With the release of the new No Time to Die trailer, November just couldn’t come sooner. But in the meantime, this seems as the perfect time to revisit these classic spy films, each a classic in its own right.
The Ipcress File
If James Bond represents the more glamorous-side of espionage, then Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer represents its more grittier side. Based on Len Deighton’s novel, The Ipcress File is the first of the Palmer spy thriller trilogy that was later to be followed by two more films, Funeral in Berlin and Billion Dollar Brain. It’s often been said The Ipcress File, where Caine made his debut as the reluctant but charismatic British secret agent Harry Palmer, is the best of the three films. Set during the Cold War, Palmer investigates a case where a group of renowned scientists goes missing and returns brainwashed.
Day of the Jackal
Another thriller based on a best-selling novel is Day of the Jackal from Fredrick Forsyth’s 1971 book of the same name. it tells the tale of a professional assassin with the codename “The Jackal” (played by Edward Fox) who has been hired by the OAS to kill the French president Charles de Gaulle.
The Hunt for Red October
If you can look past Sean Connery’s strange hybrid Scottish-Russian accent, this tension-filled thriller should not be missed. Based on Tom Clancy’s debut novel of the same name, Alec Baldwin plays CIA analyst Jack Ryan who is on the hunt for a Russian submarine piloted by Connery’s Captain Marko Ramius that is deemed to be a threat to the US.
Army of Shadows
Legendary French director Jean-Pierre Melville who himself took part in the French Resistance tells a tragic and tension-filled story in Army of Shadows (L’armée des Ombres) of a group of resistance fighters who attempt to evade the Gestapo.
Robert Redford and Brad Pitt star in this now iconic American spy thriller. When CIA agent Tom Bishop (played by Pitt) is captured and sentenced to death, his boss Nathan Muir (played by Redford) has to fight the system to save his friend’s life.