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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Can't speak for TP, but Reading is pretty far south to me. Hello, and welcome to AJB.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Do not know why I didn't read this earlier, but wonderfully written, Barbel!  ajb007/cheers

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

ajb007/cheers  Thanks, GM, much appreciated.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Thank you for posting, Barbel.  Getting a complete set on video has been elusive for me; I've had the 1st 2 films on VHS, then Funeral and Brain on DVD, but I'm still waiting for a reasonably priced DVD or Blu-ray of Ipcress.  I did watch the 2 installments from the 90's and yes, they were so bad that I don't remember what happened in them except that Harry Palmer had gotten even more belligerent!  IMO Michael Caine's better "reprisals" were the Fourth Protocol and Harry Brown.

I like Len Deighton's WWII novels though I've only read Ipcress from that series and just one other "modern" novel (XPD).  For me, from book to screen translated well with Michael Caine's fantastic performance, but in itself, I had a hard time visualizing Michael Caine or anyone else in the novel because of how Deighton wrote him, which reminds me of the "cypher" quality that Ian Fleming originally intended for Bond.

Because I live where it doesn't snow, I put Billion Dollar Brain on my annual winter viewing list and I love how I can actually feel Harry Palmer's shock when he first arrives in Helsinki!

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

The availability of the three 1960s Palmer movies on home media has sadly always been inconsistent, owing to Harry Saltzman producing them for different film companies (presumably he went with the best deal available at the time).

I enjoyed Deightons WWII novels, but haven't bothered to read them again and again (apart from "Bomber") as I've done with the spy stories.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Unfortunately I have nothing to contribute but it's very good to see a thread which I am too young for to participate  ajb007/biggrin  ajb007/biggrin  ajb007/biggrin

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Too young... yeah...   ajb007/rolleyes

You've never seen any of these films, Higgins? I'm surprised.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Nope, never seen a Harry Palmer film! Seriously!

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Naturally, I wouldn't dream of linking you to where you could watch one of the films online so here's John Barry's theme from the first one- enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Jw6_Xgszk

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

My first viewing of The Ipcress File was thanks to a free promo dvd given away in the The Mail on Sunday which also included the great Brief Encounter.

https://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NTkxWDU5Mw==/z/DdkAAOSwMNxXVZif/$_35.JPG

Shortly thereafter I purchased the 2-disc DVD as well as the DVDs of Funeral in Berlin and Billion Dollar Brain which I have rewatched many times since then. A great trilogy which I enjoy revisiting often. I also found a dvd of Midnight in St Petersburg a few years ago. I still haven't got my hands on Bullet to Beijing, although to be honest I am not very bothered about watching it.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Barbel wrote:

Naturally, I wouldn't dream of linking you to where you could watch one of the films online so here's John Barry's theme from the first one- enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Jw6_Xgszk

Thanks Barbel  ajb007/martini

In my country, every video of any of the Palmer movies is locked  ajb007/crap
Will get the DVDs occasionally and blame you for the loss just in case that I don't like them  ajb007/biggrin

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

I'd be shocked if anyone here didn't love The Ipcress File. I think it's one of the best spy films of all time. The other two aren't as amazing, but they're still good nonetheless.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

well, you and Barbel like the Dalton movies  ajb007/shifty
I wonder what else you guys have hidden in your basements then  ajb007/rolleyes

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Higgins wrote:

well, you and Barbel like the Dalton movies  ajb007/shifty
I wonder what else you guys have hidden in your basements then  ajb007/rolleyes

Though Harry Palmer lives a mundane life compared to even Dalton's Bond, there's also an element of fantasy in his films too that adds excitement on a level Dalton doesn't experience.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Higgins wrote:
Barbel wrote:

Naturally, I wouldn't dream of linking you to where you could watch one of the films online so here's John Barry's theme from the first one- enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Jw6_Xgszk

Thanks Barbel  ajb007/martini

In my country, every video of any of the Palmer movies is locked  ajb007/crap
Will get the DVDs occasionally and blame you for the loss just in case that I don't like them  ajb007/biggrin


Just ordered the Icpress Files on Blu Ray. It's GBP 6,-- on Amazon UK

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Was reminded of this thread by another one in Off Topic. Did you ever get that film, Higgins? What did you think?

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

for those of you in Toronto:

The IPCRESS File is going to be up on the big screen, Thurs March 26 2020!
at the Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles (which is a mighty civilised neighbourhood)
more info
with an introductory talk on designing the style of 1960s espionage movies.


I've been searching in vain for a copy of this film on dvd for ages now, so you can bet I'll be there
unless somebody brainwashes me first.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

There are other threads on this, surely? Though this one goes back a bit. Oh, it's linked to an event in Toronto. Event in Toronto - sounds like a Palmer movie!

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Matt S wrote:

I'd be shocked if anyone here didn't love The Ipcress File. I think it's one of the best spy films of all time. The other two aren't as amazing, but they're still good nonetheless.

Must admit I think Funeral in Berlin is the best of the three: it’s just got the better plot. Ipcress is certainly more stylish and feels bigger somehow, but it’s also a bit too stylish in places: I really don’t need to see all those ceilings! ajb007/smile And the plot kind of falls apart a bit towards the end- Funeral has a much more satisfying way of tying it all up if you ask me. Ipcress is more of a ‘movie’ though, certainly.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

emtiem wrote:
Matt S wrote:

I'd be shocked if anyone here didn't love The Ipcress File. I think it's one of the best spy films of all time. The other two aren't as amazing, but they're still good nonetheless.

Must admit I think Funeral in Berlin is the best of the three: it’s just got the better plot. Ipcress is certainly more stylish and feels bigger somehow, but it’s also a bit too stylish in places: I really don’t need to see all those ceilings! ajb007/smile And the plot kind of falls apart a bit towards the end- Funeral has a much more satisfying way of tying it all up if you ask me. Ipcress is more of a ‘movie’ though, certainly.

I definitely see where you're coming from on that opinion. Funeral has a fantastic if intricate plot but Ipcress set the standard. Have you read the books?

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Funeral in Berlin has always been my least favourite of the three Palmer films, and it isn't because I don't like it. It just doesn't compare favourably with the other two films in certain aspects:

- Ipcress, and to a slightly lesser extent Brain, have unusual and stylised cinematography which I really enjoy. Funeral looks fairly plain by comparison.
- Ipcress and Brain both have excellent scores, and I'm not mad about the score from Funeral.
- Ipcress and Brain both have very good supporting casts, whereas I find Hubschmid and Renzi a bit forgettable. Of course Funeral does have the excellent Oscar Homolka, but Brain has him as well.

On the other hand, Funeral does benefit from being shot in Berlin, which is probably the most quintessential spy city in the world. And it also has my favourite bit of dialogue in the series:
- Bitte mein herr.
- No, Lowenbrau please.

Last edited by Golrush007 (13th Mar 2020 08:03)

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

clublos wrote:
emtiem wrote:
Matt S wrote:

I'd be shocked if anyone here didn't love The Ipcress File. I think it's one of the best spy films of all time. The other two aren't as amazing, but they're still good nonetheless.

Must admit I think Funeral in Berlin is the best of the three: it’s just got the better plot. Ipcress is certainly more stylish and feels bigger somehow, but it’s also a bit too stylish in places: I really don’t need to see all those ceilings! ajb007/smile And the plot kind of falls apart a bit towards the end- Funeral has a much more satisfying way of tying it all up if you ask me. Ipcress is more of a ‘movie’ though, certainly.

I definitely see where you're coming from on that opinion. Funeral has a fantastic if intricate plot but Ipcress set the standard. Have you read the books?

I tried reading Horse Under Water years ago when I heard they considered it for the fourth film, but I gave up as I found it really boring! ajb007/smile I should certainly try the others though.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Golrush007 wrote:

Funeral in Berlin has always been my least favourite of the three Palmer films, and it isn't because I don't like it. It just doesn't compare favourably with the other two films in certain aspects:

- Ipcress, and to a slightly lesser extent Brain, have unusual and stylised cinematography which I really enjoy. Funeral looks fairly plain by comparison.
- Ipcress and Brain both have excellent scores, and I'm not mad about the score from Funeral.
- Ipcress and Brain both have very good supporting casts, whereas I find Hubschmid and Renzi a bit forgettable. Of course Funeral does have the excellent Oscar Homolka, but Brain has him as well.

On the other hand, Funeral does benefit from being shot in Berlin, which is probably the most quintessential spy city in the world. And it also has my favourite bit of dialogue in the series:
- Bitte mein herr.
- No, Lowenbrau please.

I've always thought that was a superb joke too!

I get what you mean about all of those points (although I do like the score to it, I must admit): it's a bit more like a TV special than a movie when you compare it to Ipcress- Ipcress is certainly the more impressive artistic piece of work, but I just find it a more interesting watch and I love the part that Harry plays in it. Billion Dollar is extremely similar in respects to his part in it as (SPOILERS AHEAD!) he meets an old friend of his who is actually trying to doublecross and use him: Harry's approach is to take a back seat and play a cleverer, quiet game of his own.

I'd certainly say that Billion is the weakest of the three though- it starts well but it just gets flatter and flatter and then it all goes a bit too weird and Ken Russell-ish at the end.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

I agree with Billion Dollar Brain, it's definitely the weakest of the three but it has its moments.

And to the comments about the score for Funeral, I don't much care for it. I bought it on vinyl last summer along with Ipcress but, even though Ipcress is a bit repetitive, I prefer it over Funeral.

The books are great, but different. Deighton's doesn't spoon-feed the reader so you have to work to get through the novels, especially Ipcress, but it's a very satisfying read. The main beats from Funeral were carried over into the film from the novel, but there are some interesting differences.

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Re: The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

Oh don't get me wrong: the Ipcress soundtrack is rightly regarded as a classic! Funeral's isn't anywhere close, but I do like the jaunty German-themed theme tune, and the love theme is rather nice too.

I'd like to see Palmer get a reboot in some way: he's sort of like the spy version of Columbo- all of his enemies underestimate him and think they've got the upper hand and mistake his passiveness for lack of skill or cunning.
There was a Radio 4 adaptation of Ipcress a few years back with Ian Hart in the lead, must give that a listen.