MichaelCaine played British secret agent Harry Palmer in five films, based on a series of novels by Creator/LenDeighton.
The first three -- ''The Ipcress File'', ''Funeral in Berlin'', and ''Billion Dollar Brain'' -- were released in the 1960s, during the height of the Sean Connery Film/JamesBond films, and offer a grimmer alternative to the increasingly flashy espionage of Bond. [[note]] In this wiki's SpyFiction rating scale, the Bond films are Martini Flavored and Palmer films are very definitely Stale Beer.[[/note]] Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is that they were actually produced by Bond producer Harry Saltzman, who recruited much of the Bond films' ProductionPosse to essentially make his own in-house, contrasting "realistic" spy series.
Caine returned to the role thirty years later for two more films, ''Bullet to Beijing'' and ''Midnight in Saint Petersburg'' (and in the film ''Blue Ice'', played a retired spy named [[AdaptationNameChange Harry]] as a MythologyGag to the role). There are three more "Harry Palmer" novels, ''Horse Under Water'', ''Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Spy'' and ''Spy Story''. The former two were never adapted (''Horse Under Water'' [[WhatCouldHaveBeen would have been]] next if ''Billion Dollar Brain'' had performed better) and the last was adapted separately with the character under the name "Pat Armstrong", his alias in that novel.
!!Films in this series with their own trope pages include:
!!The other films in this series provide examples of:
* GeneralRipper: General Midwinter (Ed Begley Sr.) in Ken ''Billion Dollar Brain''.
* NamedByTheAdaptation: Harry Palmer. The narrator-protagonist of the novels never gave his name.
* SpecsOfAwesome: Heavy-framed National Health Service spectacles form part of Harry Palmer's deceptively insignificant-seeming appearance.