Friday, July 16, 2004

espionage ... with due government process

We sat down yesterday to watch The Ipcress File, and thanks to a great cast (led splendidly by the excellent Michael Caine), generous doses of wry humour, a sweet score by John Barry, unsettling camera work, and patient direction, we sat the whole film out with gusto, relishing the adventures of an underpaid government agent who is also an excellent cook. Yep. He goes to work like a regular government servant, has tons of paperwork to deal with when he changes departments, has to fill out a daily report. But, he gets to fight bad guys, wield arms, net a girl, and cook a fine dinner. All in a day's work. "Now my name's not Harry", says Deighton's unnamed agent in the novel, and ironically that's what they decided to call him in the movie! And after making a clear classic, what happens to director Furie? Producer Saltzman (who along with Barry adds the Bond connection) fired him, banned him from Cannes, and apparently even stole his Best Picture BAFTA. Strange are the ways of the world.

elsewhere: loads of trivia on the movie canon

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