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Billion Dollar Brain (1967)

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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 3,038 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 30 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gen. Midwinter
Oskar Homolka ...
Col. Stok (as Oscar Homolka)
...
Anya (as Francoise Dorleac)
...
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
Edit

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

Genres:

Comedy | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

10 Oku-doru no zunô  »

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 'double-diamond' logo for Midwinter's army was clearly derived from the Nazi swastika. If you think of the swastika as being two 'S's crossed in the centre, then the Midwinter logo is created by reversing one 'S' and distorting the shapes slightly to leave a small gap at the ends. See more »

Goofs

Palmer is seen signing the Official Secrets Act in the car as he's just been re-assigned, after retirement. Civil Servants in fact, sign this just the once on first acceptance and are bound for life. They do not re-sign for specific tasks or missions. See more »

Quotes

Leo Newbigen: [Nude in the sauna with Anya] Harry hey, what do you think, huh? Isn't she something?
Harry Palmer: Yeah, she's great. How's the wife and kids, Leo?
See more »

Connections

Follows The Ipcress File (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Thunderbird
(uncredited)
Written by Houston and Ernie Hunter
Blue Star Record Co
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not great, but with some points of interest.
2 November 2003 | by (Rugby,UK.) – See all my reviews

When ex-agent Harry Palmer recieves a mysterious request to deliver a flask to Finland in return for a fee, Col. Ross forcibly re-employs him with British Intelligence. Palmer is ordered to proceed to Finland with the flask (which contains deadly nerve gas), in an attempt to infiltrate the organisation of Texan oil billionaire Gen. Midwinter, who is believed to be behind an anti-Soviet plot of some kind.

The third and final of the Harry Palmer films (if you don't count the two woeful straight to cable efforts of the mid-nineties) is generally considered to be the weakest. The strength of both 'The Ipcress File' and 'Funeral In Berlin' was that they were the complete antithesis of the Bond films, portraying the spying game as mundane, shadowy and unglamorous. However, with 'Billion Dollar Brain' maverick director Ken Russell presents the audience with an outlandish plot and large futuristic sets, which seem at odds with the style of its predecessors. The result is that the film appears to be aping Bond, and as such the character of Palmer is less effective.

Despite these shortcomings there are pleasures to be had. Michael Caine once again displays wit and charm as Palmer, Guy Doleman is his usual droll self as Ross and Oskar Homolka makes a very welcome return as Col. Stok. Ed Begley gives his all as the lunatic Midwinter, Karl Malden provides reliable support as an old aquaintence of Palmer, and the tragic Francois Dorleac lends an exotic mystery to her character. The snowbound Finnish locations are beautifully filmed and the production design by Bond man Syd Cain is very stylish.

Ultimately the film is let down by rather wild and undisciplined direction and a cartoonish finale. It's a shame that 'Billion Dollar Brain' strayed so far from the template of the previous films, but its by no means all bad, and can be reasonably entertaining if you're in the right mood.


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