Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Ipcress File now out on Blu-ray

The ever popular film of Len Deighton's novel - with the fantastic John Barry score - is now out on the Blu-ray format. Whatever my views on the difference in quality over standard DVDs and online HD access, it was still worth me buying a copy to see what new there was on it. The film remains as watchable as ever and even though the original film can show its age in HD, it does seem to have reproduced well

Like a lot of Blu-rays, it comes with a lot of 'extras', some of which are familiar but some of which seem new (or at least, new to a disc release). These are:

  • Michael Caine is Harry Palmer - exclusive Sir Michael Caine interview
  • The Design File - an interview with production designer, Sir Ken Adam
  • Commentary with Sidney Furie and editor Peter Hunt
  • Michael Caine goes Stella Street - comedy short with Phil Cornwell (pretty funny!)
  • 1969 documentary - Candid Caine
  • Original theatre trailer

What is rather enjoyable is the programme notes from the publisher, Network Films. It's a rather nice 22-page document with some great black and white and colour films from the film, along with two very readable commentary pieces, which - from memory - have been included in a previous DVD special edition, as they're written in 2005:
  • A different class - Michael Cain and The Ipcress File by Christopher Bray, which seems pretty accurate in telling the story of how the film came to be and Caine's use of the principle of "less is more" in acting to portray Palmer; and
  • A study in insolence - the making of The Ipcress File by Steve Rogers

So while not necessarily new or ground-breaking in its content, it is a nice disc set and on a nice TV with great sound, adds something to the experience.

You can find the disc on Amazon and other stores.

Billion-Dollar Brain will be out later in the autumn on Blu-ray from the same publishers.


  1. I think Ipcress file production designer and fighter pilot the 'late Ken Adam', aka Klaus Hugo Adam, is 93 and still with us!

    As I've mentioned before, Berlin born Ken Adam, was one of only three German nationals to fly in combat for the RAF during the Second World war. And Ken was production designer on Dr Strangelove and many of the Bond films.

  2. “Commentary with Sidney Furie and editor Peter Hunt”
    Peter hunt died in 2002, and this cannot be a recent one.
    As for Sidney Furie, please read the following at:
    “As the story goes, when Furie was shooting the above-mentioned key fight scene in The Ipcress File through the beams of the red phone booth, Saltzman screamed at Furie, "That's now how you shoot a fight scene. The camera should be over there right next to them!" The tempered and soft-spoken Furie, who was at war with Saltzman throughout the production, simply responded, "That's how you shoot a Bond fight sequence." Music composer John Barry commented that the basis of his unusual cymbalom score for the film was Furie's framing of shots and his other worldly staging of scenes. The film went on to win the Best Picture at the British Academy Awards that year”

  3. The link in previous post contains a very detailed appreciation of Sydney Furie, his syle of direction, his camera placements etc..,quite an enjoyable reading.