Monday 18 February 2013

Len Deighton turns 84 ...

Today is Len Deighton's 84th birthday; he was born in London on 18 February 1929

On behalf of the Deighton Dossier blog and website and its readers, as well as his many thousands of admirers and readers around the globe, a hearty 'Happy Birthday' goes out to Len.

It's thanks to his writing and second-to-none research that readers can enjoy so many cracking stories over the decades in which he introduced to the world of spy fiction such time-honoured characters as the 'unnamed spy' who later became Harry Palmer and my particular favourite, Bernard Samson.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Which are the 'great' British films?.....

What's the best film of all time? Everyone will have a different perspective, but any list of top films is always a good excuse for a debate on which is the best and when the golden period of movies was.

Barry Norman, film critic, has identified his top 50 British films of all time in today's Telegraph, and I'm pleased that The Ipcress File has made it into his list (which isn't ordered, but just a collection of the best 50 in his opinion). It, along with the Saltzman-produced Bond films of the mid-sixties, helped generate a great wave of classic home-spun cinema for a decade or more.

The Ipcress File it is not the only spy film in his list (he includes Skyfall, which is one of the few modern films Norman has listed, along with The Third Man). But the recent Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - which I thought was excellent - didn't make it, nor did The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Interestingly, Norman's left the last place, number 50, up to his readers to determine.

Any film list is always going to be contentious. What do you think has been missed out from the list? What espionage greats aren't in the list but should be? What doesn't justify it's place on the list?