Suspenseful story about a British spy who helps arrange for the defection of the head of Russian security. Shot on location in Berl in. Based on the novel by Len Deighton.
Funeral in Berlin
(1967) is the sequel to 1965's The Ipcress File
, again featuring Michael Caine as reluctant spy Harry Palmer. It was clearly the filmmakers' intention to make Palmer a harder-nosed James Bond, and director Guy Hamilton was brought to this project in between Goldfinger
and Diamonds Are Forever
for that purpose. There's espionage intrigue, easy women (Eva Renzi as Samantha Steel), and gunplay. But without the gadgetry, one-liners, or even the John Barry score of the first movie, the Bond comparison runs dry. Against the backdrop of a bombed-out industrial wasteland that was Berlin in the mid-Sixties, Palmer is sent to facilitate the defection of Col. Stock (Oscar Homolka). Numerous sub-plots weave together involving indifferent chief Ross (Guy Doleman from IPCRESS), mission aide Johnnie Volkon (Paul Hubschmid), and the untrustworthy Kreutzman (Günter Meisner, who was more memorable as Slugworth in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory
). It all comes down to revealing who's working for whom and who's really defecting in the set-piece funeral of the title. The main reason the series continued (Ken Russell's OTT Billion Dollar Brain
came next) was the commanding presence of Caine. It's fun to hear him try German, and he manages a few subtle comic gems, such as when a waiter asks "Bitte mein heir?" and he replies, "No. Lager please", but the best moment of characterisation recalling the womanising Palmer of Len Deighton's novels is the put down guaranteed to win any woman: "You're useless in the kitchen. Why don't you go back to bed?" --Paul Tonks
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.