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  1. #1
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    Can there be any more satisfying response to the glamour of James Bond films than this downplayed masterpiece. The slow and difficult process. The various forms to be filled. A secret East European base that has been set up like a film set to fool our reluctant hero.



    There is a whole genre of films that seem singularly suited to the UK and that is the spy film. The Harry Palmer films, The Quiller Memorandum, the TV series Danger Man, John Le Carre adaptions. There is something in the nature of British drama that suits the subtle intricacies of cold war set escapades that just doesn't work as well with any other nationality. There aren't many genres the British can claim in the way the Americans can claim the western, the musical and the hard boiled thriller but this would seem to be one.



    Jago.

  2. #2
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    Many of the films of the type you mention have a sort of malevolent outcome in plotting, which can repel me - but the sheer plausibility of the better ones keep me coming back. IPCRESS and THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, for example, stand up to repeated viewings due to the believability.



    And perhaps also DR. NO, in that the 70's excess of the 007 franchise was totally absent. Also that one has both British and American characters sympathetically portrayed in the SAME film at the SAME time (Connery opposite Jack Lord)! Amazing.

  3. #3
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    You are quite right, the British have the cold war spy story down. Times have changed though, but I'm certain that future stories will make their way.



    Personally, I think this has a lot to do with the vast intrigues that have set the course for the nation and its effects on many parts of the world.



    I'm sure some Euro-style intrigue will be next and that some erstwhile British character will be thrown into. . .

  4. #4
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    The Ipcress File, The Spy Who Came in From The Cold, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy [yes not a film, but still a masterpiece]



    I've gone all dewey eyed.



    I could watch Ipcress 20 times a day and still love every second of it.



    What I love about it is the intricate detail.



    Check this link for the best "Harry Palmer" website:-



    Harry Palmer and other stories

  5. #5
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    I've just read David Lodge's account of how he did not get the shopkeepers part (Bernard Lee got it) in "THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD". Lodge remarks that the director, Martin Ritt, was not happy with the choice of Richard Burton. I find it difficult to think who else they could of cast at that time. Any thoughts?.

  6. #6
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    HACKETT:

    I find it difficult to think who else they could of cast at that time. Any thoughts?.
    How about:-



    Patrick Mcgoohan (I think I may have spelled that wrong!!, it doesn't look right!!



    or Edward Woodward



    or John Thaw (fresh from "Dead Man's Chest")



    or, sorry to sound obvious, how about Michael Caine!?!?!?!?



    :)

  7. #7
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    McGoohan is great, but it wasn't him. He was very particular of his parts. Drake suited him well.



    I think Woodward was too composed for the part.



    Thaw was young and Michael Caine was too mod for the part.



    Can't think of that film apart from Richard Burton - he was the man with the edge back then and hit it dead on.



    Gibbie

  8. #8
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    Yes I agree Gibbie. Caine 32 was to young and freshfaced Thaw was even younger at only 23. Woodward 35, maybe, but he was a bit freshfaced, lean, mean and hungry in 1965. McGoohan 36 having played John Drake for so long had to much screen baggage. That hero aura that type's actors. Burton had only just turned 40 but looked world weary and exhausted. It was wright man, wright part and wright time for me. And lets face it he was Alec Leamas. Great acting and one of his best roles.

  9. #9
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    What about two late greats - Alan Bates Or Richard Harris? Mmmm out of the two I think Alan Bates would have worked better.

  10. #10
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    I have to agree with Hackett on this one, Burton was Leamus, especially when he went on about "What do you think spys are...".



    Though he was Welsh, he really got the anglicized Irishman thing down.



    I think it is the middlepoint in the Cold War genre with Third Man at the beginning and The Whistle Blower at the end.



    Gibbie

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    HACKETT:

    I've just read David Lodge's account of how he did not get the shopkeepers part (Bernard Lee got it) in "THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD". Lodge remarks that the director, Martin Ritt, was not happy with the choice of Richard Burton. I find it difficult to think who else they could of cast at that time. Any thoughts?.
    John Le Carre was unhappy too. In a recent interview he said he wanted Peter Finch.

  12. #12
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    Finch! Of course, he would have been perfect.



    There are many lesser known examples of the post-le Carre British spy movie which deserve to be better known. Try to check out the following:



    Innocent Bystanders - 1972, starring Stanley Baker

    Callan - 1974 - the film of the TV series

    Charlie Muffin - 1979. Made for TV but still excellent, my favourite role for David Hemmings

    The Executioner - 1970, starring George Peppard

    Danger Route - 1968, starring a very angry Richard Johnson.



    Any other titles I should seek out?

  13. #13
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    Callan was an excellent film, also a cracking series.

    Deeply saddened by the recent death of Russell Hunter.

    I feel that both Hunter and Woodward made their parts their own, with some superb interaction between the two of them.

    Interestingly, in one of those awful 'TOP 100' things, Callan was voted No1 TV hard man, something I would agree with totally, ice cold and hard as rock; I don't think I would have ever argued with David Callan.

  14. #14
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    Callan is my absolute favourite show. You should check out Innocent Bystanders (if you can, I've not seen it turn up for some time) - it's by Callan creator James Mitchell, and is very Callanesque indeed.



    It's from a series of spy novels Mitchell wrote (under the name James Munro) both before and during the run of Callan, and the two are very similar.



    Mitchell’s series of Callan novels is also quite excellent – in my view the best TV spin-off novels ever written.



    I’d love to see a DVD release of the full series (I gather most of the BW episodes still exist), but I gather that the first colour season didn’t sell well. It’s a shame as the final colour season is superb.

  15. #15
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    One post-LeCarre-Cold-War story that has an espionage quality is "Into the Blue" with John Thaw.



    Going in reverse, Eric Ambler was the father of the suspense spy novel (30s and 40s) and is a good read. These novels would make good films. One older classic was "The Mask of Dimitrios" with Peter Lorre.



    Gibbie

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Raising Caine



    Sidney J Furie's The Ipcress File (1965)



    Andrew Pulver

    Saturday August 13, 2005

    The Guardian





    Brainwashing for breakfast ... Michael Caine on his way to stardom as Harry Palmer



    Author: Len Deighton (b1929) grew up in London, served in the RAF, and went to art school after the war on an ex-serviceman's grant. After a spell working as an air steward and writing a cookery column, he completed his first novel. The Ipcress File was published in 1962 and, with the vogue for cold-war espionage novels, was an immediate success. In total, Deighton wrote six novels about the same spy. He went on to invent another recurring character, Bernard Samson, for a string of espionage novels. Deighton also wrote books on cooking - such as The Action Cook Book and Où Est Le Garlic (both 1965).



    The story: Although acclaimed for the "authenticity" of his work, Deighton had no experience of espionage outside his war service, later claiming he only turned to it because his knowledge of police procedures was too weak to sustain a novel. His food-and-Mozart-loving spy - not referred to by name in The Ipcress File - is a former army sergeant, who is transferred to a shadowy intelligence unit called WOOC(P) and is asked to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a number of scientists. A contact called Jay appears to be pivotal, but an attempt to make a deal with him goes awry, and the chase after one particular scientist, Raven, leads to Beirut.

    Our hero subsequently finds himself at the site of a US atom bomb test at a place called Tokwe, where he is kidnapped and imprisoned, and becomes the subject of attempted brainwashing. WOOC(P)'s boss, Dalby, is unmasked as a double agent, and the term "Ipcress" is revealed to stand for the brainwashing technique: Induction of Psycho-neuroses by Conditioned Reflex with Stress.



    The film-makers: Canadian-born director Sidney J Furie (b1933) first worked on the Cliff Richard vehicle The Young Ones (1961), but it was gay biker kitchen-sink drama The Leather Boys (1964) that got him noticed by James Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman. Saltzman was looking to set up productions on his own, and hired Furie for what was by all reports a tempestuous shoot.



    Saltzman noticed a then little-known Michael Caine in Zulu (1964), and signed him to a seven-film contract, of which Ipcress was the first. The near-simultaneous release of Ipcress and Alfie (1965) in the US was the major factor in Caine's rocketing stardom.



    How book and film compare: Furie, notoriously, was said to have set fire to the screenplay on the first day of shooting, to express his dislike for it. The film version sticks roughly to the novel's narrative path but, according to Caine, the actors were encouraged to come up with their own dialogue.



    The central character was nudged closer to resembling Caine himself - a glasses-wearing Londoner - and was also given a name, Harry Palmer (despite the character specifically stating in the novel: "My name isn't Harry"). Other inventions include the "Ipcress tape" and the psychedelic visuals used to torture Palmer.



    Inspirations and influences: Palmer was conceived as a modern answer to Bond, and the film readily tapped into London's burgeoning reputation as a fashionable city. Caine would make two more Harry Palmer films in the 1960s, which would set a template for the enormously influential working-class icon he would develop in films like The Italian Job (1969), Get Carter (1971), and The Man Who Would Be King (1975).

  17. #17
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    I hav always thought it a shame that Deighton's 'Horse Under Water' was never made into a film, as it was supposed to have been.

    This is the 2nd book in the series.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK Merton Park's Avatar
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    Ipcress was superb when it was first released, and is still a great film, one of my all time favourites. I remember first hearing Caine's voice, and was really suprised, never really having heard a leading man speak with a cockney accent before. Within no time I got used to this unusual voice, and never really thought about it again, it added to the character.



    The follow up, Funeral in Berlin, wasn't nearly as good, whilst Billion Dollar Brain seemed like a send up. I watched Bullet in Beijing a few years ago, and that wasn't quite so bad. But far and away, The Ipcress File was in a different league.

  19. #19
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    Just reading about the upcoming DVD release. Wow!



    (from www.dvdtimes.co.uk)



    Network have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of The Ipcress File (Special Edition) for 16th January 2006 priced at £29.99. Double Oscar winner Michael Caine plays spectacle wearing, working-class spy Harry Palmer. He has a lack of respect for his superiors, he's a dab hand in the kitchen and he loves Mozart. Palmer is a former army sergeant working off a conviction for black market activities in Berlin. To avoid a court martial he agrees to work for a covert intelligence unit called WOOC (P). His assignment is to investigate a scientific brain drain and locate a missing doctor. But what is The Ipcress File and who can Palmer trust in this stylish, hard-boiled tale that catapulted Caine to international stardom.



    Special features of The Ipcress File Special Edition package are:

    # Special packaging which incorporates a stylish slip case

    # New interview with Sir Michael Caine about his career and making The Ipcress File, filmed exclusively for this DVD (21:10mins)

    # New interview with legendary Oscar™-winning production designer Sir Ken Adam (Dr Strangelove, Barry Lyndon, The Spy Who Loved Me) about making The Ipcress File exclusively on this DVD (10:31mins)

    # Sixties documentary Candid Caine, featuring Sir Michael Caine talking frankly about his career in 1969 (44:20mins)

    # Digitally remastered movie in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio

    # Introductory booklet written by journalist Christopher Bray, author of Caine: A Class Act

    # Commentary with director Sidney Furie and film editor Peter Hunt

    # “The Ipcress File – Michael Caine Goes Stella? exclusive comedy sketch with Phil Cornwell as Michael Caine (4:58mins)

    # Separate soundtrack CD with music by composer John Barry OBE

    # A copy of the original Len Deighton novel

    # Stills gallery (13:29mins)

    # A3 dual sided Ipcress File movie poster designs

    # Original US radio commercials

    # Original theatrical trailer



    A standard edition of the DVD will also be available RRP £15.99. It will contain all features as listed above excluding the John Barry Soundtrack CD, the Len Deighton novel, the introductory booklet and the movie posters.

  20. #20
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    I was reading about this on the network site the other day. Looks like a 'must have'



    Phil Cornwell is brilliant as Caine.

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