Ipcress File

( 2 )

Overview

Michael Caine made his first appearance as novelist Len Deighton's bespectacled British-spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File. Palmer has no real love of espionage, but he doesn't really know any other life. With studied insolence, he takes on the case of locating missing doctor Radcliffe Aubrey Richards, who has in his possession a valuable file that would prove injurious to the Free World should it fall in the wrong hands. The government also fears that Radcliffe will be brainwashed by the enemy, as has happened...
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Overview

Michael Caine made his first appearance as novelist Len Deighton's bespectacled British-spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File. Palmer has no real love of espionage, but he doesn't really know any other life. With studied insolence, he takes on the case of locating missing doctor Radcliffe Aubrey Richards, who has in his possession a valuable file that would prove injurious to the Free World should it fall in the wrong hands. The government also fears that Radcliffe will be brainwashed by the enemy, as has happened to two previous British scientists. While Palmer is off doing everyone else's dirty work, his superior, Nigel Green, is making a deal with duplicitous information "broker" Frank Gatliff to win Radcliffe's release. The price for this would seem to be Palmer, who is captured by the enemy and subjected to a grueling brainwashing session. Palmer escapes, whereupon he confronts a traitor in his midst in the climactic exchange of gunfire. Advertised as "The Thinking Man's Goldfinger, The Ipcress File offered a far more realistic view of the morally ambivalent world of espionage than did the like-vintage James Bond films.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Advertised as "The Thinking Man's Goldfinger, The Ipcress File (1965) was widely considered one of the best Cold War spy films. Based on the novel of the same name by best-selling author Len Deighton, the film's plot was a ludicrous mishmash involving psychedelic brainwashing of the U.K.'s top scientists. Just as in the long-running series of James Bond spy thrillers, however, what set The Ipcress File apart were top-notch production values (particularly director Sidney J. Furie's magnificent use of the extreme widescreen properties of Techniscope) and a riveting central character. Michael Caine became an international movie star on the basis of three performances in only three years, in Zulu (1964), The Ipcress File (1965), and Alfie (1966). It's easy to see why Caine's portrayal of reluctant sleuth Harry Palmer so captivated audiences, as Caine played him with a reserved elegance that barely masked Palmer's lower-class Cockney roots and seething anti-authority attitude. The comparisons to Bond didn't end with the marketing of The Ipcress File. The film was brought to the screen by Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman, and many long-time Bond regulars did fine work on The Ipcress File, including composer John Barry and editor Peter Hunt, who cut the first three Bond features and eventually went on to direct On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The opening sequence of The Ipcress File was an extended, tongue-in-cheek reference to Bond, setting up Palmer as an anti- 007 "common man" who woke up alone, was nearly blind as a bat, and needed coffee to wake up in the morning. The Ipcress File was quickly followed by two sequels, Funeral in Berlin (1966) and Billion Dollar Brain (1967). Caine returned to play Palmer once again in 1995 with two made-for-American-television movies, Bullet to Beijing and Midnight in St. Petersburg.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/1999
  • UPC: 013131074932
  • Original Release: 1965
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Caine Harry Palmer
Nigel Green Dalby
Guy Doleman Major Ross
Sue Lloyd Jean
Gordon Jackson Jock Carswell
Aubrey Richards Radcliffe
Frank Gatliff Bluejay
Thomas Baptiste Barney
Oliver Macgreevy Housemartin
Freda Bamford Alice
Pauline Winter Charlady
Stanley Meadows Inspector Keightley
Peter Ashmore Sir Robert
Glynn Edwards Police Station Sergeant
Anthony Baird Raid Sergeant
Douglas Blackwell Murray
Richard Burrell Operator
Tony Caunter O.N.I. man
Paul Chapman Prison Guard
Max Faulkner Prison Guard
David Glover Chilcott-Oakes
Michael Murray Raid Inspector
Michael Murray Raid Inspector
Technical Credits
Sidney J. Furie Director
Ken Adam Production Designer
John Barry Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Bill Canaway Screenwriter
James Doran Screenwriter
Otto Heller Cinematographer
Peter Hunt Editor
Charles Kasher Executive Producer
Ronald Kinnoch Executive Producer
Phil Leakey Makeup
Michael White Set Decoration/Design
Peter Murton Art Director
Harry Saltzman Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best espionage films of the 60's

    Excellent underdog story about a former thief turned british spy (not by choice). Tries to do his job, better than most of his colleages, only to get into a bit of a bumpy rollercoaster ride by the bad guys he's pursuing. great characters and witty plot makes this film quite enjoyable. Cimatography is beautifully composed, stylish and never boring to look at. Micheal Caine is exceptional as the bespectacled spy Harry Palmer; has a lot of class and style and great sense of british humour who can 'eventually' win ladies over.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews