Ipcress File, The (Blu-ray) (1965)

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Released 8-Dec-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Trailer
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1965
Running Time 107:39 (Case: 103)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sidney J. Furie
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Michael Caine
Nigel Green
Guy Doleman
Sue Lloyd
Gordon Jackson
Aubrey Richards
Frank Gatliff
Thomas Baptiste
Oliver MacGreevy
Freda Bamford
Pauline Winter
Anthony Blackshaw
Barry Raymond
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $19.95 Music John Barry


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† British scientists are being kidnapped and brainwashed. The group of Major Dalby (Nigel Green) in the Home Office are given the task of finding out who is responsible and Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) is transferred to assist. One of their few leads is an Albanian middleman codenamed Blujay (Frank Gatliff) who seems to know far more about the British Secret Service than he should. As Palmer investigates, he is drawn into a dangerous game where no-one is who they seem. Just who is the beautiful Jean (Sue Lloyd) really working for? What is the role of British spymaster Colonel Ross (Guy Doleman)? Shadowed by the CIA and distrusted by his own side, as the bodies pile up Palmer must keep his wits about him and trust no-one until he can unmask the traitor in British Intelligence and solve the riddle of the Ipcress File.

†††† The Ipcress File, based on the novel by Len Deighton, came out in 1965, the same year as Thunderball. Although both are based in the world of spies and British Intelligence, they could not be more different in tone or content. There is nothing flashy about the The Ipcress File. Instead of fast cars, gadgets and exotic locations, the spy world created by Deighton is one firmly fixed in a London of claustrophobic small rooms, dirty tricks, betrayal and bureaucratic cost cutting. This is a small world and Director Sidney J. Furie persistently employs low camera angles or people half seen through doors to close in the action. There are also no big explosions or car chases in The Ipcress File and the action when it comes is quickly over. Instead The Ipcress File is a wonderful slow building thriller, adding layer upon layer of detail that keeps your attention as it builds towards its climax.

†††† The world of British Intelligence created by Len Deighton in his various novels is frequently more about internal bickering and bureaucratic cost cutting than foreign enemies, and The Ipcress File follows this trend. It is a character piece and at its core is a superb performance by Michael Caine as your everyman spy; intelligent, insolent and wary of authority, and he gets great support from Nigel Green and Sue Lloyd. At the 1966 BAFTA Awards The Ipcress File won for Best Film, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Some films show their age. Not so The Ipcress File which remains an intense, intelligent thriller. If you like your spies down to earth The Ipcress File is a must see.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† The Ipcress File is presented in a ratio of 2.35:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced. Colours are natural, although soft, and skin tones good. Blacks are OK while shadow detail and contrast could be better in some scenes although the clarity is mostly very good indeed. Other than frequent mild grain, however, blemishes are absent. This is a 45 year old film that looks good for its age and in fact reflects well the gritty streets, warehouses and offices of 1960ís London. Lip Synchronisation is occasionally off.

†††† The English subtitles for the hearing impaired are in a clear white font that follows the dialogue closely but adds little additional information.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† Audio is a choice between English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0. The film was released with a mono track, which is not included. Not that it matters. This is a dialogue driven film and there is very little difference between the two tracks. The 2.0 is surround encoded; the 5.1 surrounds only support music and ambient sounds without panning effects and the subwoofer is silent most of the time. In both tracks dialogue is clear and either track is more than adequate for the film.

†††† The music by John Barry is effective in supporting the mood of the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Original Theatrical Trailer (1:05 minutes)

Stills Gallery

37 colour and black and white cast, production, behind the scenes and promotional stills. They advance automatically.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† There is no current Blu-ray release in Region A and our Australian release is identical to the UK Region B release. So it is a draw as far as Blu-ray is concerned.

†††† Extras are another matter. There have been a number of Region 1 and Region 2 DVD releases of The Ipcress File. The best as far as extras is a 2 disc UK Region 2 release which has an audio commentary by Sidney J. Furie (Director) and Peter Hunt (Editor) on disc 1 plus a second disc of extras:

There are however reported problems with the video of this release involving contrast boosting and vertical compression so the Blu-ray is superior in this aspect. Which version to have comes down to your interest in the extras.

Summary

††† The espionage thriller The Ipcress File is based on the novel by Len Deighton. Instead of explosions, fast cars or deadly gadgets, the spy world created by Deighton is one of claustrophobic small rooms, dirty tricks, betrayal and bureaucratic cost cutting. Some films show their age. Not so The Ipcress File which remains an intense, intelligent and very enjoyable thriller. The Blu-ray has acceptable video and audio but limited extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, February 15, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Blu ray is superb but.. - penguin (there is no bio)