Writers: W.H. Canaway, James Doran, Len Deighton
Composer: John Barry
Starring: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson, Aubrey Richards, Frank Gatliff, Thomas Baptiste, Oliver MacGreevy, Freda Bamford
More info: IMDb
Plot: In London, a counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.
My rating: 7.5/10
Will I watch it again? Yes.
After watching the disappointing Michael Caine vehicle, THE ITALIAN JOB (1969) the night before, I wanted to rectify that with watching a Caine flick I hadn't seen in years but I knew was a real peach of a flick. This is how you make a spy picture in the mid-60s amidst the James Bond phenomena and not go for spoofing or aping it. Caine is great, as usual, and so is the rest of the cast, especially Nigel Green. The story is pretty good, too, but it's the stuff with Palmer and his superiors and co-workers that really works for me. The storyline with the scientists is good and interesting but I really dig how Palmer interacts with others and how he's not your typical spy. It's been ages since I saw the two sequels (one I remember was pretty good and the other was dreadfully boring) but it won't be much longer before I revisit them, too. Oh, and John Barry's magnificent score does wonders to help the tension in this picture. The camera angles, too, are fantastic. There's some really neat artistry at work here. It's really interesting that several Bond alumni worked on this picture including producer Harry Saltzman, composer John Barry, editor Peter R. Hunt, and production designer Ken Adam. Find this one and soak it up.