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on 20 September 2015
I finished the novel this morning and I thought this was the perfect time to watch the film - as I like to see the differences. As is often the case, the film was not a patch on the book. I felt that the book was so much more complete, and by comparison the film was confused and skipped so much of what made the book so engaging. Overall it was not the age of the material that detracted from this story, but more the lack of depth. Without knowing the story, so much of what happens in the film would have seemed confusing, the plot just seemed to jump from one part of the story to another without any explanation.
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on 26 October 2013
Michael Caine is his usual brilliant self in this Cold War film from 1987 based on Frederick Forsyth's excellent novel of the same name.

Unlike the James Bond films, this movie doesn't glamorise the business of spying. In fact, it refreshingly shows how mundane the whole thing can be, very similar to The Ipcress File. One point that should be made is that Caine ISN'T reprising his role of Harry Palmer here. This is John Preston, MI5 intelligence officer in the 1980s. He's a worldly-wise type who's seen it all before but remains dedicated to his work at the Security Service. Pierce Brosnan is also excellent as the cold ruthless KGB officer Valeri Petrofsky, who is assigned to detonate a nuclear bomb on a US Air Force base in England.
The film is good in that it portrays the monotony of the initial investigation but as time goes by you can feel the tension rise as Preston's investigation nears its conclusion & ultimately becomes a race against time...
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on 1 March 2014
This is a very good spy film based on Frederick Forsyth's novel of the same name. Frederick Forsyth wrote the screenplay (with Richard Burridge) so most of his original plot is faithfully transferred to the movie. Pierce Brosnan is very good as the soviet agent -brutally cold and focused.Michael Caine is the much older spy catcher but equally determined to stop the soviet spy carrying out his mission .The only flaw is the casting of Ned Beatty as a KGB general(it just grates on your nerves) .The rest of the cast is excellent.Good Movie -Great price.
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on 24 September 2016
Caine plays an MI5 operative with conviction struggling against an arrogant boss. This was Brosnan's first major movie role; Joanna Cassidy had appeared in Blade Runner five years earlier. The movie itself is a good transfer but the extras look like they've come from VHS and likely originated as 4:3.
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on 29 August 2017
Love Caine in this. My favourite parts are his interactions with his bosses who he obviously despises. Piers Brosnan very good too. Underrated cold war thriller in my opinion
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on 29 July 2015
Classic Cold War thriller storyline, a fiery performance from Michael Caine as Preston, Pierce Brosnan also excellent as the ruthless Soviet agent. Not completely faithful to the original book's plot (e.g. the details of the couriers), also misses a large chunk of the story where Preston goes to South Africa to expose a KGB spy. Overall well worth watching and will probably watch again.
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on 15 January 2018
We enjoyed it. Not much to dislike about Michael Caine's films.
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on 8 December 2017
Good story and not a bad film despite type-cast and wooden Michael Caine.
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on 12 June 2016
Great film, god Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan are so young looking, a bit dated but well worth it.
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on 12 April 2018
Make the Cold War come to life
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