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Billion Dollar Brain (1967)

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
...
Col. Stok (as Oscar Homolka)
...
Anya (as Francoise Dorleac)
...
Col. Ross
...
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 ...
First 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

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Pow . . . Power . . . Brainpower

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

20 December 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Con el mundo a sus pies  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(as De Luxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The three main actors have all won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor, Michael Caine for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and The Cider House Rules (1999), Karl Malden for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and Eg Begley for Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). (The latter two being in adaptations of Tennessee Williams' plays.) In addition, Michael Caine was nominated four more times for Best Leading Actor and Karl Malden once more for Best Supporting Actor (for On the Waterfront (1954)). Also, Oscar Homolka earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for I Remember Mama (1948). In total, there are four wins and eight nominations among the cast. See more »

Goofs

Train wagon in Russia was marked VR which is Finnish Railways acronym meaning Valtion Rautatiet. See more »

Quotes

Harry Palmer: [as they're all sitting in a steamy Finnish sauna] Leo, you look great... better than the last time I saw you.
Leo Newbigen: Yeah, In Prague. I haven't forgotten.
Leo Newbigen: [to Anya] That guy there saved my life. Fished me out of the Moldau.
Harry Palmer: I had to. He had the car... keys in his pocket.
Anya: Well, we must have a celebration. What do you think? Champagne? Brandy? Whisky? Vodka? What do you like?
Harry Palmer: I wouldn't mind a cup of tea...
Anya: [Bursts out laughing] How beautiful! It's so beautiful, for the Englishman to have his tea!
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Connections

Followed by Spy Story (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Billion Dollar Brain (Main Theme)
Composed and Arranged by Richard Rodney Bennett
Orchestra conducted by Marcus Dods
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cold Comfort in The Frozen Wastes of Latvia
24 December 2000 | by (Hamilton, Scotland) – See all my reviews

The BBC have been showing this film for years and recently in the widescreen format. Any film that gets the widescreen treatment at the moment is usually one held in high regard and BDB is certainly worthy.

The third in the Harry Palmer trio of spy movies, BDB is a "tour do force" of imagery, sound and acting talent. Directed by Ken Russell, this is one of the few examples of art film combined with commercial film production. The cinematography is superb with atmospheric footage shot in Finland (expensive), stunning studio sets including the computer room belong to megalomaniac General Midwinter and an end sequence which is both very graphic and impressive.

This is a fast moving film and is very Kaleidoscopic. I am sure this is a black comedy with all the leading players providing moments of hilarity, none more so than Karl Malden as Leo Newbiggin, as he attempts to con Harry Palmer and his employer out of millions. Michael Caine is equally funny with his quips and femme fatal Francois Dorleac is both stunningly gorgeous and amusingly funny as the temptress with a killer touch. To my complete and utter shock, I learned on this database that Francois Dorleac sadly died in a car crash at Nice in France the same year the film was released in 1967. She was only 25.

This is a film which I never tire of watching due to all of the above and is one of Michael Caine's best in an illustrious career. Watch out for Donald Sutherland playing a bit part as a scientist in the computer room. Blink and you will miss him. 10/10


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