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      Billion Dollar Brain

      1967 1h 51m Drama List
      50% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 42% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) is a former British secret agent who has taken up work as a private detective. An anonymous party hires him to deliver a seemingly normal package to Helsinki. However, he learns that he has been deceived into working for the Secret Service again, and is actually returning stolen virus-infected eggs to a government lab. Palmer is then persuaded to thwart a manic Texas oil baron (Ed Begley) who is planning to attack the Soviet Union with a supercomputer. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Feb 20 Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (6) Critics Reviews
      Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times It is a spy movie that commits the unforgivable sin of losing track of its plot. Rated: 2/4 Jan 14, 2006 Full Review Penelope Houston The Spectator Scrambled technique has the effect of a series of evasive mannerisms, to keep anyone from meeting the story head-on. Sep 28, 2020 Full Review Ken Hanke Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) A clever, brisk, entertaining spy picture that has a lot more Ken Russell in it than you might suspect. Rated: 4/5 Jul 1, 2014 Full Review Pablo Villaça Cinema em Cena No mais fraco exemplar da série, Harry Palmer perde a personalidade irreverente, enfrenta uma ameaça absurda encabeçada por uma caricatura em um filme aborrecido e sem pé nem cabeça. Rated: 1/5 Jan 11, 2010 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion Russell slams the I-Spy trappings into disjunctively eccentric frenzies Nov 15, 2009 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews It's far-fetched, but it's fun. Rated: B Apr 9, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (90) audience reviews
      CodyZamboni Elaborate Harry Palmer sequel, with lots of James Bond like influences, ie, the credit sequence, immense high tech sets, and hundreds of soldier extras. Movie has a campier approach this time, and is a bit over the top with crazed Texan Ed Begley screaming rants against communism and his fascist imagery. But holding it all together is Michael Caine with his smart ass, jaded attitude to the events, the double crosses, authority figures and his need for money. Movie energetically directed by Ken Russell, and has one of the best double piano movie scores ever. The location shooting in Finland really effective in making things look freezing cold. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 10/30/23 Full Review Dave S With Billion Dollar Brain, director Ken Russell proved early in his career that he at least had the potential to make a decent movie. Compared to Lisztomania and Tommy, Billion Dollar Brain looks like Citizen Kane. In the final instalment of the short-lived Harry Palmer franchise, P.I. Palmer (Michael Caine) embarks on a quest to retrieve a package of virus-laden eggs, eventually leading him to a convoluted and absurd plot to topple Communism. The first half hour or so is actually kind of fun, but things eventually spiral out of control in typical Russell fashion. Ed Begley gives an absolutely ridiculous performance as the flag waving American intent on destroying the USSR, the last half hour can't decide whether it's going for laughs or thrills (it accomplishes neither), and, overall, you can't help but have the feeling that you've been horribly punked. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 10/27/23 Full Review matthew d A funny finale to Michael Caine's spy trilogy. Ken Russell (The Devils) directs the grand finale to Michael Caine's iconic espionage thriller trilogy Billion Dollar Brain (1967), which retains all the creative vision, moody style, and quirky British humor of the first two features: The Ipcress File (1965) and Funeral in Berlin (1966). I had a smile on my face the entire time watching Billion Dollar Brain. It's so strange and inventive with bold new ideas on spying, technology, and Cold War tactics. Len Deighton's writing is a complex and playful take on the dangers of the Cold War era espionage undertaken by England, Russia, Finland, Latvia, and America. I thoroughly enjoyed the insane concepts, hilarious jokes, and intricately woven spy story from screenplay writer John McGrath for Billion Dollar Brain. Ken Russell's direction is fascinating as he shoves Michael Caine's irreverent English spy Harry Palmer all over the globe in a massive international conspiracy with intricate espionage, sensitive intel, lethal spies, and a raving oil baron. From the intimate space of Harry Palmer's private detective offices in London to the frozen tundra of Finland and Latvia, all the way over to a Texan fiery oil industry in America. Billion Dollar Brain is hilarious, thoughtful, and stimulating with Russell's erratic imagery and chaotic style for an arthouse spy thriller like no other. Russell certainly keeps Caine's Harry Palmer series fresh with a fast pace and constant humor offsetting important espionage information. Michael Caine is as funny and charming with his undeniable charisma as British spy Harry Palmer. He gets snow tossed on him and has to march across the Finland tundra as he infiltrates an anti-Communist league. Caine makes you laugh or think with every line. His calm and cool demeanor is iconic. Legendary French actress Francoise Dorleac is gorgeous as Russian spy Anya with her fuzzy fur coats, poofy Russian hat, and those eyes. Her accent is delightful and her performance is so flirty with Caine. Karl Malden's American assassin for hire Leo is intriguing as you always suspect him of something. I have to say I adored seeing Oskar Homolka reprise his role as Russian General Stok with his beaming smile and bold laugh. His rapport with Michael Caine is always funny and his memories speeches of Lenin and Russia are almost touching. Ed Begley is hilarious as American oil tycoon General Midwinter with his raving speech after speech about American values fighting Communists the world over in the name of patriotism. He's very memorable. I appreciate Ken Russell getting Guy Doleman back as Caine's drole boss Colonel Ross with his stuffy British attitude. Alan Osbiston's editing is clever and psychedelic with that strange late 60's experimental style. His quick cuts make for a wild viewing experience and ensure Billion Dollar Brain's 111 minutes fly by briskly. Billy Williams' cinematography is gorgeous for both the striking close-ups and tender wide shots of Finland. You feel like you're looking at a dreamworld covered in snow. Ken Russell's dreamy, ethereal, and outgoing directing style helps that atmosphere. Syd Cain and Bert Davey's production design has fun Texan sci-fi computer rooms to desolate Soviet compounds. Richard Rodney Bennet's otherworldly score is haunting and charming for Billion Dollar Brain. The theremin theme is a stunning and unforgettable melody alongside a harpsichord piano passage I loved. All the music herein is wonderful. John Brady and Shirley Russell's fluffy winter coats and stylish jackets are fantastic costume designs. The giant Russian hats are just great. In all, I loved Billion Dollar Brain. It's an experimental end from Ken Russell for Michael Caine's English spy Harry Palmer. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Fun third entry in the Harry Palmer series. Gets more "Bondish" than the previous entries, but Harry still remains somewhat grounded and down to earth. Ken Russell directs - though he keeps his wilder tendencies (mostly) in check. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Underrated, pre-Devils work by Ken Russell that's actually a lot of fun. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Audience Member The reason why I liked the Harry Palmer movies was because they were more realistic and gritty. This movie felt like a weird James Bond parody, wasn't suspenseful or well made. I liked Karl Malden but I felt the movie was lacking. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) is a former British secret agent who has taken up work as a private detective. An anonymous party hires him to deliver a seemingly normal package to Helsinki. However, he learns that he has been deceived into working for the Secret Service again, and is actually returning stolen virus-infected eggs to a government lab. Palmer is then persuaded to thwart a manic Texas oil baron (Ed Begley) who is planning to attack the Soviet Union with a supercomputer.
      Director
      Ken Russell
      Producer
      Andre de Toth
      Screenwriter
      John McGrath
      Production Co
      Jovera
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 16, 2008
      Runtime
      1h 51m
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