Tuesday, 14 August 2012



Michael Caine as Harry Palmer is superb in The Ipcress file and Billion dollar brain. The first directed with great panache by Sidney J. Furie and the second directed by the flamboyant Ken Russel. There are two further movies starring Len Deighton's anti-hero which are rather disappointing; Funeral in Berlin and the afterthought that is Bullet to Beijing. Ipcress and Brain both have excellent soundtracks courtesy of John Barry and Richard Rodney Bennet respectively with terrific title sequences. Convoluted tales of Spies and the intelligence service; without the glamour. They look very much of their time but capture that time perfectly as the 'anti swinging sixties'.
Caine's Palmer is everything that James Bond is not. He's real and flawed and is something of a accountant with a far more interesting job description. A Secret Service man who works between the margins, and as such he is both laconic and world weary.
A great creation, Harry Palmer is and was a unique British hero...and all the while wearing glasses! 
BDB Opening titles by Maurice Binder
The Ipcress File Opening titles theme by John Barry

The rather dour Funeral in Berlin titles

the rather dour Bullet to Beijing

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having said that;