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

A reboot would be interesting... not sure if it should be period or current. But definitely interesting.

I've never heard of the BBC Radio 4 adaptation, I'll have to search that out. Thanks!


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

caractacus potts wrote:

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

This screening has been cancelled (hopefully postponed) because of coronavirus.
Too bad, I was looking forward to finally seeing The IPCRESS File, more than Bond25.
But I was already planning not to go, so I'm not surprised they decided to shut the theatre.


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

I finally got the chance to watch the IPCRESS file!
Still I'd rather have seen it on the bigscreen with a lecture beforehand. damn you coronavirus!!!

This is an excellent adaptation capturing the spirit of the book and most of the plot.
The cluttered, asymmetric, almost random compositions capture both the effect of Raymond Hawkey's cover artwork and Deighton's writing style.
Ken Adam is prominently credited for Production Design work on the film, yet I see none of the sparse futuristic set design I associate with him. Was he responsible for the grey shabby locations and the sense of clutter? Its the brainwashing scenes that look most like typical Adam (sound effects courtesy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop).

and I think its really cool Saltzman himself set out to make a spy film as opposite to Bond as could be imagined. Basically cornering both ends of the spyfilm market.

The plot drops the two foreign digressions and sort of adapts the main plotpoints of those scenes to London. I think they make even less sense relocated.
Also the girlfriend is introduced in a different way, already working for Dalby when Palmer first arrives, and she is apparently a mole within the department. Leading to the excellent dialog as they seduce each other: "I'm working for Dalby, you're working for Ross." "No you're working for Ross, I'm working for Dalby."

A couple plotpoints I still don't understand:

SpoilerWhy did Dalby negotiate the return of the last scientist? By doing so, it was revealed the scientist had been brainwashed, which would have remained unknown otherwise.


SpoilerWho had Palmer captured on the train? Dalby tells him to disappear, I don't think Palmer tells him he'll be taking the train. Palmer tells his girlfriend, she tells Ross. So Ross knows where he is but Dalby doesn't

Last edited by caractacus potts (23rd Jun 2020 15:44)


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

I agree- The IPCRESS File is a stylish and gritty alternative thriller that exists happily alongside Bond without outright parodying it, like so many other 60s spy capers do.

I also profess some enjoyment of the 1971 Ken Russell entry Billion Dollar Brain, the dictionary definition of the word 'weird'. Worth a watch if you want to see what a Bond film laden with odd direction, portentous symbolism and slow, almost dreamy action might be like...

Though some would say that particular Bond film already exists and is called SPECTRE  ajb007/lol