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Of course, if they are sticking closer to the book then Croatia does make a bit more sense as it's got to also double for Hungary, Beirut, and Hawaii.
Good point – and it's better if they try to be different from the film by sticking closer to the book. Easier to do with a TV adaptation too.
Agree. The book is terrific too, and I do enjoy that fireworks night ending, but the film did better by having the climax take place in Berlin.
If I'm honest the camerawork in Ipcress annoys me a bit; it really draws attention to itself. It's true that you couldn't call Funeral a beautiful film, but I do tend to prefer it. And the plot is so wonderfully clever.
I never got around to the radio adaptation with Ian Hart as the protagonist- I'm guessing that was more faithful. Did you hear it?
Fireworks night is a lovely idea for a climax though, it'd be great to see that worked in to something.
I haven't listened to it in a few years but I remember it being quite good and mostly faithful to the book, although a number of elements had to be shortened and or cut because of the 90-minute runtime.
If you've ever listened to any of BBC Radio 4 adaptations of the James Bonds novels you'll know what to expect.
Didn't know there was a radio adaptation of the book! Will have to try and find it. :-)
Yes, although I prefer the movie climax in Berlin, the fireworks part wasn't a bad one at all. It could easily be rewritten to be fitted into somewhere else in the story, should Funeral in Berlin be adapted too.
It seems they’re trying to do a miniseries version of the novel which is quite different and so convoluted that it’s hard to read and the film script was famously burned by Sidney J Furie on set and they then made it up as they went along.
IPCRESS as a film I think is the best spy film ever made bar none. It’s an obsession of mine and every facet is riveting. Barry’s score is a candidate for his career masterpiece. I think it’s Michael’s signature role and the influx of Bond crew members only helps the film be a masterpiece.
I find it still fascinating that Harry Saltzman produced these films and it makes more sense when you know that his “taking the lead” Bonds are all similarly down to earth.
Funeral in Berlin is a supremely underrated great spy film and proof to all the naysayers that Guy Hamilton was far more than the light touch man he’s often accused of being.
Billion Dollar Brain is an acid trip and I love it despite it going Ken Russell mode and screwing over the narrative. In most ways by doing this it makes the viewer as confused as Harry Palmer is!!
We never got the fourth film which likely would have had another lead actor since Caine was ready to move on and Saltzman looked for other actors.
The two made for Tv films are rather bad but the character has so much promise that I still hope to somehow see Caine come back to the role.
Depending on how much post-production it will need, there's a solid chance it might even release this year.
It will be interesting to see! 'Harry Palmer' is so far a character created exclusively for the movies and played so far only by Michael Caine: the protagonist in the books didn't have a name. So I think it's possible he might keep a bit of the original look including the glasses.
I'll be interested to see if they pay for the John Barry theme from Ipcress too. That's probably less likely, but if Palmer had a theme tune it's that.
Looks like he's keeping the glasses.
A bit of both I guess. Sounds like the plot is slightly more faithful to the novel than the film was (in places) but obviously Palmer himself comes from the film.
I'm interested to know who actually owns the character of Harry Palmer: I think Deighton was close to the movie and did get some ownership of Harry (he seemed to have to agree to the 90s movies) but you would have thought the film company who invented him would own him? But then obviously by the 90s TV movie things someone has got the rights there, and there was even a time after that when Caine was trying to get a new movie off the ground ('Cold War Requiem') and seemed to indicate that he owned Harry Palmer himself at that point.
I don't think using the Harry Palmer character or visual/plot-specific elements from the film series was ever a problem for ITV as they've always owned the rights to the films.
After The Rank Organization was shut down, it was subsequently bought by Charlton Communications, who were themselves later bought by Granada, who then merged with several other companies to form ITV plc.
Really, the biggest difference between the film and the book is that the film takes place entirely within London, while the book features Palmer going to places as far-flung as Beirut, Hungary, and Hawaii.
(I imagine that's what the Croatian filming is for, as it has a lot of warm sunny beaches, communist architecture, and European-style streets that could easily mimic the French-colonial architecture of Lebanon.)
Ah that's very interesting! Thanks.
I wonder if they might even use the Barry theme? Although I would guess that would still require an extra PRS payment or somesuch.
Well the new one is partially set in Berlin, which I would guess is replacing Beirut.
I imagine they likely would have to pay some kind of fee to the Barry estate to use it, though as it's not a particularly famous piece of music, they might decide to just comission their own.
My ideal choice to score this would probably be someone like Daniel Pemberton, though he may be too expensive for TV, now.
Quite possibly. Or they might be showing flashbacks to Harry Palmer's criminal past in Berlin as I believe that's what his superiors use to blackmail him into working for them.
I don't remember if that was a movie-specific element, though.
He'd be wonderful, yes. His Dirk Gently theme is extremely Ipcress!
Thanks for posting this.
The synopsis looks very promising. At the very least, they aren't going to be copying the 1965 film.
The Croatian filming will likely be for the Nuclear Atoll and Beirut scenes, while Liverpool will be London and Berlin, plus studio interiors.
The great thing about CGI is how it's made it much more affordable for film/stv shows to feature international locations without spending an arm and a leg flying the cast and crew out to a bunch of different countries.
All you need to do is basically get the ground level stuff right, and then CGI the tops of the buildings and the sky/background. Essentially, a very advanced matte painting.
"It’s 1963. Cold war rages between West and East. Nuclear bombers are permanently airborne. In this highly charged atmosphere, we join Harry Palmer – a British army sergeant on the make in Berlin. In this newly partitioned city, a sharp working-class young man with sophisticated tastes can make a lot of money. Wholesaler, retailer, fixer, smuggler, Harry’s varied interests bring him into contact with everything and everyone – until the law catches up and it all comes crashing to a halt.
Harry finds himself sentenced to eight years in a grim military jail in England, all his prospects abruptly torn away.
But his impressive network and efficiency have not gone unnoticed, and a gentleman from British intelligence has a proposal. To avoid prison, Harry Palmer will become a spy. And the case on which he cuts his teeth will be The Ipcress File.
Harry’s links to the man suspected of kidnapping a missing British nuclear scientist result in him being conscripted for a dangerous undercover mission that takes him from the Beatles’ London to the Berlin Wall, from the back alleys of Beirut to the white hot sand of a Nuclear Atoll in the Pacific."
Edit: and it's got Tom Hollander in it! That's a very good reason for me to give it a try, Hollander's fantastic.