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.
Former British secret agent Harry Palmer now runs a Private Investigation company in Russia. He gets a job to locate and recover a consignment of stolen Plutonium, and with the help of ... See full summary »
Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former SS captain, who allegedly commanded a concentration camp during WWII.
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>
Palmer is the first action hero to wear glasses (Michael Caine is myopic in real life). Caine chose to wear glasses because he expected the film to be the first of a series, similar to the Bond movies. He feared being over-identified with the character of Harry Palmer and so he wore the glasses so that he could remove them for other roles. See more »
When Harry is transferred to Dalby, Alice takes the cigarette from her mouth to give Ross instructions; there is an immediate cut to a closeup in which the cigarette is still dangling from her mouth. See more »
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.
34 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?