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 »
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.
Colonel Stok, a Soviet intelligence officer responsible for security at the Berlin Wall, appears to want to defect but the evidence is contradictory. Stok wants the British to handle his defection and asks for one of their agents, Harry Palmer, to smuggle him out of East Germany. Written by
Dave Jenkins <email@example.com>
Akim Tamiroff was originally cast as Colonel Stok, but fell ill and was replaced by Oscar Homolka. See more »
During the funeral there is a cut to the taxi-driver who now appears to be driving from the right hand seat of a car previously established as left hand drive. This shows the film was reversed during processing so as to match the direction of flow of surrounding shots. See more »
[On his proposed defection]
And for you it is a propaganda victory - my name is worth a headline.
We get plenty of Russians. It's a pity you're not Chinese.
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This is my favourite of the three Harry Palmer films (I don't count the 90s remake.) This film is accurately done and goes at a sensible pace however, those people looking for computerised special effects and exploding cars are watching the wrong film.
The plot is really good and makes absolute sense if you follow it closely. There is also the wonderful dry wit between Palmer and his commanding officer.
Palmer: I didn't pick her up; she picked me up.
Ross: Well you'd have to say that to get it on expenses.
Also, you should watch this in widescreen there are some subtle details, which are left out at the edge of the screen. Including the subtle way in which Sam first picks up Harry at the hotel. However, unlike most "Spy" films we are not subjected to the obligatory soft porn sequence.
Listen carefully for the references to Suvorov a Russian general, part of the priceless banter between Palmer and the Russian who wants to defect.
They don't make films like this anymore simply because they don't write books like this anymore. This was Len Deighton and it is first class.
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