7.3/10
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102 user 46 critic

The Ipcress File (1965)

Not Rated | | Thriller | 2 August 1965 (USA)
In London, a counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Director:

Sidney J. Furie

Writers:

W.H. Canaway (screenplay) (as Bill Canaway), James Doran (screenplay)
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Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Harry Palmer
Nigel Green ... Major Dalby
Guy Doleman ... Colonel H.L. Ross
Sue Lloyd ... Jean Courtney
Gordon Jackson ... Jock Carswell
Aubrey Richards Aubrey Richards ... Dr. Radcliffe
Frank Gatliff Frank Gatliff ... Bluejay
Thomas Baptiste ... Barney - American Agent
Oliver MacGreevy Oliver MacGreevy ... Housemartin (as Oliver Macgreevy)
Freda Bamford ... Alice
Pauline Winter Pauline Winter ... Charlady
Anthony Blackshaw ... Edwards
Barry Raymond Barry Raymond ... Gray
David Glover David Glover ... Chilcott-Oakes
Stanley Meadows ... Inspector Pat Keightley
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Storyline

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 <david.jenkins@smallworld.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The spy story of the century. See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Albanian

Release Date:

2 August 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ipcress See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When scratching the wall to keep a tally of how long he has been incarcerated, Palmer does six vertical and and one horizontal lines, indicating the passage of a week. The more common pattern is four vertical and one horizontal lines, to make it easier to count by fives. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Major Dalby: [of Palmer's dossier] It isn't usual to read a B107 to its subject, Palmer; but I'm gonna put you straight. "Insubordinate. Insolent. A trickster. Perhaps with criminal tendencies."
Palmer: Yes, that's a pretty fair appraisal - sir.
Major Dalby: Good. That last quality might be useful. But if I have any trouble with you, Palmer, I shall *bite* you, Palmer, and I shall bite you so hard you'll go right back to where Ross found you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nattmara (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

A Man Alone
Composed, Arranged and Conducted by John Barry
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User Reviews

Do a good bit of a lunch at your club do they?
7 April 2003 | by hugh1971See all my reviews

The best thing about this film is the fascinating period atmosphere. When this film was made, 1965, Britain, and British filmmaking, was exactly on the cusp between the old, class ridden, Imperial culture of films like 'Zulu', and the gritty, modern, realist school that began with films like 'Get Carter'.

In '65 Britain had a Labour government after a long period of Conservative rule, and sweeping changes were about to happen which would utterly change the face of British life. 'Ipcress' bridges the gap between these two eras.

On the one hand we have the upper-middle class army officers lunching at their clubs and strolling along in bowler hats with tightly furled umbrellas, and at the other extreme we have the way-out psychedelia of the interrogation chamber scene, and the grimy world of offices, warehouses, and men jumping out of vans that defined the TV and films of the 70s such as 'The Sweeney'.

In the middle somewhere is Harry Palmer, who rather than being working class, is classless. He has no discernable accent, dresses plainly, likes cooking and classical music and lives in nondescript surroundings. It is only his military rank, that of sergeant, that enables us to make any kind of judgement on his social status.

I think this is part of the enduring appeal of the film. Although the Dalbys of this world are long gone, Palmer would not be out of place in 2003, in fact the Palmers of this world are now the norm in many positions of British authority.

Overall a fascinating period piece but one which has worn well.


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