Nov 282020

The Ipcress File is worth checking out even with its slow pace as Michael Caine is magnanimous as Harry Palmer, showcasing his on-screen charisma. In addition, there are some striking stylistic moments and shots.



The Ipcress File

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Espionage
Kino Lorber | NR – 109 min. – $29.95 | October 27, 2020

Date Published: 11/28/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Writer(s): Len Deighton (novel); Bill Canaway, James Doran (screenplay)
Cast: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson

Features: 2 Audio Commentaries, Interviews, Gallery, Theatrical Trailers
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 39.27 GB
Total Bitrate: 42.73 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Kino Lorber provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3½/5

Plot Synopsis: It is the height of the cold war, and ex-thief Harry Palmer (MICHAEL CAINE), now reluctantly working as a secret agent, has been called in to investigate a strange occurrence among a number of leading scientists. It seems the scientists have been kidnapped, but reappear only days after the kidnapping, brainwashed and useless. During the course of the investigation, a tape is uncovered with the word “ipcress” on it.

Quick Hit Review: One’s enjoyment for The Ipcress File depends on how much you can appreciate the slow burn 1960s spy thriller. It does not have the quick pace or editing you see in today’s thrillers or even the spectacle of the Bond franchise back then through the current era. The film, which was directed by Sidney J. Furie (The Appaloosa as well as, more infamously, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace), and based upon the novel from Len Deighton, does take its time unfolding the mystery. It does have a finale in which Palmer is awkwardly kidnapped (hard cut from a gun pointed at his stomach to waking in a small cell) and a vanilla version of a Bond villain attempts to brainwash him.

If you’re only accustomed to the often more fast paced thrillers or modern era of the Bond franchise, you may find The Ipcress File to be plodding or meandering, though for myself, while I wasn’t completely in love with the film, does excel thanks to the star-making performance from Michael Caine who is tremendous (and would appear in three more films as Harry Palmer, the last 1995’s Bullet to Beijing).

In the end, The Ipcress File is a well made, if not also slow developing, espionage thriller that is still worth checking out if nothing than for the performance from Michael Caine in what is considered his star-making role.



Audio Commentaries:

  • Director Sidney J. Furie and Editor Peter Hunt
  • Film Historian Troy Howarth and Film Historian/Filmmaker Daniel Kremer

Also appreciate, albeit these were ported over, having commentaries for these catalog titles. Obviously the Furie/Hunt track takes a more in-depth behind-the-scenes approach being both were involved with the production while Howarth/Kremer’s commentary is more of a historical context of the espionage thriller and bits of information.


  • Actor Michael Caine (19:59)
  • Production Designer Ken Adam (11:00)

Both of these, recorded some years ago, offer different perspectives, of course Caine’s was most interesting, giving background on how he got the role and continued playing decades later, plus what drew him to the material (was halfway through the novel when offered the part by producer Harry Saltzman). Adam meanwhile provides more of a behind-the-camera account and what stood out in the production.

Also includes Trailers From Hell (1:21) with Howard Rodman, Poster & Image Gallery (4:04), 4 Radio Spots (2:49) and 2 Theatrical Trailers (3:07/1:08).


VIDEO – 4¼/5

The Ipcress File comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber and no real surprise given their track record, this 1080p high-definition transfer, and presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio, looks rather good especially for a film going on 55 years. The detail is relatively sharp throughout and colors, albeit not vibrant, do seem in keeping with how the film was shot and released to theaters back in the day. The natural film grain is still present and I noticed no major or significant instances of dust marks, scratches or other signs of film damage.

AUDIO – 4¼/5

The disc comes with the choice of a 5.1 or 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Either is a pretty nice option though I chose to watch on the former (which is default). As mentioned, this is now a film released 55 years ago and was impressed with the strong audio levels, dialogue comes across well balanced, the scenes with Palmer undergoing psychological torture showed off some modest depth as does the music and score. This is not an action-heavy film of course, but still solid all around.


OVERALL – 3¾/5

The Ipcress File is worth checking out even with its slow pace as Michael Caine is magnanimous as Harry Palmer, showcasing his on-screen charisma. In addition, there are some striking stylistic moments and shots. The Blu-ray release from Kino Lorber Classics offers up respectable video and audio transfers alongside a good selection of bonus features.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

 11/28/2020  Blu-ray Reviews, Screen Caps Tagged with: ,

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>