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The Ipcress File (1965)

Approved | | Thriller | 2 August 1965 (USA)
In London, a counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Bill Canaway), (screenplay)
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Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Jock Carswell
Aubrey Richards ...
Dr. Radcliffe
Frank Gatliff ...
Bluejay
Thomas Baptiste ...
Barney - American Agent
Oliver MacGreevy ...
Housemartin (as Oliver Macgreevy)
Freda Bamford ...
Alice
Pauline Winter ...
Charlady
Anthony Blackshaw ...
Edwards
Barry Raymond ...
Gray
David Glover ...
Chilcott-Oakes
Stanley Meadows ...
Inspector Pat Keightley
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Storyline

A number of leading Western scientists have been kidnapped only to reappear a fews days later. Unfortunately, each scientist has been brainwashed and is now completely useless. The British send their agent, Harry Palmer, to investigate. Palmer is surprised to be selected for such a mission (considering his past) and believes he has been chosen because he is expendable. Written by Dave Jenkins <david.jenkins@smallworld.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The spy story of the century.

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Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 August 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ipcress  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Harry Saltzman hated director Sidney J. Furie and his oddball style and went so far as to bar him from the editing room. According to Furie, Saltzman also excluded him from the film's party at Cannes and even stole his best picture British Academy Award. See more »

Goofs

When Harry Palmer returns to his apartment to find the dead CIA agent sprawled on his living room floor, the dead man's mouth is open. When the camera cuts from Palmer back to the dead man, the dead man's mouth is now closed. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Ross: [after Palmer has shot Dalby] I was counting on you being an insubordinate bastard, Palmer.
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Connections

Referenced in Bullet to Beijing (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

A Man Alone
Composed, Arranged and Conducted by John Barry
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User Reviews

Do a good bit of a lunch at your club do they?
7 April 2003 | by (London) – See all my reviews

The best thing about this film is the fascinating period atmosphere. When this film was made, 1965, Britain, and British filmmaking, was exactly on the cusp between the old, class ridden, Imperial culture of films like 'Zulu', and the gritty, modern, realist school that began with films like 'Get Carter'.

In '65 Britain had a Labour government after a long period of Conservative rule, and sweeping changes were about to happen which would utterly change the face of British life. 'Ipcress' bridges the gap between these two eras.

On the one hand we have the upper-middle class army officers lunching at their clubs and strolling along in bowler hats with tightly furled umbrellas, and at the other extreme we have the way-out psychedelia of the interrogation chamber scene, and the grimy world of offices, warehouses, and men jumping out of vans that defined the TV and films of the 70s such as 'The Sweeney'.

In the middle somewhere is Harry Palmer, who rather than being working class, is classless. He has no discernable accent, dresses plainly, likes cooking and classical music and lives in nondescript surroundings. It is only his military rank, that of sergeant, that enables us to make any kind of judgement on his social status.

I think this is part of the enduring appeal of the film. Although the Dalbys of this world are long gone, Palmer would not be out of place in 2003, in fact the Palmers of this world are now the norm in many positions of British authority.

Overall a fascinating period piece but one which has worn well.


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