2002 Film Music CD Reviews
Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
The Ipcress File
SILVA SCREEN/CARLTON FILMCD 605
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.