Michael Caine is British spy Harry Palmer, who is more Columbo than Bond with his thick glasses, cheap raincoat, and un-suave affect. But what Palmer lacks in gadgets and fancy cars, he makes up for in sheer brainpower. Director Guy Hamilton’s superb thriller (based on Len Deighton’s novel, and sequel to The Ipcress File) is a complex and unsentimental slice of Cold War intrigue. —Seattle International Film Festival
Born and raised in France, British director Guy Harrison learned his craft as an assistant director apprenticing with the likes of Julien Duvivier (“Anna Karenina” 1948), Carol Reed (“The Fallen Idol” 1948, “Outcast of the Islands” 1951), Orson Welles (“The Third Man” 1949) and John Huston (“The African Queen” 1951). A competent craftsman, he showed early promise with “Manuela/The The Stowaway Girl” (1957) and “A Touch of Larceny” (1961), both of which he co-scripted. But time revealed him to be at his best with spy movies such as the underrated “Funeral in Berlin” (1966) and his four James Bond pictures. Hamilton helmed the superb “Goldfinger” (1964) and reteamed with Sean Connery’s Bond for “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971). In 1973 and 1974, he guided Roger Moore through his paces in Moore’s first attempts at playing 007 in “Live and Let Die” and “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Hamilton’s work in the series demonstrated clearly the director’s economy and cynical wit. Following his Bond… read more
It lacks the nightmare elements of the first (the menacing bald villain who keeps popping up all over the narrative; the torture cube used to brainwash agents) and the Ken Russell-ization of the third. It's not awful, sometimes manages a little style (the at-times painterly framing of Caine's head and shoulders), some minor suspense, but it's the least memorable of the three because it's the most conventional.
A fair spy thriller with a laidback, more morose Caine as Harry Palmer, in an even bleaker plot than the first one, It has some interesting twists. but the tension is not consistent, Director Guy Hamilton can't quite reproduce Sidney J. Furie's style, the one thing that made the first film so appealing.
Veteran Canadian movie producer Harry Saltzman (“The IPCRESS File” & “Goldfinger”) re-teams with English director Guy Hamilton (“The Colditz Story” & “Goldfinger”) for this adaptation of the… read review