Friday, April 22, 2011

The Ipcress File

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.


  1. The next film, Funeral in Berlin, is very good, though not as good as Ipcress. The third film, The Billion Dollar Brain, is completely terrible.

  2. I've ordered both films on amazon. Even if Billion Dollar Brain is not good, it should hopefully be interesting to watch.

  3. I thought so too, until I saw it. ;) But let us know what you think when you've seen it.

  4. oula... j'aimerais bien le voir celui-ci... ça donne envie !

  5. As I recall, Mission Impossible II starts with a scientist getting kidnapped as well. Good start? Maybe. Good film? Hell no.

    I really like your reviews!

    Hope all is well in La France. Too bad you weren't at MoCCA. Next year in Angouleme perhaps..


  6. Your Mutineer, got the dvd, watched the first 40 minutes, and you're right!

    Palle, you were in MoCCA this year? Would have liked to be there. Yes, should probably be in Angouleme next year.

  7. I was at MoCCA, yeah. A few posts on my blog about it. My first time there, and I was blown away. It's like I've been staring into the wal for years, and then suddenly turn around - Hey, look! A comics industry! Other artists doing the same kind of things I like! How come I didn't see this before?

    I've only been to Angouleme once, but now my book is coming out in the US, I'll definetely be going next time, to show off, obviously..

  8. Yes, MoCCA is a great convention. Plus it's in New York!