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Cat burglar Henry Clarke and his accomplices the Moreaus attempt to steal diamonds from the château of millionaire Salinas. However, Henry's partners in crime aren't the most emotionally stable people.
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John Preston is a British agent with the task of preventing the Russians detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the UK. The Russians are hoping this will shatter the 'special relationship' between the two countries.
A British agent's son is kidnapped and held for a ransom of diamonds. The agent finds out that he can't even count on the people he thought were on his side to help him, so he decides to track down the kidnappers himself.
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 <email@example.com>
Harry's glasses frames were dark brown, contrary to the widely held view that they were black. They were a style called "Teviot 74" manufactured by a company called UK Optical. They were already popular at the time for being a stylish and inexpensive alternative to the standard models that were issued for free by the National Health Service in Britain. They became even more popular after the success of this film. Len Deighton wore the same frames at this time. Those frames have been described by some as the first affordable "designer" frames available in the UK. See more »
When Palmer leaves Courtney's flat to catch a train to Paris, he says "See you", but his mouth clearly forms the word "Bye". See more »
It looks as if all this has been laid on for nothing. That's not good enough.
According to Central Clearing House, this operation was timed to start at 2.25. You started at 2.35. *That*'s not good enough!
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This film is, in a word, fantastic. Caine plays a British secret service agent who is assigned to find out who is brainwashing the country's top scientists. This is an interesting slant on the usual cold war thriller plots and is much more believable than James Bond films, although it lacks the latter's explosive action. this is the antithesis of Bond as Caine lives on a meagre wage, has a bedsitting flat and does his own shopping! He also wears glasses and in one scene, chats up his female work colleague whilst cooking. The plot is also a lot more grown-up than its Bond counterpart - there are no cat stroking madmen intent on world domination. What makes the film is the idiosyncratic camera angles and the grainy film quality which adds to the oppressive cold war drama. The brainwashing scene is quite amusing and cliched by todays standards with psychodelic images, trippy music and "You-are-getting-sleepy..." type-quotes. Guy Doleman and Nigel Green head up a brilliant supporting cast which include a few familiar British faces. It is interesting to note that the film was produced by the same people who bring Bond to the screen and even the excellent soundtrack is courtesy of John Barry.
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