In 1965, Several James Bond Veterans Made An Anti-James Bond Spy Film

Three years after the first James Bond film, "Dr. No," a handful of folks who were working on the existing James Bond movies temporarily splintered off to make a completely different kind of spy film. 1965's "The Ipcress File" stars Michael Caine as Harry Palmer, a British secret agent who is much more interested in cooking a high quality meal than skiing off a cliff or dropping quippy one-liners after creatively killing his enemies. There are no scantily clad women, no suggestive double entendres, and no laser beams or gadgets — in many ways, it's the anti-James Bond movie.

All the more interesting, then, that a handful of key Bond players helped bring this story to the big screen. "The Ipcress File" was scored by John Barry, who was responsible for that iconic James Bond theme song and composed the score for several early Bond pictures, including "Goldfinger" (coincidentally, Michael Caine was the first person to ever hear the "Goldfinger" theme). The film also featured production design by Oscar winner Ken Adam, whose incredible sets for both Bond and director Stanley Kubrick are among the most famous in all of cinema, and it was edited by Peter R. Hunt, who cut "Dr. No," "From Russia With Love," "Goldfinger," "Thunderball," and "You Only Live Twice" before eventually directing "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." And crucially, Bond producer Harry Saltzman was a creative voice behind this project. Think about how wild that is: It would be as if Marvel producer Kevin Feige kept producing the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, but also started a rival superhero franchise alongside the MCU right around the time "Captain America: The First Avenger" came out.

'You are being Ipcressed'

"The Ipcress File" kicks off as a typical espionage story about the search for a missing scientist (hey, that's kinda what "No Time to Die" is about!), but by the end, it morphs into something that presages the paranoid thrillers of the 1970s. It's a little slow, but still entertaining, if for no other reason than being able to see Michael Caine cook (both literally and figuratively) before he became a huge star. And thanks to Otto Heller's terrific cinematography, the movie is never boring; he almost always shoots the action from unique angles, and often views the characters through, under, or around objects that purposefully obscure the foreground.

To get a good representation of film's vibe (and a hint at that cool cinematography), check out the trailer above, which really wants you to know that Caine is playing the lead. It also very seriously, one word at a time, uses the phrase "You. Are. Being. Ipcressed" as the trailer reaches its climax, which is just objectively funny.

We spoke about this film and many others on today's episode of the /News Daily podcast, which you can listen to below:

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