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IPCRESS FILE

Director: SIDNEY J. FURIE

U.K.| 1965. COLOUR. ANAMORPHIC. 109 MIN.


This classic British spy movie of the 1960s is re-released as a tribute to star Michael Caine on his 70th birthday.
Len Deighton’s working-class spy, the antithesis of the snobby toff James Bond, was the original Man with No Name until producer Harry Saltzman decided to call him Harry Palmer. The then little-known Michael Caine was ideal casting for the role: chippy, mouthy, bespectacled—everything Bond was not, except perhaps between the sheets. The plot, complex but ingeniously worked out, involves KGB moles in the British secret service, a missing scientist, mysterious bits of recording tape and a chilling sequence in which Palmer is abducted by the bad guys and brainwashed in a bizarre torture chamber. The trick in any such thriller is to keep things moving without totally baffling the audience, and the combination of Sidney J. Furie’s confident direction and the screenplay by Bill Canaway and James Doran does this very well. Good performances throughout, plus clever cinematography by Otto Heller and an excellent twangy score by John Barry. Caine played Harry Palmer in three more films but this is the best of them.

(New 35mm print.)

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