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 film is a classic and if you are a spy fan Harry Palmer is the realistic spy character!!There are other films with this hero of espionage.Published 2 months ago by t.michael keating
THE IPCRESS FILE [1965/2014] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] An Absolutely Riveting Thriller! An Admirable Thriller! Read morePublished 24 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