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The Ipcress File
- favourite film

The Ipcress File was the first of a series of films based on Len Deighton thrillers, with Michael Caine as Harry Palmer, the anti-James Bond. Odd then the film was made by several of the key figures in the early Bond movies. These included possibly our greatest film music composer John Barry, who true to the grittier more low-key nature of the piece eschewed trademark big brass and strings for a cooler and sparser orchestration. The more you revisit Michael Caine s movies the more you realise his frequent genius as a film actor: as Palmer he is spiky, humorous, menacing and irreverent, sometimes all together and achieved with just a quick facial expression there may well be no finer actor in close-up. Palmer is a cockney wide-boy NCO, insubordinate and unconventional, a rather more believable character than Bond, and for a brief period he made rectangular glasses cool. A very sixties plot involving brain-washing and multi-level betrayal provides Caine, Nigel Green and Guy Doleman with the chance for striking dramatic sparks off one another, framed in London offices and streets. But plot is secondary to atmosphere here, and The Ipcress file has got that and to spare.

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