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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    I have a theory regarding Funeral in Berlin and I just wondered if anyone could provide any evidence to support this?

    After financing the first Harry Palmer film The Ipcress File, Rank were approached by producer Harry Saltzman with a view to making the second, Funeral in Berlin, but they turned it down because they had recently agreed to back The Berlin Memorandum (later made as The Quiller Memorandum). Obviously Rank did not want two espionage movies that were both filmed on location in Berlin and so Saltzman was disappointed, although he shortly attracted Paramount to back the second Harry Palmer project.

  2. #2
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    Its an interesting idea. They came out within a month of each other , so shooting was possibly roughly the same time. On the other hand, the UK release date of Funeral was Dec 1966 for the US, and march 31st for the UK. Quiller got its premiere in the UK on the 10th Nov 1966, but only went on general release on the 13th jan 1967. The US got it on the 15th Dec. In other words, there was already 10 weeks between UK releases for the two films, and Quiller could have been released 4 months early, had they really wanted.

    I havn't got time to root around now, but a look at these two excellent sites might yield something:

    http://keesstam.tripod.com/ipcress.html

    http://www.deightondossier.net/

    Caine had a deal to make a number of films for Saltzman - he mentions in his autobiography that Saltzman generously tore up the the contract when it had some years still to run.
    Why Rank were not involved in the other two is a question is search of an answer (especially since it took $3m in the US ).
    However, there is a clue in the production companies involved in the main Harry Palmer films on IMDB. Ipcress had Rank as the UK company (with Saltzmans Lowndes as the actual films production company), but Universal in the States. Funeral has Paramount for both the UK and the US (with Jovena joining Lowndes), and Billion has UA for both the UK and the US.

    In other words, it might be down to cash. The first film was a money spinner (its also one of my favourites), and its difficult to imagine any financing/distribution company turning down a sequel to a profitable film! On the other hand, if a large US company offers to handle all the distribution rights, and for more money, your probably going to go for that. And if UA offers even more for the 3rd, then your going to go for that.

    If Rank did turn down a sequel because they were both shot on location in Berlin, they were just plain stupid. You could just wait a couple of months to release the other one. I'd like to find out now....a lot of the time, the stories of how films are made is a lot more interesting than the films themselves. In this case, I'm a fan anyway, so thats not an issue, but it would be interesting to find out exactly why Rank wasn't involved in the other two.

    I just looked at the companies involved in Quiller (which I've always liked as well - good score too) - Foxwell was the actual production company, with Rank obviously financing. But the distributor in the US was Fox. A tangled web....
    Last edited by MikeB; 03-02-16 at 09:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Mike

    Funeral in Berlin went into production first with principal photography running from March to July 1966. The Quiller Memorandum was originally going to be named after the novel as The Berlin Memorandum, but fearing confusion over being mistaken as Funeral in Berlin and visa-versa brought about a change of name. Principal photography on The Quiller Memorandum was undertaken between May and August 1966.

    I agree that the two sites you’ve linked to are excellent, but I’ve not been able to find any evidence that Rank turned down Funeral in Berlin, although as you say it appears highly unlikely that the sequel to such a successful film as The Ipcress File would be turned down. Universal’s involvement with The Ipcress File is open to discussion. Obviously there were the distributors in the USA, the question is did they invest anything in the budget for a percentage of profits?

    Production company credits are extremely complicated at times and it’s a subject I have discussed on these boards previously. Lowndes was a company that Saltzman set up in the late fifties and they acted as the production company on several of his projects. Are there any Harry Saltzman biographies? If so perhaps they would give some insight to the change of backer for Funeral in Berlin.

  4. #4
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    Production company credits are extremely complicated at times
    Indeed! The way films are put together is horribly complex.

    Looking at his Wiki, there doesn't seem to be any biography at all, although the Ian Fleming Foundation apparently made a film called Showman about him.

    I suspect a Rank Film history is probably the best best to finding out what happened - but it would seem odd for any company to turn down a sequel to a money making film (and the makings of a franchise) for such a seemingly trival reason as they were both set in Berlin.

    I think your right - Universal probably would been a distributor just for the US, with Rank being the company that put up the cash, etc. Of course after the success of the first film, financing was probably much less of a problem, and perhaps Saltzman just found a better offer. As they say, follow the money.

    Anyone familiar with Rank in the 1960's?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Mike

    I've done extensive research on both films having gone through The Daily Cinema, Kine Weekly, The Stage and Television Today, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express, but still failed to find any evidence. With Harry Saltzman's involvement I would have thought something might have been written at some point regarding the backers of Funeral in Berlin. However, as you say the Rank Organisation's records might provide the answer.

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    Good luck - unless you can find something from Rank, it might be one of those eternal mysteries. There isn't even a Saltzman autobiography, which is something someone should write! As they should (looking at another thread) about Zanuck/Brown.

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    Over on CinemaRetro, the Funeral in Berlin anomaly of a different studio is referred to, but alas no conclusions.

    http://www.cinemaretro.com/index.php...RY-PALMER.html

    However, in my copy of ABC Film Review of March 1967 in its feature on the then new Funeral in Berlin, the magazine states that Billion Dollar Brain, already under production in Finland was also flagged for a Paramount distribution.

  8. #8
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    Over on CinemaRetro, the Funeral in Berlin anomaly of a different studio is referred to, but alas no conclusions.

    http://www.cinemaretro.com/index.php...RY-PALMER.html

    However, in my copy of ABC Film Review of March 1967 in its feature on the then new Funeral in Berlin, the magazine states that Billion Dollar Brain, already under production in Finland was also flagged for a Paramount distribution.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Mike & Rick

    Thanks for showing interest in this thread. It is a mystery and it all fits except for the most important part... some proof.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Is this any use to you, Mikey? I didn't know John Hopkins was going to produce a script:




    Other Funeral in Berlin reports include the completion of location filming in Germany (The Toledo Blade, 5th
    July 1966) and "West Germans, and an English actor named Michael Caine, banned from travel to East Berlin".

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornershop15 View Post
    Is this any use to you, Mikey? I didn't know John Hopkins was going to produce a script:




    Other Funeral in Berlin reports include the completion of location filming in Germany (The Toledo Blade, 5th
    July 1966) and "West Germans, and an English actor named Michael Caine, banned from travel to East Berlin".
    Cornershop

    This is of great interest as I have never come across any reference to John Hopkins working on a screenplay for Funeral in Berlin.

    In September 1965, Richard L Breen, who had provided the screenplay for the James Garner espionage thriller A Man Could Get Killed, was named as working on a script, although what happened is unknown.

    The actual writing credit on the movie went to the Jamaica born Evan Jones, who had earlier provided the shooting script for Modesty Blaise.

  12. #12
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    Post 11 Mikey: For some while I've been tracking Evan Jones, not only 60s cinema-wise, but since his mother was Quaker-led and through myself my Quaker community is linked with that in Kingston Jamaica. Most specifically, Jones' diaries and papers which I thought might highlight his screen-writing contract on Funeral in Berlin have only recently been parked at the Bodleian Library in Oxford;however their site appears to have gone off-wire. The name tag names are there for others to try.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Cornershop

    This is of great interest as I have never come across any reference to John Hopkins working on a screenplay for Funeral in Berlin.

    In September 1965, Richard L Breen, who had provided the screenplay for the James Garner espionage thriller A Man Could Get Killed, was named as working on a script, although what happened is unknown.

    The actual writing credit on the movie went to the Jamaica born Evan Jones, who had earlier provided the shooting script for Modesty Blaise.
    Cornershop

    I have come across an entry from Kine Weekly dated April 7th 1966, which indicates that Funeral in Berlin will be filmed in both East and West Berlin. However this decision was later changed by executive producer Harry Saltzman. I've gone through the Toledo Blade dated July 5th 1966, in the Google Archive but I've been unable to find anything relating to Michael Caine not being allowed into East Berlin. Perhaps you could tell us more?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Cornershop

    I have come across an entry from Kine Weekly dated April 7th 1966, which indicates that Funeral in Berlin will be filmed in both East and West Berlin. However this decision was later changed by executive producer Harry Saltzman. I've gone through the Toledo Blade dated July 5th 1966, in the Google Archive but I've been unable to find anything relating to Michael Caine not being allowed into East Berlin. Perhaps you could tell us more?
    Cornershop

    Having had another search I have come across something in The Florence Times dated May 30th 1966 (in the Google Archive), which expalins that the film's insurance underwriters prevented Michael Caine from entering East Berlin as the authorities there knew about the movie and they feared any problems encountered by him and the crew while in the east could obviously halt production, meaning they would have to pay compensation.
    Last edited by Mikey; 07-02-16 at 10:58 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Glad to be of help, Mikey. Yes, that's the same article. Published three days earlier in the Ellensburg Daily Record (Washington, US), if you're compiling a production diary.

    I'd forgotten that John Hopkins had already scripted Thunderball by then. Somehow, this and the next Bond film have never made any impression on me. Unlike the more downbeat Funeral in Berlin, which has a stronger role for the leading lady.


    No mention of Rank for either of the Berlin films, following all that research, but I was pleased to add these extracts to my collection ...

    Sheilah Graham's column, The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah), 27th May 1966:

    If you want to know why Anjanette Comer was replaced by another actress in �Funeral in Berlin�, it was because the chemistry wasn't quite right with the male star of the film, and I do mean Michael Caine. I was with them in London at their first meeting. Anjanette's manner towards the man who beecame a star in �The Ipcress File� was cool � in fact, freezing.


    Dorothy Manners' column, St. Petersburg Times (Florida), 10th March 1967:



    The unmade Insurance, Italian Style gets a mention in this article as well (originally posted at Richard Attenborough's thread):

    The Pittsburgh Press, 25th February 1968

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornershop15 View Post
    Glad to be of help, Mikey. Yes, that's the same article. Published three days earlier in the Ellensburg Daily Record (Washington, US), if you're compiling a production diary.

    I'd forgotten that John Hopkins had already scripted Thunderball by then. Somehow, this and the next Bond film have never made any impression on me. Unlike the more downbeat Funeral in Berlin, which has a stronger role for the leading lady.

    No mention of Rank for either of the Berlin films, following all that research, but I was pleased to add these extracts to my collection ...

    Sheilah Graham's column, The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah), 27th May 1966:

    If you want to know why Anjanette Comer was replaced by another actress in �Funeral in Berlin�, it was because the chemistry wasn't quite right with the male star of the film, and I do mean Michael Caine. I was with them in London at their first meeting. Anjanette's manner towards the man who beecame a star in �The Ipcress File� was cool � in fact, freezing.


    Dorothy Manners' column, St. Petersburg Times (Florida), 10th March 1967:



    The unmade Insurance, Italian Style gets a mention in this article as well (originally posted at Richard Attenborough's thread):

    The Pittsburgh Press, 25th February 1968
    Cornershop

    This is pure dynamite!

    Having read Variety dated May 13th 1966, the offical line was that Anjanette Comer had been forced to withdraw from the picture having contracted a severe virus, which was obviously pure fabrication. There are a few stills showing that Caine and Comer worked together for a time on the movie, plus about half a dozen posed publicity stills.

    But there's more, because the Russian born (now the Republic of Georgia) American based actor Akim Tamiroff, was cast as Colonel Stok and although he apparently accompanied the cast and crew to Berlin he never did a solitary scene, because he was struck down with a mystery illness that sidelined him from the production. Variety 6 April 1966 & The Daily Cinema, 22 April 1966.

    I'm now thinking there could be more to this second major illness on the production than we know?

    I was aware Eva Renzi and Paul Hubschmid first met on this picture and were married the following year.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Good morning, Mikey. The only reference I found to Akim Tamiroff playing Colonel
    Stok was a report on his death (The Milwaukee Sentinel, 19th September 1972)!


    Anjanette arrives in London to meet Michael Caine (Daily Mirror, 28th March 1966):




    A cropped version of that picture accompanied this article (Daily Mirror, 11th May 1966):

    RIDDLE OF 'MISSING' STAR

    FILM actress Anjanette Comer - co-star of a new spy thriller – was the centre of a real-life mystery last night.

    The film company announced she is being replaced because she is sick – and refused to say where she is. Reports in London said she had been sacked. And her hotel in Berlin said she had gone back to America.

    Anjanette, 24, was making “Funeral in Berlin” in Berlin with actor Michael Caine. In the film – a sequel to “The Ipcress File” - she played an Israeli spy.

    A film company spokesman said in Berlin he could not disclose where Anjanette is or reveal anything about her sickness. He added “We are still making arrangements to replace her.”

    Anjanette is not seriously ill but it is impossible for her to go on working on the film, he said.



    From The Pittsburgh Press, 17th January 1982 (worth reading the full interview):

    She was signed for the starring role in “Funeral in Berlin” opposite Michael Caine. She lingered in Germany for a few weeks, commuting to Hollywood on weekends – unbeknown to producer Harry Saltzman – to be with her boyfriend, who finally convinced her to forget the picture.

    It was a landmark of unprofessional behaviour, even for movies. Saltzman vowed Anjanette would never work in Europe again. Thereafter, Anjanette disappeared as if she'd been shot into outer space.

    “I had this very important relationship with a man, an actor, who didn't want me to work in movies”, Anjanette explained.



    She could also have been the female lead in Barefoot in the Park and Bonnie and Clyde if she hadn't got rid of her manager.

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    She could also have been the female lead in Barefoot in the Park and Bonnie and Clyde if she hadn't got rid of her manager.
    Sounds like a female George Raft!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornershop15 View Post
    Good morning, Mikey. The only reference I found to Akim Tamiroff playing Colonel
    Stok was a report on his death (The Milwaukee Sentinel, 19th September 1972)!


    Anjanette arrives in London to meet Michael Caine (Daily Mirror, 28th March 1966):




    A cropped version of that picture accompanied this article (Daily Mirror, 11th May 1966):

    RIDDLE OF 'MISSING' STAR

    FILM actress Anjanette Comer - co-star of a new spy thriller – was the centre of a real-life mystery last night.

    The film company announced she is being replaced because she is sick – and refused to say where she is. Reports in London said she had been sacked. And her hotel in Berlin said she had gone back to America.

    Anjanette, 24, was making “Funeral in Berlin” in Berlin with actor Michael Caine. In the film – a sequel to “The Ipcress File” - she played an Israeli spy.

    A film company spokesman said in Berlin he could not disclose where Anjanette is or reveal anything about her sickness. He added “We are still making arrangements to replace her.”

    Anjanette is not seriously ill but it is impossible for her to go on working on the film, he said.



    From The Pittsburgh Press, 17th January 1982 (worth reading the full interview):

    She was signed for the starring role in “Funeral in Berlin” opposite Michael Caine. She lingered in Germany for a few weeks, commuting to Hollywood on weekends – unbeknown to producer Harry Saltzman – to be with her boyfriend, who finally convinced her to forget the picture.

    It was a landmark of unprofessional behaviour, even for movies. Saltzman vowed Anjanette would never work in Europe again. Thereafter, Anjanette disappeared as if she'd been shot into outer space.

    “I had this very important relationship with a man, an actor, who didn't want me to work in movies”, Anjanette explained.



    She could also have been the female lead in Barefoot in the Park and Bonnie and Clyde if she hadn't got rid of her manager.
    Cornershop

    Again, you've found some absolutely brilliant information and now we finally get the true story. Anjanette Comer walked away from Funeral in Berlin!

    I can imagine Harry Saltzman's reaction. I guess this event did her career no good in the future, because off the top of my head I can only remember her appearing in the ITC TV movie The Firechasers some years later and without looking on IMDB I just cannot name you another production she did. Despite the offical line of saying she was ill and could not continue, I guess in private what really happened would have become known throughout the film industry.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick C View Post
    Post 11 Mikey: For some while I've been tracking Evan Jones, not only 60s cinema-wise, but since his mother was Quaker-led and through myself my Quaker community is linked with that in Kingston Jamaica. Most specifically, Jones' diaries and papers which I thought might highlight his screen-writing contract on Funeral in Berlin have only recently been parked at the Bodleian Library in Oxford;however their site appears to have gone off-wire. The name tag names are there for others to try.
    Rick

    This sounds interesting and I will follow it up at some point, as I'm interested in how Jones came to write both Funeral in Berlin and Modesty Blaise.

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