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“The Ipcress File (UK Import)” - {Blu-ray}
Taylor Carlson
Studio: ITV
Release Date:
Special Features:

Stills Gallery


The Ipcress File stars Michael Caine. The film is directed by Sidney J. Furie and features a musical score by John Barry. ***

Harry Palmer (Caine) is a British agent given a new undercover assignment, which involves tracking down a missing scientist. Along the way, Palmer discovers twists and turns around every corner, and even attempts to romance one of the new female agents in his department. Suspense and mystery run rampant as he continues his search and draws closer to the inevitable conclusion. ***

Comparisons between The Ipcress file and the James Bond series are pretty much inevitable - they share a score composer, a producer, and the movie was released around the same time as that series' Thunderball, one of its most famous entries. However, the two are very different films, and the similarities end there. ***

Harry Palmer isn't on the front lines like James Bond, nor is he the suave, sophisticated secret agent who always says the right thing at the right time. Let's not kid ourselves - Palmer is a dork. His focus is on attention to detail, and he goes overboard when it comes to trying to win over a woman from his new department - a far cry from James Bond who can win them over with no difficulty. But it is this awkwardness of Caine's character that makes the movie work. ***

The film isn't perfect, but scores points in a number of areas. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the movie tries to cover a lot of ground in its relatively short run time. At times the movie feels overblown and seems to have a filming style that looks like it would be more at home in another genre. It scores points for not being a bland “action” secret agent movie, but at the same time, those coming in expecting action are in for a disappointment. The movie does get bogged down in its own convoluted story, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. ***

The Ipcress File is far from a perfect film, but it is well worth rediscovering. The movie is worth it alone for Michael Caine's performance - one of his finest early starring efforts on the screen. ---

Image And Sound:

This Blu-Ray Disc is a substantial improvement over the old DVD releases of the movie, although those looking for reference quality material should look elsewhere. The film tends to look a bit soft throughout, and there is some grain spiking in certain scenes. But all things considered, it is a nice upgrade, with improve vibrancy and detail The people bashing this disc have set their expectations so high that no disc will ever meet them. This disc is FINE. ***

The audio is right on par with the video. It's a track that gets the job done, but it isn't anything earth-shattering either. Still, no fan should be disappointed by this disc's audio

Special Features:

Nothing aside from a stills gallery.

Final Words:

The Ipcress File is not a perfect movie, but it is well worth discovering or rediscovering. This disc can be imported for a fairly cheap price, and it is worth doing so since you get to see Michael Caine in one of his earliest starring roles, doing what he does best. It isn't the see-all, end-all secret agent movie, but still worth an import - even if you own the DVD version.


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