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Billion Dollar Brain (1967)

Not Rated | | Crime, Thriller | 14 January 1968 (UK)
A former British spy stumbles onto a plot to overthrow Communism with the help of a supercomputer. But who is working for whom?

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

Len Deighton (novel), John McGrath (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Harry Palmer
Karl Malden ... Leo Newbigen
Ed Begley ... Gen. Midwinter
Oskar Homolka ... Col. Stok (as Oscar Homolka)
Françoise Dorléac ... Anya (as Francoise Dorleac)
Guy Doleman ... Col. Ross
Vladek Sheybal ... Dr. Eiwort
Milo Sperber Milo Sperber ... Basil
Janos Kurutz Janos Kurutz ... Latvian Gangster
Alexei Jawdokimov Alexei Jawdokimov ... Latvian Gangster
Paul Tamarin Paul Tamarin ... Latvian Gangster
Izabella Telezynska Izabella Telezynska ... Latvian Gangster (as Iza Teller)
Mark Elwes Mark Elwes ... Birkenshaw
Stanley Caine ... G.P.O. Special Delivery Boy
Gregg Palmer 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

Taglines:

Pow . . . Power . . . Brainpower

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian | Finnish

Release Date:

14 January 1968 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Con el mundo a sus pies See more »

Filming Locations:

Senaatintori, Helsinki, Finland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (as De Luxe)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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

General Midwinter: Did you know for example, that the air in the East Coast of America is polluted by the Reds? Oh, you might look at me, but boy, I tell you and I know that the air in Texas is the only truly wholesome air in this world. That is why I have not been out of Texas in twenty five years. I don't like the air in other places.
Harry Palmer: It's amazing how we all survive, really.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, crew names are written in all uppercase letters, with the exception of Production Manager Eva Monley whose name is written "eva monley". See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema release was cut to get an "A" rating to shorten the struggle between Harry and Anya. The 1985 Warner video featured the same print though the BBFC cuts were restored in the re-edited 2004 DVD. See more »

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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Third outing in Harry Palmer series plenty of suspense, mystery and action
13 May 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is the third of the Harry Palmer spy stories which made Caine a big name star as sympathetic crook turned int secret agent. Nowadays Harry forced into retirement works as private eye . Henry encounters himself privately recruited by the British Secret Agency and he's again hired by MI6 and his colonel Ross(Guy Doleman, usual in the trilogy). He must to deliver a thermos flask containing an estrange eggs to American(Karl Malden) resident in Finland. Harry gets a little help from a gorgeous woman(Francois Dorleac sister to Catherine Deneuve and deceased by car crash) but treachery is all around and he starts to doubt of his partners. Meanwhile a millionaire Texan(an overacting and blustering Ed Begley) prepares a military uprising in Estonia with the help of a billion dollar computer.His objective is the overthrowing communism by means a coup de'Etat in Riga. Meanwhile the Russian intelligence officer( a wickedly comic Oskar Homolka who appeared in 'Funeral in Berlin' as defector) in charge of Russian espionage tries detain it.

Michael Caine as deadpan, flabby anti-hero is phenomenal , he makes a delightful creation as the cockney secret agent, an immensely agreeable role. Packs solid scenes such as the final spectacular icebound highlights, among others . Appears uncredited Donald Sutherland as a scientist at computer. This exciting picture displays a James Bond style , in fact the producer is Harry Saltzman in charge of OO7 production. Emotive musical score including sensible leitmotif by Richard Rodney Barrett. Colorful cinematography reflecting splendidly the freeze outdoors by Billy Williams. The motion picture is well directed by Ken Rusell,who adds his peculiar style in some frames. The best adaptation based upon the bestseller by Len Deighton is ¨Ipcress file(65)¨ by Sidney J Furie, it's followed by ¨Funeral in Berlin¨ (66) by Guy Hamilton and continues the series with inferior renditions for TV, titled ¨Bullet to Beijing(95)¨ and ¨Midnight in Saint Petesburg(97)¨ by George Mihalka.


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