The Ipcress File (1965)

Contributed by: Spy Movie Navigator

The Ipcress File (1965) is the movie introduction of Len Deighton’s spy character, Harry Palmer.  A name he was given for the movies as he was unnamed in Deighton’s novels.

This was Michael Caine’s first starring role.  He takes on the challenge of portraying Harry Palmer, without trying to mimic James Bond in his portrayal.  We see lots of connections to James Bond, including key personnel like Harry Saltzman, the producer, Guy Coleman (who was in Thunderball) and more.  However, Michael Caine’s portrayal brings a unique perspective into how we see spies in movies.  He’s gritty, not wealthy, likes some of the finer things in life, but not nearly to the extent James Bond does.

Oh, and he likes ‘birds’.

The Ipcress File is an interesting look at moles in intelligence agencies and the fascinating world of brainwashing.  We examine the many James Bond connections, Palmer’s use of quips, the role of social classes in London, brainwashing, and more.

Join the fun in Cracking the Code of The Ipcress File for some interesting reveals!  Watch the two part curation videos below for key scene analysis and commentaries, connections and more!  Each part is around 30 minute in length. You can also click on the related content at the top of this page and listen to the audio versions of the podcast, if you prefer to listen rather than watch.

Click below to watch Part 1 of discussion:

Click below to watch Part 2 of discussion: