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Michael Caine stars as Len Deighton's Harry Palmer, the poor man's 007, in this exciting thriller that has the cocky Cockney spy uncovering a bizarre brainwashing scheme being run by a highly placed mole within the British Secret Service.
When a leading British scientist in possession of a top-secret file goes missing, the government puts sardonic, bespectacled secret agent Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) on the case. Plunged into a perfect storm of deceit and double-dealing, Palmer uncovers a bizarre brainwashing scheme being run by a highly placed mole in the British Secret Service — who could be either of Palmer's two officious superiors. Bond producer Harry Saltzman launched a complementary mini-series to the Bond franchise with this first of three adaptations of Len Deighton's spy novels, complete with a score by frequent Bond composer John Barry. As Palmer, gourmet chef and ex-thief blackmailed into national service, Caine is the poor man's 007, a cocky Cockney bachelor spy trapped in a world of petty bureaucracy. Caine would play Palmer again in Saltzman's two sequels Funeral in Berlin and Billion Dollar Brain, and returned to the role three decades later for a pair of TV movies.