THE IPCRESS FILE (PG, 109 min., The Rank Organisation, Universal Pictures, Aug 2, 1965 – US)
It’s a line that seems like it came straight from a present day studio exec’s hacked email account: “Dump Caine’s spectacles and make the girl cook the meal. He is coming across as a homosexual.” This was reportedly the content of a cable sent to the makers of THE IPCRESS FILE after a screening for executives at Universal Pictures, the film’s U.S. distributor. The directive fell on deaf ears. Caine kept the spectacles, he did the cooking – and he got the girl.
Before Len Deighton was writing gritty spy novels like The Ipcress File, he was one of the top food writers in London. His Observer “cookstrips” – illustrated panels with instructions for preparing food – were, according to The Guardian, “as much a part of the 60s landscape as the pill and pot.” The strips adorn a wall in Harry Palmer’s (Michael Caine) kitchen in the 1965 adaptation of Ipcress. That’s a great production design design that underscores the differences between Palmer and another, more high profile British spy of the 007 variety. In a 2011 interview with The Telegraph Caine recalled another nod to the everyday, thinking man approach to the spy genre found in the Palmer series: “[Harry Palmer] even did his own shopping in the supermarket.”
Director: Sidney J. Furie, Writers: W.H. Canaway (screenplay) James Doran (screenplay) Richard Flournoy (screenplay) Len Deighton (novel) Producer: Harry Saltzman, Cinematographer: Otto Heller Composer: John Barry Editor: Peter Hunt Casting Director: Weston Drury Jr. Production Designer: Ken Adam
CAST: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson, Aubrey Richards
Watched on Blu ray from ITV
*Every Monday I watch a classic or historically significant movie that falls into one of these categories: 1) Have never seen it, or 2) Have never seen it uncut, or 3) Have only seen it once, or 4) Haven’t seen it in a very long time.
Some information from: IMDb Pro, BoxOfficeMojo