Len Deighton's first spy novel, published in 1962 but ahead of its time. Heralded the start of what became the Swinging Sixties. Double agents, brainwashing, kidnapped scientists, H-bomb tests, a nameless secret agent narrator who wears hornrimmed spectacles; and some technical stuff. Unfortunately the sardonic and very entertaining style didn't translate well to the screen: it was made into a ludicrous movie "starring" Michael Caine.

The Film version of The IPCRESS File was released in 1965, three years after the book by Len Deighton was published, and it is a classic cult spy thriller. It was adapted for screen play by Bill Canaway, and Directed by Sydney J. Furie. We should thank these men, because The IPCRESS File's main part (that of Harry Palmer) was played by Michael Caine. This was Caine's first major role in a film, and he did a bloody good job of it. What I loved about the film was the originality of the acting, how unpredictable it was, right until the very end. With most films you can tell how they are going to end about half way through the film, not so with The IPCRESS File. This is due (in my opinion) to Michael Caine's genius acting skills.

The Basic plot (without giving too much away), is that Harry Palmer (Michael Caine), who is a Sergeant in the Army is charged to investigate the mysterious disappearance of British scientists during the height of the Cold War. These weird and wonderful things crop up in the film: Brainwashing, Double Agents, Torture, Guns, Girls, some classic British Humour and a damn good plot line.

The Film won 3 BAFTA's (like the Oscars, only better), including best film, which speaks for itself really. If you ever get the chance, watch this film, you won't regret it.

Cast List
Harry Palmer- Michael Caine
Major Dalby- Nigel Green
Colonel H.L. Ross- Guy Doleman
Agent Jean Courtney- Sue Lloyd
Agent Jock Carswell- Gordon Jackson
Barney- Thomas Baptiste
Alice- Freda Bamford
Edwards- Anthony Blackshaw
Agent Gray- Barry Raymond
Agent Chilcott- Oakes David Glover
Inspector Pat Keightley- Stanley Meadows

I haven't read the book, perhaps I should, but I thought that the film was excellent. The film will never be as good as the book, I think that this happened with The IPCRESS File, which is why Dorian is so upset about it.

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