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Billion Dollar Brain (1967)

6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 2,645 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 23 critic

A former British spy stumbles into in a plot to overthrow Communism with the help of a supercomputer. But who is working for whom?

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Title: Billion Dollar Brain (1967)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gen. Midwinter
Oskar Homolka ...
Col. Stok (as Oscar Homolka)
...
Anya (as Francoise Dorleac)
Guy Doleman ...
Col. Ross
Vladek Sheybal ...
Dr. Eiwort
Milo Sperber ...
Basil
Janos Kurutz ...
Latvian Gangster
Alexei Jawdokimov ...
Latvian Gangster
Paul Tamarin ...
Latvian Gangster
Iza Teller ...
Latvian Gangster
Mark Elwes ...
Birkenshaw
Stanley Caine ...
G.P.O. Special Delivery Boy
Gregg Palmer ...
1st Dutch Businessman
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Storyline

Harry Palmer has left the British Secret Service and become a private detective. One of his first assignments is to deliver an apparently innocent thermos flask to an old friend in Helsinki, Palmer is suspicious of the flask contents and begins to doubt the motives of his friend and those of his boss a Texan billionaire. Written by Dave Jenkins <david.jenkins@smallworld.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Pow . . . Power . . . Brainpower


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Billion Dollar Brain  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(as De Luxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie contains several references to the work of director Sergei M. Eisenstein. Most notably the ice battle scene from Alexander Nevsky (1938), the red flag (seen flying over Riga, Eisenstein's birthplace) and the wounded nurse (the frozen Kaarna) from Battleship Potemkin (1925). See more »

Goofs

After being freed from detainment, Harry Palmer attends the end of a symphony concert, which is supposed to feature Dmitri Shostakovich's "Leningrad" Symphony, written in 1941 during the siege of Leningrad by German troops. What we hear, however, is the end of Shostakovich's 11th Symphony "The Year 1905". Yet, music from the "Leningrad" symphony is featured later on during Midwinter's speech to his soldiers in Finland and during the final battle on the ice. See more »

Quotes

Col.Stok: When I was a young man we had a song: "Where tears fall, a rose will grow". Do you know that song?
Harry Palmer: No.
Col.Stok: If that was true, Latvia would be a land full of roses. You've no idea what things happened here during the war. Latvia had its share of war criminals, that worked with the Nazis, even joined the SS and massacred thousands of their own countrymen.
[Raises glass]
Col.Stok: Down the hatch! We've dossiers on hundreds of such Latvians. You would imagine that people guilty of such terror would remain quiet. ...
See more »

Connections

Followed by Spy Story (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

A Hard Day's Night
(uncredited)
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by The Beatles
Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Imaginative and unfairly maligned sixties classic
21 December 2000 | by See all my reviews

I'm baffled by the dislike afforded this enjoyable sixties romp. The charge that it is less realistic than the previous films is groundless because the others weren't the real world either. The first featured some daft business with a psychedelic torture chamber and the second some far fetched romps around the Berlin wall. Of course, the events in 'Brain' are no less credible. The kremlin wouldn't allow a top Colonel to be chums with a British spy, let alone allow him to wander around Latvia taking photographs. The real purpose is to open the plot and make it more colourful, and also the opportunity to satirise entrenched positions and the madness of humanity. Recent events in Russia, especially under Yeltsin, prove that truth is definitely stranger than fiction. The score is terrific and the breath-neck direction may be enough to make it accessible to young, contemporary film fans.

The cast is superb. Guy Doleman is brilliant again as the supercilious Colonel Ross. The scene where he spills the cereals and refuses to move his feet while Palmer sweeps them up is priceless. The Russian spy Anya gives a hilarious speech of ennui about her father on the boat with Palmer and Oskar Homolka as Colonel Stock gives a short, classic lament on the ice flow written by John McGrath who does a great job here, especially in his cutting swipes at blinkered thinking. "The air in Texas is pure. That's why I haven't set foot outside of Texas in twenty five years" yells the batty General Midwinter. But the most chilling and truthful exchange occurs between Palmer and amoral spy Leo Newbigen. "When he gets between five miles of the Latvian border, every alarm in the world is gonna blow and four minutes later no one is going to be around." - "You want your money, don't you?"

Ken Russell began his career doing documentaries about classical composers and his experience pays off here in his use of sound with image. Anyone bored with current fair and hasn't seen this trilogy could do worse in giving them a go. This one was the best, in my opinion.


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