In London, a counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists. –IMDb
Sidney J. Furie (born February 28, 1933) is a Canadian film director. Furie is perhaps best known for directing American Soldiers, The IPCRESS File, The Entity, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Lady Sings the Blues, The Boys, Gable and Lombard, Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York and the Iron Eagle films.
Also credited with co-creating NBC’s off-beat legal drama Petrocelli, which ran from 1974 to 1976 (it was a spin-off from his 1970 film The Lawyer), he also directed Cliff Richard and The Shadows in the 1964 musical Wonderful Life. —Wikipedia
It's true that much of *Ipcress's* character comes from it working as an anti-Bond (especially anti- in regard to where the series would go with later-Connery/all of Moore). Instead of a chic, globe-trotting, lavishly bankrolled, sex-killer (Bond) you get a spy's life that is bureaucratic and workaday and almost all menial frustration.You also get a spy force populated with damaged men and women pressed into
their country's service by blackmail or the threat of imprisonment. Visually, Caine is also an obvious contrast to Connery: blond instead of black hair, his face dominated by his big geek glasses instead of bedroom eyes (it's telling that, in order for him to go to bed with a woman, he has to first remove the glasses) ... even his cheap-looking (or at least average-looking) suits ... The one thing the two characters *do* share is wit. Though Caine's is more rough-and-tumble, more dirty joker, mischief-maker than Bond's broadly comic (and mostly unfunny) puns-about-genitals.
What is also true, though, is that *Ipcress* exhibits a level of style, experimentation, and general melancholy that is wholly (or mostly) missing from the Bond films (except of course for the series' primary outlier, *On Her Majesty's Secret Service*; is it a coincidence that the editor of *Ipcress* was also the director of *Majesty's*?). Director Sidney Furie says on the commentary track that, as a result of clashes with the producer and an overall lack of confidence in the script, he set himself up with the same challenge everyday--to come up with some sort of unusual or experimental setup as a frame for every scene in the film. (He also says, more than once, that Hunt's intuition and natural tendencies as an editor perfected these experiments.)
From shooting Caine's fight through the telephone box to all of those painterly, dramatically canted shots of the characters' portraited faces, the film is full of a sensibility that is as much arthouse as espionage. (It's interesting to note that, in the booklet that comes with the Network disc, one critic tries to disown this overt style, acting almost embarrassed by Furie and Hunt's experiments, arguing that the film is great *in spite* of these experiments. To me, this argument makes no sense and misses much of the film's point [not to mention: pleasures].) In short: As good as espionage films get. And much more than just an espionage film.
At the rise of the 007 mania, and the effervescence of the swingin’ sixties and the new wave, square secret service agent Harry Palmer was born.
Most of the same people who gave life to Fleming… read review
Veteran Canadian movie producer Harry Saltzman (“The Iron Petticoat” & “Battle of Britain”) teams with Canadian journeyman director Sidney J. Furie (“The Jazz Singer” & “Superman IV”) for this… read review