Ipcress File [Blu-ray] [Import]
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In the spy-crazed film world of the 1960s, Len Deighton's antihero Harry Palmer burst onto the scene as an antidote to the James Bond films. Here was a British spy who had a working-class accent and horn-rimmed glasses and above all really didn't want to be a spy in the first place. As portrayed by Michael Caine, Palmer was the perfect antithesis to Sean Connery's 007. Unlike that of his globetrotting spy cousin, Palmer's beat is cold, rainy, dreary London, where he spends his days and nights in unheated flats spying on subversives. He does charm one lady, but she's no Pussy Galore, just a civil servant he works with, sent to keep an eye on him. Eventually he's assigned to get to the bottom of the kidnapping and subsequent "brain draining" of a nuclear physicist, all the while being reminded by his superiors that it's this or prison. Things begin to get pretty hairy for Harry. Produced by Harry Saltzman in his spare time between Bond movies, the film also features a haunting score by another Bond veteran, composer John Barry. --Kristian St. Clair --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Harry Palmer is a shrewd, cocky, amoral Army sergeant who was busted in Germany for some illegal trading. Sensing his abilities, the British army has offered to keep him out of prison in exchange for his becoming a spy. It's the threat of prison that keeps the freedom-loving Harry in line. [This plot device has been used countless times since "The Ipcress File" was released, most recently in "XXX".] When a prominent British scientist is kidnapped, Harry's boss loans him out to another department. What our confident hero doesn't realize is that he's being used as bait. By whom and for what purpose is what keeps the suspense going right up to the movie's tense climax.
"The Ipcress File" is in the category of spy movies which, unlike James Bond films, portray the characters as participants in a dark, sinister and deadly serious game. In this game, only the hero can be trusted.
Blackmailed into espionage with the threat of well-earned prison time, Palmer is a useful foot-soldier in the sordid, quiet war of espionage and counter-espionage, set to unmask a traitor -- but who *is* the traitor -- is there anyone at all that he can trust?
Michael Caine (this was the first film in which i had seen him) inhabits the role of Harry Palmer and makes it totally his, a man of contradictions -- a working class man, but one who genuinely loves and appreciates the finer things, unlike Fleming's (and, to some extent, the Bond movies') Bond, an amoral thug who apes the manners and tastes of his betters.
The apparently-realistic dreary grey London streets and settings add to this film's apparently-realistic approach, all the better to persuade the viewer to suspend his disbelief and accept the rather complex plot, especially when we get to the brainwashing parts...
First of three films, this was a series that *could* have rivalled Bond but fizzled out in the end.
All three, however, are well worth your time.
Purists may argue that "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" is a bit more-realistic. "The Ipcress File," though, is entertaining -- and an excellent example of transferring a film to DVD.
Most recent customer reviews
THE IPCRESS FILE [1965/2014] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] An Absolutely Riveting Thriller! An Admirable Thriller! Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
it's a spy movie but not like james bond ,but the real thing .It shows not the g;amour but the reality of the job .I am very happy that this title been released in blue ray .Published on Oct. 9 2013 by Eric Woodall
Universal Pictures presents "THE IPCRESS FILE" (1965 103 min/Color) -- Starring: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson & Aubrey Richards... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2011 by J. Lovins
I got this film with memories of the tight plot and the cataclysmic twist at the end. Thirty years has dulled considerably the enjoyment I once felt. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2003 by J. C Clark
I have always been a fan of Michael Caine since his intoduction in ZULU, and his brings Len Deighton's thinking man's James Bond to the screen with panache!! Read morePublished on June 23 2002 by Deborah MacGillivray
I thought it was a pretty good movie. Part of the plot involved hynosis and was a little contrived, but I liked the characters, the dialouge, and how the odd plot was handled. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2002
This is the film which established Caine as an icon. He is good looking, yet wears glasses, he is young and trendy, yet listens to classical music, he is a cockney, yet he has... Read morePublished on Dec 13 2001 by D. M. Farmbrough
Magnificently directed by Sidney Furie, this terrific thriller has one of Michael Caine's most memorable performances, and a sensational score by John Barry. Read morePublished on May 31 2001 by Alejandra Vernon