gambit" (Ep. 7).

A highly engraved Mauser C96 'Bolo'.
Colonel Berzin (Alan Downer), commander of the Latvian Infantry Regiment, and one of Lenin's most trusted people confronts Reilly (Sam Neill), who has been waiting for him in Bazan's quarters, with a Mauser C96 'Bolo'.

Mannlicher Model 1905

Reilly's prostitute in "After Moscow" (Ep. 9), Alexandra (Lindsay Duncan) purchases a Mannlicher Model 1905 in London just before the war ends.

Mannlicher Model 1905
After returning safely to London Reilly (Sam Neill) picks up a mistress. Alexandra (Lindsay Duncan) is her name but she prefers the nickname "The Plugger." At her request Reilly takes her shopping for a handgun. In downtown London! However it is 1918. She falls for the Mannlicher Model 1905.
Alexandra displays a rather breezy attitude about gun safety. Fortunately it is unloaded.
Reilly (Sam Neill) expresses doubt about her choice. He recommends a Glisenti Automatic, an Italian pistol. The Mannlicher, on the other hand, is an Austrian handgun and as Austria is at war with England in 1918 he has doubts about the availability of ammo for it. The shopkeeper informs him that he has two boxes of ammo. Reilly is still doubtful, but Alexandra wants it so he buys it for her.
The war is now over. Alexandra realizes that life is dangerous with Reilly and she is returning home to her mother. He makes sure she takes her Mannlicher with her. Reilly prefers the Luger.

Luger P08

A German policeman shoots a spy with a Luger P08 in the Hamburg sewers in "The Visiting Fireman" (Ep. 3). Reilly is seen carrying a Luger in "Anna" (Ep. 4) and "After Moscow" (Ep. 9). It appears to be his weapon of choice. Several Social Revolutionaries in Moscow, notably Yakov Blumkin (Alfred Molina) and Aleks Alexandrovich, carry Lugers during the uprising in "Gambit" (Ep. 7).

Blumkin (Alfred Molina) murders the German minister with a Luger P08. Setting off the failed counter-revolution before Reilly and his people are ready.
Blumkin proceeds to kill the German minister's secretary.
While Alexandra (Lindsay Duncan) is picking out a handgun Reilly sets his Luger on the counter. He has brought it by for servicing.
Reilly's Luger sits in his desk when he places his Military Cross inside.
The Bolshevik hitman Adamson (Robert Walker) fails in his attempt to murder Reilly (Sam Neill). He misses and Reilly kills him with his Luger.

Browning Hi-Power

Reilly (Sam Neill) hands a Browning Hi-Power to his secretary Eugenie (Eleanor David) when she takes the position. The use of this pistol is very anachronistic, as the scene takes place in 1924. The following year, a Cheka agent sets down a Hi-Power while searching Reilly's flat.

Commercial Browning Hi-Power Mark III - 9x19mm
Reilly shows the Hi-Power to Eugenie.
Eugenie holds Reilly's Hi-Power.
The Cheka agent sets down a Hi-Power.

Beretta Model 1919

When Reilly (Sam Neill) takes Alexandra "The Plugger" (Lindsay Duncan) shopping for a Glisenti pistol, the gunsmith tells him that he has no Glisentis but offers a similar Beretta, most likely a Beretta M1919. Alexandra tries the pistol out but finds it too light and opts instead for the Mannlicher. When in New York, Reilly carries one in a brown leather shoulder holster, shooting someone for betraying him. Capt. Hill (Hugh Fraser) is also seen loading one after Reilly's capture.

Beretta M1919 - .25 ACP
The gunsmith hands Alexandra a Beretta.
Alexandra aims the empty Beretta inside the gunsmith's shop.
Reilly fires his pistol after surviving an assassination attempt.
Capt. Hill loads a magazine into his pistol while in Cummings' office. Based on the open top design, it may be an early Beretta.

Submachine gun

Thompson Model 1921A

Both Reilly (Sam Neill) and Soviet agent Mankovitz use M1921A Thompsons when firing at each other from their cars in "The Trust" (Ep. 10).

Colt M1921A Thompson with 50-round drum magazine - .45 ACP
Reilly (Sam Neill) prepares to open fire on a pursuing car containing a hit team. He is leaning out of his car.
Excellent form.
One of the would be killers, Mankowitz, returns fire with his own M1921 Thompson.


Mosin Nagant Rifle

Bolsheviks carry Mosin Nagant M91/30 rifles in "Gambit" (Ep. 7) and "Endgame" (Ep. 8). Russian soldiers around Baku also carried Mosin Nagants in "An Affair With A Married Woman" (Ep. 1).

The Bolsheviks storm the British embassy in St. Petersburg.
The Bolsheviks exchange fire with Commander Cromie (Barry Stokes).

Mauser 1898

Count Massino (John Castle) uses a Mauser Gewehr 1898 during the pig hunt in "Dreadnoughts and Crosses" (Ep. 5). These had earlier been seen carried by the Japanese Navy in "Prelude to War" (Ep. 5.)

Mauser Gewehr 1898 7.92x57mm Mauser
Count Massino (John Castle) with a Mauser Gewehr 1898.

Machine gun

Vickers Machine Gun

The Vickers Machine Gun is used as a substitute for the Maxim Model 1910 Machine gun, especially in the episodes ("Gambit" and "Endgame") set in Russia in 1918 when Reilly is trying to overthrow the Bolsheviks. The mini-series was filmed in 1983 in the United Kingdom. It's plausible that it wasn't easy to obtain a Maxim 1910 so the production weapons man had to improvise. The shots of the machine gun are very fast when watching the actual production. With skillful editing, the Vickers passes for a Maxim Model 1910.

Vickers Mark 1 Machine Gun - .303 British
Maxim 1910 with wheel mount


Unidentified Double Barrel Shotgun

In the first episode, "An Affair With A Married Woman" (Ep. 1), Reilly's mistress has been murdered. He demands answers from Commander Cumming, head of British naval intelligence, in his office. The 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun is empty, but Reilly (Sam Neill) is making a point. At this point he believes that she might have been ordered murdered because of fears that Reilly would have talked to her while in her bed. He notes with curiosity that while the shotgun is of English origin, its trigger mechanism is from Texas.

L.C. Smith case hardened hammerless side by side Field shotgun - 12 Gauge.

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