Funeral in Berlin by stdepue

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									Funeral in Berlin" is second in a series of movies, made from Len Deighton's
books, starring Michael Caine. Like the others, it's produced by Harry
Saltsman, playing hookey from his better-known James Bond 007 series. It's
directed by Guy Hamilton, also playing hookey from James Bond. The
Scottish Sean Connery has said that Hamilton, also a Scot, was his favorite
among the 007 directors: they shared that sly sense of humor, and, indeed,
it's to be enjoyed in "Funeral in Berlin" as well.

The cold war plot concerns a powerful Russian Colonel, who's signaled
London that he wishes to defect, and, has, as a theater of operations,
divided, crawling-with-spies Berlin. So there Michael Caine's character,
Harry Palmer, is sent, right back to the scene of his World War II crimes,
where he had served in the Quartermasters' Corps. Right back to his former
associates in those shady enterprises: they have all grown rich, while the
British have forced him into spying to stay out of jail. Palmer, naturally, has
had previous dealings with Colonel Stok, and does not believe for a moment
that the shrewd Russian actually intends to defect; but he can't make
London see his point of view. So off he goes, to call again on his former
associates. He'll also find himself dealing with Mossad, the Israeli Secret
Service; they too are interested in these proceedings. They will set one of
their own as Samantha Steel, fashion model, to quickly find Palmer
irresistible and then monitor his activities.

"Funeral" is well cast. As "Colonel Stok," Oskar Homulka is reliably Oskar
Homulka. Paul Hubschmid does well as "Johnny Vulkan." Guy Doleman ably
reprises his role as "Ross" from "Ipcress." Caine, of course, was at the
height of his powers, and his looks. Eva Renzi, German-born, is qualified to
play "Samantha," Palmer's love interest, although, as is typical of
Saltsman's casting of females, she hadn't much of a career otherwise. (Nor
did she have a long career, as she recently died, rather young, having been
married to one of her co-stars from this movie.)

The movie is quite entertaining, and it moves fast. The plot has lots of
surprises, the color photography's excellent, catching the ambiance of an
anxious Berlin. Unfortunately, "Funeral" is out of print, and hard to find. If
you want it, you'll have to dig for it.

								
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