Newest Review: ... Ipcress File stars as Harry Palmer, a spy who had been forcibly recruited into the secret service because he broke the law while in the ... more
The Ipcress File - A real spy film.
The Ipcress File (DVD)
Member Name: TimListfield
The Ipcress File (DVD)
Advantages: Harry Palmer is a character you just lose because he's so insubordinate
If James Bond took the world of the Spy and made it glamorous, sexy and appealing, then Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File left the world of the spy in the gutter. The result is a fabulous one.
Michael Caine had just had his big break with Zulu, and small time producer Harry Saltzman, who had just had a break himself with the Bond films, came together with a big contact (£300,000 back then, or approx £5 million today) and the first film they made together was this superb, gritty and entertaining spy film.
Adapted from Len Deighton's spy novel of the same name, The Ipcress File stars as Harry Palmer, a spy who had been forcibly recruited into the secret service because he broke the law while in the army.
At the beginning of the film, a scientist is taken to the train station and is placed on the train by an aid. The aid then turns around and leaves but realizes the scientist has forgotten a camera. He rushes back to the train and sees the scientist has been replaced by someone else. A few seconds later and the aid is dead.
Harry Palmer, meanwhile, is being transferred from one spy office to another. His overall superior, the ever serious Colonel Ross (scene stealing Guy Doleman) is moving Palmer to an office controlled by Major Dalby (Nigel Greene). He is being assigned to the case relating to the scientist. It comes out in the briefing that prominent British scientists are all disappearing and are being seemingly brainwashed. So Palmer and others are set out to find out who is brainwashing the scientists.
Palmer, who is innovative because of his rebellious nature, soon finds a lead that takes him to a library, where he sees a man known as Bluejay. Bluejay is able to find the scientist, and a deal is made to bring the scientist back for a large sum of money. The deal is made, and soon Palmer and the others arrive to take the scientist back.
They then find out that the scientist has been brainwashed and is unable to talk about his subject. Palmer goes back to Bluejay, launching his own investigation that will lead to two exceptional twists and a truly thrilling climax where no one can be trusted at all.
Michael Caine excels in this film as Harry Palmer and you can feel that he revelled in one of his first starring roles. He has some first rate support from Guy Doleman as Colonel Ross and Nigel Greene as the smooth but harsh Major Dalby. The direction of this is brilliant and though James Bond is entertaining, you feel that this is the more realistic spy film. A class act.
Summary: A very good and realistic spy thriller.