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Often touted as the "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" to the James Bond franchise's "Mickey Mouse," the Harry Palmer movies may not have gotten anywhere near as much of the exposure that the 007 adventures may have gotten, but that's not to say this first outing isn't worth a look. Definitely pulling from the more John-Le-Carre-esque sides of espionage fiction, "The Ipcress File" could be viewed by some as pedestrian or lackluster in comparison to other spy outings. And I get it. This can admittedly be a bit of a slow burn at times, but really only in its first half. It's quiet, yet deliberate in its pacing and build-up, ultimately leading to a second half that really gives you something outside the box, kind of goofy, but undeniably creative and cool. Sprinkle in some textbook charm from Michael Caine here and there and you're given a solid, if slight entry in the pantheon of 1960's spy films.
Top of the heap of the anti-Bond spy thriller films, where the action never leaves London, and barely qualifies as "action." Caine's Harry Palmer is described as being somewhat insubordinate, but it's just a bit of cheek now and then. He gets put on an assignment involving scientist going missing or daft, and eventually becomes a subject of experimentation himself. No great thrills here, just a classy subdued yarn that Caine carries all the way by underplaying things.
Brilliant brilliant brilliant.
Stylish with a distinctly film-noir influence, this is a cleverly written and intriguing thriller that, despite having a few plot points that could have done with a bit more of an explanation, is still mightily entertaining. Most of the characters are thinly written with little to do, but Michael Caine's cool performance as the womanising, somewhat cheeky and insubordinate spy, Harry Palmer, will serve to distract you from that fact. Yes, it bears a lot of similarities to the Bond series, but 'The Ipcress File' feels less Hollywood-polished, a little more realistic and much more local with most of the film set in London.
I suppose that's what we call a spy - thriller movie..
Whilst I can't fault this movies intention, artsy direction and Michael Caine's portrayal of the central character, the down to earth grim realism approach and plodding pace makes the whole experience feel rather flat.
John Barry's score works perfectly but it's lack of variety makes it repetitive after a while.
The final act is perhaps the most fun, even if things get slightly silly plot-wise.
It's not a movie I'll be returning to anytime soon but I'm still giving it a decent rating because for the right audience it's certainly a worthy watch.
Classic spy movie with a great bit of suspense and a star making role from Caine. Very much the anti-bond and it works quite well. A bit dated but still tremendous.
The Ipcress File is an excellent film. It is about a counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists. Michael Caine and Nigel Green give fantastic performances. The screenplay is well written. Sidney J. Furie did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the mystery. The Ipcress File is a must see.
Michael Caine is a cool yet average bloke of a spy in this awesome anti-Bond movie by folks who brought you Bond. Some of the coolest cinematography I've ever seen.
A bit of fun, but it didn't blow me away. The third act is a little silly. I couldn't help but laugh at Caine's absurd eye makeup.