The Harry Palmer File.

Funeral In Berlin paperback detail

Kino Lorber’s recent Blu-ray release of the third, and last, Harry Palmer film, Billion Dollar Brain (1967), got me thinking about the series as a whole.* They made a huge impression on me as a kid, and it’s about time to revisit them. Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman gave us an anti-Bond with Harry Palmer, based on Len Deighton’s novels. Michael Caine was perfectly cast as the sarcastic spy.

So where are they on video? Here in the States, they’re kind of a mess. Ken Russell’s Billion Dollar Brain, of course, has this new Blu-ray. The second, Funeral In Berlin (1966) from Guy Hamilton, is available from Warner Archive in an exact copy of the old Paramount DVD. But the first one, Sidney J. Furie’s The Ipcress File (1965)? You can get it on Blu-ray all around the world, but it’s been missing in the US since the Anchor Bay DVD went out of print a decade ago (hard to believe DVDs have been with us that long).

Ipcress File US LC 1
I was 10 and had just gotten my first pair of eyeglasses when I came across The Ipcress File, and a smartass secret agent with glasses and a machine gun (and Sue Lloyd) gave me hope. Maybe it was going to be OK after all.

A post on The Ipcress File is in the works.

* I don’t count the two non-theatrical Palmer/Caine films of the 90s.

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4 Comments

Filed under 1965, 1966, 1967, DVD/Blu-ray News, Guy Hamilton, Harry Palmer, James Bond, Ken Russell, Michael Caine, Sidney J. Furie

4 responses to “The Harry Palmer File.

  1. Richard Oravitz

    Harry Palmer was always better than Bond, James Bond.
    At least I thought so via THE IPCRESS FILE, not seeing FUNERAL IN BERLIN or THE BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN until vhs. But that just confirmed my conviction.
    I’ve always enjoyed the British style of spying, from Hitchcock’s 39 STEPS, THE LADY VANISHES, SABOTUER, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (both versions), to James Bond himself.
    The British always seemed to have the edge on spying, especially with THE AVENGERS and spy goddess Emma Peal!
    I’m probably the only one out there that actually liked THE SECOND BEST SECRET AGENT IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. It’s been given it’s trashings, but I really liked it’s spoofing of Bond and it’s tongue in cheek manner.
    But back to THE IPCRESS FILE.
    I really don’t want to give up my right arm for a copy of this on dvd.
    Hopefully Warner Archive or someone will see fit to release this to the American market at a reasonable price in the near future.
    It’s HIGH on my wish list….It’s spying at it’s best!

    Like

  2. Love the Harry Palmer films, and await your in-depth article on them with interest. And like you, I don’t count the two (pretty terrible) telefilms, either.

    Like

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