Monday, September 15, 2014

Funeral in Berlin (1966)

Director: Guy Hamilton

Writers: Len Deighton, Evan Jones

Composer: Konrad Eifers

Starring: Michael Caine, Paul Hubschmid, Oskar Homolka, Eva Renzi, Guy Doleman, Hugh Burden, Heinz Schubert, Wolfgang Volz, Thomas Holtzmann, Gunter Meisner, Herbert Fux, Rainer Brant, Rachel Gurney, John Abineri, David Glover

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  It was going to be a lovely funeral. Harry Palmer just hoped it wouldn't be his...

Plot: A British agent is sent to Berlin to receive a Communist defector, but the true situation turns out to be rather more complicated.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes!!!

Here's a sequel that tops the previous film, THE IPCRESS FILE (1965).  The intricately layered story is compelling and fun.  There are a couple of moments of levity that I could have done without, like his sexual quips with the office secretary ALA Bond, but it's early on and stuff like that doesn't permeate the picture.  Thankfully it's an engrossing and serious alternative to the James Bond series that was currently at its zenith in spy-mania.  FUNERAL is essentially two short films woven together as one.  It feels a little weird finding what feels like the main story ending with the other taking over but it works.  While I miss having John Barry back to score this one, I really dug what Konrad Eifers brought to the table.  His music brings a little of the exoticism of some of the early Bond scores and makes it seem more personal and dangerous without forgetting it's a movie and we should enjoy it.  Caine, as always, is great and the supporting cast is marvelous as well.  Bond producer Harry Saltzman brought some of his Bond alumni with him like the last picture.  Production designer Ken Adam is back and he brought in GOLDFINGER (1964) director Guy Hamilton to helm it.  It's a top-notch 60s spy thriller that's a great compliment to the Bond series while doing its own thing.  It's been a few years since I last saw it but it seems to be growing on me with age.  I watched a friend's DVD and I immediately went to Amazon to buy it but the $22 (plus tax) price keeps me from pulling the trigger.  It's a Warner Bros. Archive Collection release so at best it might only have a trailer for an extra.  That's too steep to pay for so little.  Hopefully the price will drop by the time I'm ready to see it again/  In the meantime it might even come out on Blu-ray but I'm not holding my breath.

No comments:

Post a Comment