The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer

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  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,767MI6 Agent

    I enjoyed the first two episodes and look forward to seeing the others in due course. Some of the camera angles are Furie-like and Joe Cole is good. They’ve grabbed the 60’s feel really well, and to be fair anything from that period looks good to me. It’s been so long since I’ve read the novel I’m not sure what has been captured or not but it’s not like the movie so far but I’m not worried about that I’m just enjoying the adaption. I don’t think the minor details like badges and the like make any difference to be honest, I know it’s irritating for those who do know, but for 99.9% of the audience they don’t know - or care. A kid was reading a Commando comic and as far as I know it was too large and modern looking to be from that period but it doesn’t matter as it’s just a brief scene and of course the series is a work of fiction so everything doesn’t have to conform, as long as it’s not blatantly out of step I just like to enjoy what’s put out in front if me.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,775MI6 Agent

    Yes I guess if we’re going to complain about details then we have to be annoyed that everywhere looks like Liverpool! 😄

  • Westward_DriftWestward_Drift Posts: 2,926MI6 Agent

    If we go by what's on our televisions, the other planets in the universe look like either a British rock quarry or a forest outside Vancouver, British Columbia.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,457Chief of Staff

    Finally got to the end of the new "Ipcress File", which I thoroughly enjoyed. The 60s setting was well conveyed, the cast was damn good. I'm sure that John Hodge must have flicked through the book, maybe to find a name he could use, but I could be wrong. He definitely saw the film, though.

    That said, I hope it's successful enough to warrant a sequel, and if so I hope it's "Horse Under Water" which has never been filmed rather than "Funeral In Berlin".

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,775MI6 Agent
    edited March 11

    Hodge said in an interview that he's interested in Billion Dollar Brain. I'm certainly hoping there's more. He's certainly read the books.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,457Chief of Staff

    I know, it was just my way of pointing out how different the series was to the book.

    Brain is my favourite of the Palmer stories, and yes of course I'd like to see this team having a go at it but I'd prefer Horse as it's never been filmed.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,775MI6 Agent

    I know, it was just my way of pointing out that writers do put a bit of effort in! 😊 I've found so far that it's very different to the film (albeit of course starring Harry Palmer!).

    He said he thought Deighton lost interest in the book towards the end so I'm looking forward to seeing where he takes it.

    I must admit I never finished Horse, I found it rather slow going. Maybe I'll give it another go.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,767MI6 Agent

    I watched episode 3 last night and the series just keeps getting better and better. I particularly enjoyed the way information was passed using footballers names of the day in episode 2.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,775MI6 Agent
    edited March 13

    Yes I did ep3 last night as well, very enjoyable and the location work is great.

    Also I thought Harry’s Beirut outfit with the high necked jumper and jacket was great! 😄

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,457Chief of Staff

    I'm not much of a one for noticing the clothing in films etc, but it did all seem period accurate to me. The Bride liked what Jean was wearing, while I only noticed Harry's clothes when they were close to what Michael Caine had in the film (the overcoat, for example).

    Not much of a spoiler: Len Deighton never tells us what Dalby's first name is, nor does the film, but here in the TV adaptation we find out that it's William.

    This is a spoiler:

    If they do make a sequel, I imagine Tom Hollander as Dalby will be back as Harry's boss, replacing Dawlish from the novels and Ross from the films. No problem as far as I'm concerned.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,767MI6 Agent

    Episode 4 done now. Fantastic. Just loving this series. More…please!

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent
    edited March 15

    supposedly in the original Ipcress File you can see Deighton's recipes pinned up on 'arry's kitchen wall. I just had a quick look at the opening credits of the film, and you can see one here pinned against the wood that separates the kitchen from the living room

    Later when Jean breaks into his apartment but doesn't stay for dinner, we see he has a whole bundle pinned to that one spot

    And then in the later scene where Jean does stay, here's the clearest shot of all, you can almost read this one! So they seem to always be in the same place. That recipe seems to think its one of the costars, 'arry and Jean are getting pushed to the margins of the frame as it hogs the camera for its self! also, I'm sure I read somewhere that's Deighton's own hands stunt-doubling when we watch 'arry cooking his meals.

    I posted some examples of these Deighton recipes over in @CoolHandBond 's Book Covers thread, rather than inserting the same graphics twice I'll just lead you back there. Deighton was a graphic artist himself, and these are actually in comic strip format, called "CookStrips". These were published one by one in The Observer, then compiled into books such as the Action CookBook and sequels.

    here's an article in The Guardian about the CookStrips and the making of the first film. Here's a google image search of more examples of Deighton's CookStrips.

    Looking at those examples I found, the recipes are meat heavy, one of them illustrating exactly the parts of a pig to be used in the recipe. I guess thats manly He-Man cooking, not at all suitable for a wussy vegetarian like me! but I like the comic strip format!


    aw heck lets post a few different ones. again with the butchers cut specificity

    and here's one for quesadillas and one for pico de gallo! hey we werent so far off when we 'ad our 'arry cook Jean a bean burrito! maybe I can eat some of this cooking! and I note the first meal we watch him cook is mostly green pepper, onions and eggs.

    I hope they got this aspect right in the remake. foodie culture, farmers markets and celebrity chefs have become a really big thing in recent years, this film was ahead of its time in that respect.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,457Chief of Staff

    Didn't you say something like "don't try this recipe, I only made it up as I went along"! 😁

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    in all seriousness, I bollox'd it based on what I remember watching the short order cooks do at my old restaurant. seems simple enough, but they werent using iron cauldrons and kilns like Elizabethan 'arry 'ad to make do with. and my instructions for mole sauce turned out to be completely wrong once I looked it up, supposedly taking days to prepare! what I wrote will probably make you sick! note this Disclaimer, I take no responsibility for the health complications of anybody fool enough to try that "recipe"

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,457Chief of Staff

    Having made Shakespeare versions of all the James Bond movies, we turned our attention to a Christopher Marlowe version of "The Ipcress File"- we hope you enjoy it!

    https://www.ajb007.co.uk/discussion/comment/1041643#Comment_1041643

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,767MI6 Agent

    I’ve finished it now and thought it was an excellent production, some nice nods here and there to the original movie which I will watch again soon.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,767MI6 Agent


    Brilliant, simply brilliant, guys, a lot of work has gone into this and many thanks for giving us a memorable play. I’m going to watch the movie at the weekend and I won’t be able to keep some of these scenes out of my head 😂

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Westward_DriftWestward_Drift Posts: 2,926MI6 Agent

    Many thanks.

    I dare you to watch the Radcliffe exchange without thinking of Stripes (or how oddly choreographed it was) or take the brainwashing at all seriously. 😂

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,457Chief of Staff

    Very kind of you, CHB, much appreciated! 😃

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    coolhand sez:

    Brilliant, simply brilliant, guys, a lot of work has gone into this and many thanks for giving us a memorable play. I’m going to watch the movie at the weekend and I won’t be able to keep some of these scenes out of my head 😂

    glad somebody read it and even enjoyed it!

    @CoolHandBond now you also have to watch this new film called No Time to Die so you can read, and maybe even enjoy, our Nay, Time to Die! spoof (but you must do it in that order as spoilers abound)

    I found from this exercise I was given extra reason to overanalyse the film in extreme detail to see how it worked, and thats a good thing when youre a film-geek living in a vicarious fantasy-world..


    one thing I've been thinking: 'arry's obsession with cooking and shopping for ingredients may foreshadow what we now call foodie culture. But the big scene where he meets Ross in the American style supermarket dates the film. Maybe in 1964 an American style supermarket would be a novelty in postwar Britain where only the hippest shopped. But surely someone who is willing to pay extra for specific ingredients would be shopping at the Farmers Market, not buying mass-produced tins of mushrooms. The "champignons" dialog actually rings false in 2022 when all the cool people who want to spend extra for flavour only buy fresh produce from mom'n'pop organic farmers they know personally. These "American style supermarkets" are now considered the enemy by folks who care about where their food comes from! (and its this sort of tiny detail I spend hours obsessing over, having been required to take the plot apart and put it back together again Elizabethan style)

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,072MI6 Agent

    I've been watching the recent TV version of The Ipcress File and while I enjoyed it, the whole IMO didn't live up to the promise of the opening three episodes. There are some major changes from novel to TV - I'll try to temporarily forget the brilliant 1965 version - chiefly a Manchurian Candidate style assassination plot which has nothing to do with Len Deighton's original and a side show about his boss Dalby and a Russian defector which really wasn't necessary. I was disappointed to see this version didn't include Colonel Ross, who was Palmer's boss in the movie and does feature in the novel. Dalby's role is greatly altered to accommodate this and a fresh sub-plot revolving around an avaricious government minister is added instead.

    What did I enjoy? Good performances. Good period feel. Loved the camera angles. The whole thing was a bit too knowing and drawn out, as if the producers want an audience to like it because they were being so clever constructing a sixties timepiece not because they'd actually made something really clever, which it wasn't. Ultimately, too confusing because it had too many side plots; both my Dad and I thought the climax was very poor and rushed considering how much time we'd invested in it. The bearded Russian assassin was crap at his job. We both enjoyed Joe Cole's interpretation of H.P. and the background to his career was interesting and gave his character more depth, but given the thing was billed as a fresh take on Deighton's hero, he didn't seem to be very active in the final episode, until the last ten minutes.

    Overall a good effort. Certainly more watchable that Killing Eve 4, but not a patch on Sidney J. Furie's masterful film version.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,775MI6 Agent

    I thought it was really good fun; not a classic but very watchable, like an updated version of an ITC show.

  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,679MI6 Agent

    Looking forward to seeing this but would love to not have to shell out more monthly fees to stream on Britbox.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,767MI6 Agent

    As an ex-pat I find BritBox the best value app on my Firestick. There are so many great series and movies on there, dating from the 60’s to new productions, that I would really miss not having it.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
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