August 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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The Ipcress File  

Ipcress File

In an attempt to find a complete contrast to James Bond, producer Harry Saltzman decided that Len Deighton's dour, everyman spy Harry Palmer was the ideal character and so the film version of The Ipcress File was born. Most interesting though was Saltzman's decision to employ John Barry's musical talents, as you might have thought that he would have wanted to steer clear of the Bond connection. But obviously he had faith that Barry was versatile enough to create something a little different, while perhaps retaining enough of the style and razzmatazz that had made his musical work on the Bond films so memorable and popular.

On this welcome release from Silva Screen Records the music is interspersed with dialogue segments to give a flavour of the film's sardonic wit, but really the CD is entirely dominated by the 'Main Title' theme, a jazzy, pure sixties piece of John Barry melodic chic. Unfortunately this cue features so heavily in numerous variations that despite its attractiveness it ultimately outstays its welcome. Of course there are one or two other highlights including the suspenseful 'Meeting With Grantby and Fight', but they are few and far between and it's the 'Main Title' that gets all the mileage.

As a record of a typically likeable John Barry original score this is a must, allowing for the fact that there is relatively little music beyond the central theme.

Mark Hockley


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