A slightly more realistic James Bond, Michael Caine is Harry Palmer, ladies' man, gourmet cook, classical music lover and arrogant and insolent secret agent. Plus he wears glasses! It's one of those films that starts with a scientist being kidnapped (always a good start!), and it's up to Caine to get him back. Directed by Sidney J. Furie.
It's a great film that has not dated. Visually, the film is very inventive. The camera is often put in the lower, crooked angles that Orson Welles liked to use in Citizen Kane, looking up at the characters, the wide screen images are carefully composed. Particularly, there's a fight scene on a set of stairs, seen through a red phonebooth that is amazing. The producer of the film, Harry Saltzman, really should have kneeled down and kissed the feet of the director. But did he? No, he hated the look of the film and barred the director from the editing room. There were two sequels made the two next years, that I'd like to see, but I doubt they will be quite as good as this film.