Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom, 1965. The Rank Organisation. Screenplay by W.H. Canaway, James Doran, based on the novel by Len Deighton. Cinematography by Otto Heller. Produced by Harry Saltzman. Music by John Barry. Production Design by Ken Adam. Costume Design by Muriel Dickson. Film Editing by Peter R. Hunt.
The opposite of James Bond is Michael Caine‘s superspy Harry Palmer: he wears glasses, is a bit lanky, never cracks a smile and is hard to get to know. Like his licensed-to-kill colleague, though, he’s randy as hell and gets it on with any girl he can find, so really it’s not that much of a stretch to enjoy this thriller. In the first of four films that would feature Caine as Palmer, the sullen agent is sent on a mission to find out information regarding a group of Western scientists who have gone missing and have emerged from their hiding completely brainwashed. Caine makes a fantastic antihero, sexy and admirable in all the strangest ways.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition