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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Harry Palmer File is re-opened!
If you haven't seen any of the original and excellent 1960's Harry Palmer thrillers(Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin, Billion Dollar Brain) starring Michael Caine then these two more recent chapters probabaly won't mean much to you.

If you have then you probably will not like these two 1990's T.V. films as much. However, provided you can look past the lower...
Published on 17 Sep 2009 by Brian S.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IPCRESS these are not
First of all, these films are definitely not - nor even based on - Len Deighton's work : he wrote only 4 Harry Palmer books (sadly) and these 2 films are nothing to do with them. Secondly, this is not Harry Palmer. Yes, it is Michael Caine but he plays himself, not Palmer; nothing wrong with that, so long as it isn't billed as `Harry Palmer'. To make up for this, everyone...
Published on 3 Mar 2010 by Q


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Harry Palmer File is re-opened!, 17 Sep 2009
By 
Brian S. (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
If you haven't seen any of the original and excellent 1960's Harry Palmer thrillers(Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin, Billion Dollar Brain) starring Michael Caine then these two more recent chapters probabaly won't mean much to you.

If you have then you probably will not like these two 1990's T.V. films as much. However, provided you can look past the lower budget production values and lack of 60's style there is enjoyment to be had in these two films - particularly ''Bullet to Beijing''

Michael Caine was having a definite career slump in the early 1990's - it seemed like his 60's and 70's glory days were by then a distant memory. But in Britain with the introduction of Lad-mags such as ''FHM'' which projected the 1960's Caine image as somewhat of a role-model for the everyman and refreshed peoples memories of ''Ipcress File'' as well as ''Get Carter'', Caine started to get asked a lot if he would ever return to his signature Harry Palmer role. These two films are the result of all those questions and a lack of better options at the time for Caine.

Filmed back to back mainly in Russia - the first film in this set ''Bullet to Beijing'' was originally intended for a theatrical release with ''Midnight in St. Petersburg'' to follow several months later on cable t.v. - In the end both would end up going the t.v. route.

''Bullet'' has visibly more money and thought put into it and Michael Caine does a good job here - I think it's his best performance as Palmer outside of the Ipcress File, here we see an older and lonelier Harry Palmer and overall the film is a tight enough spy film with some good moments.

''Midnight'' looks rushed and everyone seems to be just going through the motions a bit - the story here is like a lower budget remake of ''Bullet'' but if you don't compare it to it's predecessor's it's a reasonable enough if forgetable thriller.

So not a patch on the originals but it's good to see Caine as Palmer again. Happily Michael Caine has since gone on to have a better decade of films over the last ten years.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Palmer double bill, 25 Oct 2010
This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
Although the critics don't always rate these two films, I find them fun, easy viewing and a good follow up to the 3 better known Harry Palmer films.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Corny but entertaining, 6 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoy watching Micheal Caine and as Harry Palmer he is the old spy who now works freelance in Russia. I bought the double bill flims and enjoyed them. They are more or less light entertainment and in fairness to young Connery he has several attempts to speak Russian during both films. My one piece of advice is watch Bullet to Beijing first and then Midnight in St. Petersburg. If you've been to St.Petersburg then it's great to see the tourist spots in this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IPCRESS these are not, 3 Mar 2010
By 
Q (Harefield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
First of all, these films are definitely not - nor even based on - Len Deighton's work : he wrote only 4 Harry Palmer books (sadly) and these 2 films are nothing to do with them. Secondly, this is not Harry Palmer. Yes, it is Michael Caine but he plays himself, not Palmer; nothing wrong with that, so long as it isn't billed as `Harry Palmer'. To make up for this, everyone throws his name around in some form or other
( Hi Harry; Hello Mister Palmer etc.) every five minutes, just so we don't forget who he is supposed to be. A deliberate, direct quote from `IPCRESS' by Palmer's boss, made me wince out loud but, presumably, this was a further attempt to establish some sort of continuity with the original films. Caine comes across as a favourite uncle, relaxed and genial, full of cheeky grins and laughter. I like Michael Caine as an actor - even when he is playing himself - so, having read other reviews and been duly warned not to set my expectations above zero, I bought this DVD set, quite prepared to be disappointed. Maybe that made all the difference, as I didn't feel I had wasted my money (I only paid a few quid), or my time by watching them, and will even watch them again, sometime. They are the sort of thing to put on if you just want to slump and be entertained - but little more. There is an appalling attempt to make Palmer into Bond, in `Bullet', with chases and shoot-outs, that doesn't ring true but I overcame all objections by activating my "Suspend Incredulity" circuit. The editing is not good, committing the cardinal sin of cutting the music before the reverberation has died. And, speaking of music, I had a pleasant surprise when I saw, on the box, that Rick Wakeman was responsible for the soundtrack. However, like some of the actors, Rick appeared to be on autopilot. I hold him in the highest esteem and own many of his albums but he is quite capable of playing with one hand behind his back - usually a compliment - and just `noodling', and much of his music here sounded as though he was in noodle mode. Overall, these 2 films are ideal for a wet afternoon : action, adventure, entertainment; just don't expect IPCRESS IV and V.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spectacularly laclustre, 26 Aug 2009
This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
This double bill is really none too good. Ask Michael Caine about it, I think he'll agree. The films suffer from rather poor production values, which is sort of a problem for this type of picture which presents itself as packed with thrills and action. Well, it's a Harry Alan Towers picture, if you know what that means in terms of what you end up with! More like a Jess Franco movie than a James Bond venture, that is. Action and spy films have been bigger and better since these were made anyway. The acting is uniformly bad, except for vet Brits Caine and Gambon. But even Caine is not at his best here, and how could he? It's watchable if you like these actors, though. But it's also very boring to follow. As to the DVD on display here, it doesn't have French subtitles, so this set is only for the English-speaking buyers out there. My advice: don't waste your time and money on this, except if you're a die-hard Michael Caine fan like me...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Follow Up TV Movies, 31 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
Must admit never knew these existed until seeing them in a High Street store then finding Amazon had them. Guess they must have languished in a vault somewhere until a few years ago and suddenly surfaced.

Bullet to Beijing is by far the better of the two movies and the reason I awarded 3 stars not 2. It evolves into a reasonable road (well train/plane/automobile/train) movie though the plot is very thin and characters are brought in with the briefest connection and little back story. A fair bit of humour too.

Midnight In St Petersburg is a different story. The plot is thin as cheap broth with very little to hold the attention.

Michael Caine seems to be going through the motions and never really re-lives the true style of Harry Palmer, neither film really holds a candle to the original trilogy. Both movies needed tighter direction and storyline to grasp and hold the attention.

Worth a rental (for B to B) or maybe buy and sell on, but they are not really true Harry Palmer films.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HARRY IS BACK, 31 May 2009
By 
DICK BARTON "3D EXPERT" (SLEAFORD LINCS.ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
HARRY PALMER IS NOW A MIDDLE AGED PRIVATE AGENT,WHO GOES ON A MISSION TO RUSSIA . HERE HE MEETS RUSSIAN AGENT JASON CONNERY,WHO ASSISTS HIM TO GET OUT OF ALL KINDS OF TIGHT SCRAPES. THE SECOND FILM "BULLET TO BEIJING" IS MORE OR LESS A FOLLOW ON FROM THE FIRST FILM,WITH THE SAME MAIN CAST. AN ENJOYABLE DOUBLE FEATURE FOR HARRY PALMER FANS,AND A GOOD ENDING TO THE SERIES WHICH STARTED WITH "THE IPCRESS FILE" MANY YEARS AGO.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caine Double Bill, 21 May 2010
By 
P. Sabulis - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent sound quality & picture - although I would have liked a wider screen picture aspect ratio.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The human James Bond, 26 May 2014
By 
Jan Verhoeven "fruttenboel" (Tilburg. NL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
Harry Palmer, played by Michael Caine... He looks like an ordinary guy doing all the spy things. It's all less over the top as James Bond or The Bourne Supremacies. I liked both movies on these DVD's.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Palmer at his best, 22 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Harry Palmer Double Bill - Midnight In St.Petersburg/Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
I found this set of two Harry palmer films very well made and possibly better than the originals - I wish Michael Cane all the best in his career - he should be very successful if these are anything to go by.
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