The Ipcress File Funeral in Berlin Billion Dollar Brain Bullet to Beijing Midnight in St Petersburg



Other 'Harry Palmer style' movies/tv series


In case you are looking for more serious spydrama, films or tv series 'Palmer style', I have compiled a list with titles that might be of interest to you. In case you have additions, please mail me or leave it on the messageboard.

With Michael Caine:

  • The Fourth Protocol (1987)
  • Well made, no frills, spythriller. A lot of Harry Palmer elements come back in this film. The Fourth Protocol is a secret agreement between America, Britain and Russia to stop smuggling nuclear weapons into their respective countries. This helps the schemes of several rogue spies, who hope to destroy NATO by embarking on just such a smuggling operation. Russian agent Valeri Petrofsky played by Bond 4 Pierce Brosnan is ordered to stage a nuclear accident in England, then arrange the evidence to point to the Americans. British intelligence agent John Preston, played by Michael Caine, starts wondering why such nuclear-weapon ingredients like lithium are showing up in strange places.**recommended.

Trailer The Fourth Protocol

  • Blue Ice (1993)
  • The Harry Palmer series have most certainly inspired this one, although it is not a great movie. Michael Caine is now Harry Anders (yes, just a slight change of name). The spyfilm has its moments but lacks chemistry between the actors. It is better than than Bullet or Midnight though. The story revolves around a secret agent-turned-jazzclub owner, who gets involved in another case when a beautiful girl crashes into his car. The story gets larger when several friends from his espionage days are mysteriously killed. 'Anders' investigates on his own, which brings him in very close proximity with the mysterious consul's wife played by Sean Young.

Behind the screens clip Blue Ice c

  • The Whistle Blower (1986)
  • Superpatriot Michael Caine hears from his son Nigel Havers, a Russian translator with Government Communications Headquarters, that the CIA might have ordered the deaths of some GCH employees to avoid any security leaks. When Havers mentions that he's thinking about blowing the whistle on the sordid goings-on, Caine, convinced that whatever the CIA is doing is for the greatest good, begs his son to keep quiet. Soon afterward, son Havers is found murdered.

Trailer The Whistle Blower

Without Michael Caine:

  • Spy Story (1976)
  • Spy Story, sometimes called the 'unofficial fourth Harry Palmer film', is another Len Deighton story with the so-called unnamed spy. This lowbudget production wasn't made by the Harry Saltzman team and doesn't contain Michael Caine. The main character is called Pat Armstrong in this movie. Funny enough, the IMBD called the main character Harry Palmer for a long time (this has now been corrected). The main character works in wargaming, using the latest intelligence about the Soviet military force. When his car breaks down at night and he can't find a phone, he uses a key he still has to let himself into his old apartment to make the call from there - only to find he has apparently continued to live there. He is clearly at the centre of an elaborate plot of some kind...

To give you a glimpse of what the Spy Story film is like, below you can watch the trailer. Yes, 'Harry Palmer' has dark hair and the guy with the blondish/reddish beard is Colonel Stok.

Spy Story Trailer

  • The Sandbaggers (1978/1980 TV drama)
  • The "Sandbaggers" is a nickname for the Special Section of the British SIS (Secret Service), a team of special agents who are deployed undercover in hostile situations at a time when the cold war was at its height. The series was written and created by Ian MacKintosh, himself an ex-military man with alleged ties to British Security. His death during the making of the series has always been viewed with suspicion. The Sandbaggers was reviewed in 2003 by the New York Times as being "the best spy series in television history". **recommended.

Trailer of The Sandbaggers - click on this link

The OpsRoom.Org - everything about The Sandbaggers television show

Opening tune The Sandbaggers

Rare TV Times commercial (Sandbaggers)

  • Three Days of the Condor (1975)
  • A mild mannered CIA researcher (played by Robert Redford), who reads and checks books in which secret messages might be hidden, returns from lunch to find all of his colleagues assassinated. "Condor" (his codename) must find out who did this and get in from the cold before the hitmen get him. **recommended

Trailer Three Days of the Condor

  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979)
  • In this seven-part BBC adaptation, Smiley returns from his enforced 'retirement' to lead a mole hunt that is loosely based on the circumstances surrounding Philby's identification as a Russian spy at the heart of the British Secret Service. **recommended

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - Trailer

  • The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1965)
  • Very dark, grim spymovie in black&white, starring Richard Burton. It tells the story of Alec Leamas, an English spy, who resigns from the British Secret Service and defects to East Germany. Leamas is actually being manipulated by the director of the Secret Service, as part of an elaborate plot to discredit an effective East German spymaster and protect a British double agent in the East German Secret Service from discovery. **recommended.

Scene from The Spy who came in from the Cold

  • The Quiller Memorandum (1966)
  • The other Berlin spymovie. Although not as good as Funeral in Berlin, the Berlin-atmosphere is captured well. A British spy is killed in Berlin. Quiller takes over his assignment: he has to find an underground neo Nazi organization. He meets Inge, a young school teacher, who can help him find the organisation but he is kidnapped by a man called Oktober. A game of cat and mouse starts, each trying to discover each other’s base

Trailer The Quiller Memorandum

  • The Day of the Jackal (1973)

  • Not strictly a spymovie but it sure feels like one. An English professional killer is hired by former French generals to kill Charles de Gaulle while a dedicated agent follows the assassin's trail in this political thriller. The film uses the perspectives of the professional assassin as he prepares his work and that of clever French detective as he follows the assasin. **recommended

Trailer of The Day of the Jackal

  • Where The Spies Are (1965)

  • One of the 'Eurospy' kind of movies, this one is not recommended viewing but mentioned here because Francoise Dorleac played a leading role in it before she did Billion Dollar Brain.

Trailer of Where The Spies Are

  • The Deadly Affair (1966)

  • A movie about a British secret agent investigating the apparent suicide of a Foreign Office official. A nice 'no frills' spy movie, starring James Mason and based on a John Le Carre story, mostly filmed in London. Great music by Quincy Jones.

Titles and beginning of the movie


  • The Kremlin Letter (1969)

  • A network of spies recruits an intelligence officer with a photographic memory to accompany them on a mission inside Russia. They must try to get a letter back written by the CIA that promises American assistance to Russia if China gets the atomic bomb. A confusing spy film but interesting because it was also filmed in Finland and uses some of the same locations as Billion Dollar Brain. With Ipcress' Nigel Green and a big startcast.



  • Agents Secrets / Spy Bound (2004)

  • Trailer (in French) of the French spymovie Agents Secrets, released with English subtitles under the name 'Spy Bound'. A team of secret agents is assigned to sink a cargo vessel in Casablanca. The ship is transporting weapons.  They are advised by an American agent to abort their mission, but their superiors order them to ignore. Critics butchered the movie but I don't think it is that bad...

    Trailer (in French)


  • The Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum (2002/2004/2007)

  • Of all the contemporary 'action' spymovies I prefer the Bourne series. Although I like the first one -The Bourne Identity- the best, The Bourne Ultimatum is already a classic in the action-genre.Although I still prefer the 'thinking' kind of spy movies, Ultimatum is a must-see spymovie which will leave you breathless in your seat. **recommended.


  • Page Eight (2011) 

  • David Hare’s first directorial outing for twenty years, a potent political thriller, cast with British acting heavyweights.Centre stage is Bill Nighy’s Johnny Worricker, a long serving and suffering MI5 officer. When his boss and best friend suddenly dies, he is left to navigate what soon reveals itself to be a treacherous tangle of intrigue, winding right to the very top of the British political establishment. **recommended.


  • ěrnen (The Eagle) (2004 - 2006) 

  • ěrnen ('Eagle') is an Icelandic inspector in a Danish secret task force to help solve international crime. With a team of talented and diverse investigators he handles explosive and complex cases with all available means. Very good Danish television series, great characters and acting, highly realistic series. Won an Emmy Award. Only available in Australia with English subtitles, e.g. here:  ABC The Eagle Video collection  Only the title tune is available on Youtube. **recommended.

  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011) remake 

  • Smiley returns from his enforced 'retirement' to lead a mole hunt that is loosely based on the circumstances surrounding Philby's identification as a Russian spy at the heart of the British Secret Service. Very stylish remake from the BBC television series of 1979. **recommended


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