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The Ipcress File Blu-ray Review

“The Ipcress File” is a decent 60’s spy movie. 

Based on the Harry Palmer series of books by Len Deighton, 1965’s “The Ipcress File” was a clear attempt to cash-in on the success of the James Bond franchise. In fact, it even had the same producer (Harry Saltzman) and many of the same folks who worked on Bond films such as composer John Barry, editor Peter Hunt, and production designer Ken Adam. Alas, Harry Palmer never became the household name that Bond did even though theatrical and TV sequels were made. Still, “The Ipcress File” is a worthy entry in the spy movie genre.

Director Sidney J. Furie does go for a different approach to Bond with “The Ipcress File” in that it has a sense of realism. This is especially apparent in the story which finds the bespectacled Harry Palmer (a Sgt. turned Ministry of Defence worker) who is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a scientist Radcliffe. In his investigation, Palmer becomes caught up in a complex plot involving a microfilm, shady individuals, the CIA, deaths, and brainwashing. The story unfolds in a manner in which we see the inner workings of the Ministry through the POV of Palmer. While this is a welcome take, it doesn’t always make for the most exciting of screen time. Really, it isn’t until the hour mark where matters become intense. Moreover, a lot of the material here feels overly familiar for spy stories of the time. 

The MVP here is without a doubt Michael Caine who plays Palmer. Not only does he bring humor to the whole affair, but his character really carries it all. You’re locked into the spy world because you’re invested in his journey and character who is a bit of a rogue at times.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? This transfer maintains the grit and grain of the original print while providing a nice hi-def upgrade.

Audio Tracks: 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? You can’t go wrong with either track.

Extras:
* 4 radio spots and 2 TV spots
* A “Trailers From Hell” segment on the film.
* Separate interviews with Michael Caine and Ken Adam
* Poster and image gallery
* Trailers for “Billion Dollar Brain,” “The Black Windmill,” “The Destructors,” “The Wilby Conspiracy,” “The Holcroft Covenant,” and “The Whistle Blower.”
* 2 commentaries. One by director Sidney J. Furie and editor Peter Hunt and the other by film historians Troy Howarth and Daniel Kremer. The honest and insightful track with Furie and Hunt is the most engaging to be sure.

January 8, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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