May 22, 2016


Reel Streets has posted an interesting study of locations used in the 1965 Harry Palmer film, The Ipcress File, starring Michael Caine. Spy Vibe has often celebrated the movie for its interesting cinematography, style, and for its connection to the Bond films. But location-spotting is a relatively new hobby in my world. Spy Vibers may remember I visited many filming locations last summer that were featured in The Prisoner and the ITC shows in the 1960s. It was incredible to immerse oneself in each place. I found those experiences not only brought the classic shows to life and provided a behind-the-scenes view of their production, but they also gave me a great appreciation for the way things have changed- or stayed the same, in many cases- in the UK since the programs were shot 50 years ago. I suppose it was akin to meeting a new potential romance and looking through her family photo albums, visiting the ancestral home, and falling in love with the whole person. I say that because I really did fall in love with the UK. One of my favorite discoveries was watching my British friends during a weekend car rally around locations in the Elstree area. Many of them, as it turns out, had grown up with a passion for using maps and hunting down and documenting locations used in the classic spy shows and in Doctor Who. In fact, there's a whole sub-culture of research and location spotting going on over there. The web is full of site documentation, travel routes, and there have been many books published, as well. It was charming to consider that while I was content to read Frank Miller's Daredevil comics in my dorm room as a teen (hey, those Ninjas were awesome!), my friends in the UK were busy studying maps and meeting up at fan conventions. I wonder if the United States was just too vast, and land development too rapid, to cultivate the hobby to the same extent. I will be returning to the UK in July to visit many more locations from The Avengers, The Saint, The Prisoner, Doctor Who, etc, and look forward to sharing some of my photographs in August. Readers can see my images on Spy Vibe from last summer's trip to Portmeirion here. Nothing can really compete with standing in the actual place and breathing the air, but it's still interesting to see images comparing screen-shots to current locations. Reel Streets has provided quite a collection that documents The Ipcress File. If you're fascinated to visit some of the spots in the film, this can provide an excellent guide. My one complaint on an aesthetic level is that their screen-captures from the movie are pretty fuzzy and could use some editing to make them visually stronger (sorry, career photography teacher here!). You can check it out here. You can also see current Ipcress location shots at the Movie Locations website here and at the Movie Tourst blog here. I'll spotlight additional research sites this week. Below: a really cool contact sheet of actor Michael Caine. Enjoy! Now, I'm off to celebrate my birthday with some walks and meals with pals. Have a great day, Spy Vibers! 

Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art Interview, Fergus Fleming Interview, Avengers: Alan Hayes InterviewJaz Wiseman Interview, Diana Rigg BFI InterviewCasino Royale Interview: Mike RichardsonLost Diana Rigg InterviewHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE SchoolIan Fleming Memorial, Portmeirion PhotosDoctor Who ExhibitFarewell SteedPussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJohn Buss interview, Saint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore CalypsoCynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismTokyo Beat 1964Feraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E., Comics Week: Archie, Comics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies IRodney Marshall Avengers InterviewRichard Sala: Super-EnigmatixCold War ArchiePlayboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Catsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

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