Funeral in Berlin (UK, 1966)

Funeral_in_BerlinDirected by: Guy Hamilton. Guy Hamilton, as in, director of Goldfinger, my favourite James Bond movie, and one of the great British films of the 60’s in general—check. Michael Caine in thick glasses—check. A spy thriller set in Cold War-era Berlin—check. Sometimes my criteria are pretty modest. Honestly, though, in between the other great Caine flick, Get Carter, and the other big-name Cold War spy thriller in the queue, Bridge of Spies, this one is going to get the short end of my attention. As I read up on it, I saw that this is a sequel to another Michael Caine hit of the day, The Ipcress File, so maybe that would help put this one into context. As it was, I kind of didn’t dig into the plot all that much—a jewel thief recruited into the spy agency (sure, why not?), sent to handle a sensitive case of an old Russian General defecting to the West, he meets a woman, she isn’t what she appears to be, and an old friend turns out to be not what he appears to be. All your standard spy stuff, but well done over all. You can tell that this movie came as the British film industry was jumping to cash in on the sudden interest in British spy films after the explosion of James Bond as a cultural phenomenon, and all in all, this one is a nice middle ground between the wish-fulfillment and camp of Bond films and the dour “realism” of a John Le Carré joint. Michael Caine’s bad-boy spy Harry Palmer is definitely better looking than George Smiley, but more rogue than Bond. Honestly, I don’t have a ton else to say on the subject. If you’re into a good old 60’s spy film, or if you’re just on a Michael Caine kick, you can do a lot worse than this one.

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One response to “Funeral in Berlin (UK, 1966)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2016 | Offhand Reviews·

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