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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate spy thriller!
A realistic spy thriller with a marvellously layered script from playwright Harold Pinter, The Quiller Memorandum was produced in the mid-1960s, when 'Bondmania' was causing filmmakers to jump on the espionage bandwagon with enthusiasm. However, the world inhabited by George Segal's Quiller is dour, downbeat, and treacherous, a far cry from the gadget-laden fantasy world...
Published on 12 Jan 2007 by Matthew Mercy

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bluray Review
This is a review of the Bluray disc, not the film. I don't understand how this has been passed as decent to release on Bluray. Surely if a film is going to be released on this hi def format it should have to live up to the quality of such. I know the film is old but this is not what my gripe is about. The picture is good in places but in a lot of places there is...
Published 17 days ago by Mr D M Davidson


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate spy thriller!, 12 Jan 2007
By 
Matthew Mercy (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
A realistic spy thriller with a marvellously layered script from playwright Harold Pinter, The Quiller Memorandum was produced in the mid-1960s, when 'Bondmania' was causing filmmakers to jump on the espionage bandwagon with enthusiasm. However, the world inhabited by George Segal's Quiller is dour, downbeat, and treacherous, a far cry from the gadget-laden fantasy world of Sean Connery's James Bond; the film is closer in tone to The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Funeral in Berlin (the movie it most resembles), but is even more unconventional as an exercise in genre cinema. Though its atmosphere is one of suspicion and intrigue, featuring a couple of accomplished suspense sequences, this movie is more interested in exploring the mental games spies play than it is in delivering action-packed adventure (even the climax takes place off-screen). The vastly underrated Segal gives a fine performance of confident cool; a man assured of his own brains and skills to such a degree that he makes looking cocky and over-confident a point of pride. He loses his overbearing bodyguards with ease, openly threatens men tailing him, and deliberately reveals himself to his enemies in order to get close to them. The scenes in which he tells various bad lies to those he suspects in order to make himself look foolish and clumsy are marvellously subtle. He doesn't even carry a gun, reasoning that it means he is `less likely to get killed'. Rarely regarded as an A-list leading man in movies, Segal nevertheless starred in some of the most underrated movies of the 1960s and 70s, like prisoner-of-war drama King Rat, and Mike Hodges' nihilistic sci-fi piece The Terminal Man. Also very good are Alec Guinness as Quiller's sarcastic boss (not a million miles away from his portrayal of George Smiley for the BBC), Max Von Sydow as the head of the neo-Nazi cell Quiller is trying to expose, and the gorgeous Senta Berger. Michael Anderson's unobtrusive direction is perfectly in tune with Pinter's enigmatic script, and best of all is the movie's ending, when Quiller's suspicions about a certain character prove to be true, and yet the exhausted, betrayed agent still manages to be hurt by the revelation; it manages the unthinkable and makes this most cynical of spies just a little more cynical.
This DVD edition is by no means exhaustive in its selection of extras, but is probably about as extensive as it can be, given the age and relatively little-known status of the film. The trailer is a marvellously overblown attempt to sell the film as an all-out action movie, whilst the on-set interviews with the main players are interesting, even if Segal, Guinness, and Von Sydow look distinctly uncomfortable giving them.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A satisfyingly cynical spy thriller with George Segal, Alec Guinness and Max Von Sydow; and a script by Harold Pinter, 31 May 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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If your idea of an exciting spy thriller involves boobs, blondes and exploding baguettes, then The Quiller Memorandum is probably not for you. With a screenplay by Harold Pinter and careful direction by Michael Anderson, the movie is more a violent-edged tale of probable, cynical betrayal by everyone we meet, with the main character, Quiller (George Segal), squeezed by those he works for, those he works against and even by the delectable German teacher, Inge Lendt (Senta Berger) he meets.

Quiller has arrived in Berlin for an assignment under the control of Pol (Alec Guinness). He is to infiltrate and locate the headquarters of a neo-Nazi organization headed by Oktober (Max Von Sydow). And, by the way, Pol tells Quiller, the two men who had the assignment before you were both killed. It's not long before Quiller realizes, as he's captured, drugged and questioned by Oktober, that Oktober's organization is just as interested in locating and wiping out Pol's group. Quiller managers to escape, but was it too easily done? Pol points out to Quiller that he's now a piece between two players who cannot see each other. Only Quiller can see them. If he gets too close to one player, the other player will follow him and know how to take action. Both Pol and Oktober, each in his own way, would be perfectly content to sacrifice one agent in order to catch the bigger game. Quiller is on his own. He's crafty, careful and resourceful. He doesn't carry a gun. The one thing he has going for him is that he knows he dare not take anything at face value. The resolution may see the bad guys finally taken...but not all of the bad guys. The Quiller Memorandum, while exciting in its own way, has a distinctly bittersweet air to it. The film doesn't leave you with world-weary angst, just the knowledge that if you want to trust anyone you'd better find another line of work.

I have no idea how many writers who wrote popular screenplays went on to become Nobel laureates, but at least one did. Harold Pinter, who won the Nobel for literature in 2005, brings some of the supposedly enigmatic Pinter style to the movie. There are stretches of dialogue that may make you wonder what on earth the point is, but then you realize the point is to let you think about what these people are up to and what they are really like. The scene in a sports stadium when Quiller first meets Pol is quite funny because it seems so irrelevant. Guinness and Segal play it straight, which makes it even better. But in between the mannered irrelevancies of Pol's observations about Nazi rallies, acoustics, how hungry he is and how good one of his sandwiches looks, we begin to think about how ruthless a man Pol probably is. Pinter uses the same approach with Max Von Sydow's gentlemanly questioning of a tied-up Segal. While John Barry's music score is, to me, often too Sixtyishly obvious, the quiet, thoughtful theme he uses under the credits gives fair warning that this is not going to be a rock 'em, sock 'em spy thriller. All the actors do fine jobs, including George Sanders and Robert Flemyng as two London spy mandarins at their club, who are as much concerned about the quality of the pheasant Flemyng is having for lunch as they are about the situation in Berlin.

I suspect that many people will be intrigued by the film, but that others will find it slow, too cynical or too complicated. Give the movie a chance; even cynicism at times can warm an empty heart.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bluray Review, 3 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Quiller Memorandum [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a review of the Bluray disc, not the film. I don't understand how this has been passed as decent to release on Bluray. Surely if a film is going to be released on this hi def format it should have to live up to the quality of such. I know the film is old but this is not what my gripe is about. The picture is good in places but in a lot of places there is flicker and dirt, and it looks like a really bad DVD release. It amazes me how someone has passed this as ok to release on bluray. The sad thing is is that too many films just get put out on Bluray when they have not had the work done on them that is needed to at least make them worthy of such a hi spec format. I don't like to moan but felt I needed to point out that this, unlike the Ipcress File of around the same age is not a great picture quality. Ipcress seems great compared to this unfortunately.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BluRay dissapoints, 1 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Quiller Memorandum [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a very disappointing Blu Ray release. The print is sparkly, and the transfer done with little care and attention, with the colour and contrast phasing in a number of scenes. The colour also has an overall brownish tint. If you have the dvd release, save your money as this adds nothing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Filmed in 1966 and still one of the best., 21 Jun 2011
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I have to admit being in my 20s when I first saw the Quiller Memorandum but for drama it still ranks with the best. Compared with the frenetic pace of modern films it moves quite slowly giving one time to check all the possibilities and relish some nice touches - Oktober cracking his knuckles; Pol eating the sultana; the hotelier polishing his shoes. George Segal seems to fit the role perfectly - quiet but powerful. I felt that Senta Berger was just a bit too enigmatic and restrained but nevertheless delightful.

There are no torrid sex scenes; no foul language and very little violence. A very pleasing evening's entertainment
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!, 1 July 2011
Another film where music caresses the atmosphere and action; this time by the then (1960s) ubiquitous John Barry (see music's role in Basic Instinct). George Segal plays the laconic Quiller, ordered to find a hard-core Nazi cell in Berlin. He moves around attempting to charm information about his prey. Eventually, he encounters the teacher who replaced her predecessor; a war (Nazi) criminal. She is played by the exquisite Austrian actress, Senta Berger. The underlying theme is the `Old Germany and the New Germany'; a ludicrous question now but still pertinent in the 1960s (witness the film, The Odessa File). It's a gradual film. It hinges on conversation. The action, such as it is, is sparing (perhaps illustrating the adage, `less is more'). The singing of Matt Munroe (Wednesday's Child) reinforces the nostalgia for that decade. Quiller moves from the laconic to the sardonic, as the crescendo is reached. Love flickers at one point. Great stuff!

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Formula spy stuff but very well done, 10 Sep 2008
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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Imagine two great armies in a fog. Each looking for the other's HQ.
In the middle is Quiller who must get close enough to the enemy to signal the location of their HQ but not give way the location of his.

Modern day Germany (1960's) we see a resurgence of citizens that want the country to be strong. A hand full of citizens is acting on those sentiments. Seems the British Intelligence Pol (Alec Guinness) is a little queasy. They want to identify these people apparently lead by someone called October (Max von Sydow) and nip it in the bud. To this purpose they have issued agents that are now being mysteriously dispatched. Looks like it is time to bring in Quiller (George Segal); he has his own methods of detection and is not quite as paranoid as Pol when it comes to who is in the right.

Will Quiller succeed where others have failed?
Or is it curtains for this overconfident loner?

We get to share in his triumphs and setbacks as he probes the opposing forces and in the process meets a beautiful elementary school teacher Inge Lindt (Senta Berger) whom goes from innocent to entwined.

It was a nice touch to find the Quiller could speak German and was nice enough in the film to use textbook German so we could follow the conversation with out scratching our heads.

Again it is not as much the story as the execution that gives this movie the value.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor quality with lots of video noise apparent, 9 Aug 2014
By 
Roy Stewart "Scotty47" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Quiller Memorandum [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Agree wholeheartedly with other reviewers of BR release. Very poor quality with lots of video noise apparent. Don't buy until better transfer available. Disappointing to say the least.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film - shame no subtitles, 1 Aug 2009
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B. C. Swinbank "barry" (Surrey, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a well made spy film, which takes a couple of viewings to take in. It's in the mould of classic spy films like Tinker, tailor / The spy who came in from the cold etc. I suspect some modern film viewers will find it too slow and give up, which is their loss.
A great soundtrack by John Barry, which is long overdue a C.D.re-release, perhaps in the style given to The Iprcess File a few years ago, to include all the tracks used in the film.
The biggest bug bear for me is although this is a Special Edition, there are no subtitles and if you are trying to watch a film in a 'busy' house you do miss them - so one star knocked off.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars George Segal Yum Yum!, 18 Feb 2010
By 
S. Y. Sadler (Surrey, England.) - See all my reviews
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It was fantastic to buy my own copy of this film, which I have always loved and an absolute gem to see the interviews with the cast on location in Berlin during the making of it which this dvd contains.
If you like the character of Quiller there are a whole series of books about him, but only this one, the first book, was ever made into a film.
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The Quiller Memorandum [Blu-ray]
The Quiller Memorandum [Blu-ray] by Michael Anderson (Blu-ray - 2014)
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