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The Ipcress File [Blu-ray]
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Featuring a quintessential performance from double-Oscar winner Sir Michael Caine and an iconic score from the legendary John Barry, this stylised and compelling Cold War spy movie won multiple awards on its theatrical release including three BAFTAs. The Ipcress File is featured here in a High Definition transfer made from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.
Harry Palmer, a stubbornly insolent sergeant working for the Ministry of Defence, is less than thrilled to be transferred under threat of blackmail to an elite counter-intelligence unit. Palmer and the rest of his unit follow the trail of a missing scientist, but when he finds a piece of tape marked IPCRESS in an abandoned warehouse he suddenly becomes a marked man...
SPECIAL FEATURES (Standard Definition unless otherwise stated)
 Michael Caine is Harry Palmer - exclusive interview with Sir Michael Caine
 The Design File - exclusive interview with production designer Sir Ken Adam
 Commentary with director Sidney Furie and film editor Peter Hunt
 Michael Caine Goes Stella comedy short
 1969 documentary: Candid Caine
 Original theatrical trailer (HD), textless material (HD) and US radio commercials
 Extensive image galleries (HD)
 Commemorative booklet
In the spy-crazed film world of the 1960s, Len Deighton's antihero Harry Palmer burst onto the scene as an antidote to the James Bond films. Here was a British spy who had a working-class accent and horn-rimmed glasses and above all really didn't want to be a spy in the first place. As portrayed by Michael Caine, Palmer was the perfect antithesis to Sean Connery's 007. Unlike that of his globetrotting spy cousin, Palmer's beat is cold, rainy, dreary London, where he spends his days and nights in unheated flats spying on subversives. He does charm one lady, but she's no Pussy Galore, just a civil servant he works with, sent to keep an eye on him. Eventually he's assigned to get to the bottom of the kidnapping and subsequent "brain draining" of a nuclear physicist, all the while being reminded by his superiors that it's this or prison. Things begin to get pretty hairy for Harry. Produced by Harry Saltzman in his spare time between Bond movies, the film also features a haunting score by another Bond veteran, composer John Barry. --Kristian St. Clair, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Included in the box there is a little booklet talking about the film - always nice to see something physical included in the packaging (something that seems to be increasingly rare these days), so that's a plus. The other thing worth mentioning is that the box itself is a skinny Blu-Ray box, the spine being about half the thickness of that of a standard box.
All the extras from the 2006 DVD version appear to be present, though at standard definition.
If you're watching on a 40'' TV set or above I think the improvement in picture quality justifies the upgrade from DVD to Blu-Ray.
Unfortunately, this Network Blu-ray release seems to have been sourced from the same master that was used for the old ITV Studio Blu-ray produced in 2008. Like the old ITV presentation, the soundtrack goes totally out of sync at 1 hour and 33 mins in...
A real shame, it spoils the ending badly. I've played it back on different systems with no improvement. It's certainly not a dubbing problem from the original film.
Has anyone else noticed the same fault? It is on both the original mono soundtrack and the 5.1 remix.
It's still worth owning, there are loads of extras and the film itself has never looked better.
However, it's a pity the sound problem was not identified and corrected by the otherwise excellent Network Distributing.
If it wasn't for this irritating sound glitch I would have given this Blu-ray 5 stars out of 5.
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