6.1/10
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74 user 38 critic

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

Some fans reckon the style of this movie had moved too much in the direction of James Bond. This would be a stark contrast to the more gritty realism of The Ipcress File (1965). See more »

Goofs

When Palmer and Newbigen are removed from the Helskini-Moscow train, Anya removes a pistol from her pocket, and fires nine rounds, killing Midwinter's two stooges. The gun she pulled was a Smith and Wesson "Bodyguard" which holds just five shots. See more »

Quotes

Harry Palmer: You mean you really are going to try to start a revolution?
General Midwinter: When the Hungarian people rose up in 1956 and they called to the world for help, to our everlasting shame, we failed them. I tell you, boy, we will not make that mistake again. When the people of Latvia rise up and call for help - and they will - my organization with all its resources will be right there. And once we have shown the way, the United States government and all the governments of the Free World will follow. I know!
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

31 seconds of the original movie are missing on the MGM DVD release of 2004. The licensing rights of the Beatles song "A Hard Day's Night", which was heard in the scene where Harry meets Basil, were too expensive so they cut the whole scene. See more »

Connections

Featured in Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies (2014) 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

 
Worst of the trilogy -- but entertaining enough for a wet Sunday.
4 June 2007 | by Pedro_HSee all my reviews

A mad Texas general wants to start to overthrow parts of the satellite Eastern Block using his own private army and super computer. Reluctant secret agent - and former crooked army sergeant - Harry Palmer is given the job of trying to stop him before it is too late.

Last of the three HP films made for the cinema.

What a silly idea this film is based on. For a start the plot is far too James Bond for a series whose raison d'etre is to be anti James Bond and besides how can a basic Honeywell Computer (with punch cards) be worth a billion dollars? The thing had about as much power as a Sinclair Spectrum!

Star Caine looks bored to death with all this nonsense and chases around Finland looking like he would rather have been anywhere else but here - and I don't think it is all skilled acting. Director Ken Russell has his supporters and fans, although every passing years his supporters seemed less-and-less inclined to put their hands in their pocket for his product. He became a clapped out old duffer very early in life.

Danger, tension and silly are not easy bedfellows and even solid pros like Malden, Begley and Caine cannot breath much life in to this race-and-chase nonsense. Although Ed Begley chews up the set as a red-baiting Texan general gone mad in a bunker. Part Hitler, part Sterling Hayden in Doctor Strangelove.

Russian general Colonel Stock (Oskar Homolka) turns up again to reprise his role from Funeral in Berlin, even though it makes no sense to the plot - why would the enemy (in the cold war) help a British agent? Last thing on earth he would do unless he had gone stark raving mad or liked Gulag food.

Despite the series coming back much later as a made-for-TV double (made back-to-back) the show had clearly had its day. I could have lived without seeing this and you could too.


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