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 Interview, 007 Tribute Covers, The Phantom Avon novels return, Ian Fleming Festival, Argoman Design, Sylvia Anderson R.I.P., Ken Adam R.I.P., George Martin R.I.P., The New Avengers Comics, Trina Robbins Interview, The Phantom at 80, 007 Manga, Avengerworld Book, Diana Rigg Auto Show, The Prisoner Audio Drama Review, David McCallum novel, Andre Courreges R.I.P., Who's Talking on Spy Vibe, UFO Blu-ray, Avengers Pop Art Interview, Fergus Fleming Interview, Avengers: Alan Hayes Interview, Jaz Wiseman Interview, Diana Rigg BFI Interview, Casino Royale Interview: Mike Richardson, Lost Diana Rigg Interview, Honor Blackman at 90, UNCLE School, Ian Fleming Memorial, Portmeirion Photos, Doctor Who Exhibit, Farewell Steed, Pussy Galore Returns, Diana Rigg birthday, Sherlock at 221B, Invisible Agent, Saint Interview: Ian Dickerson, Saint Doppelgänger, Fleming's Typewriter, Rare Fleming, Fleming's Music, Ian Fleming's Japan, Jim Wilson Corgi Interview, Fantomas Design, John Buss interview, Saint Volvo, Mod Tales Interview, Agente Secreto Comics, Danger Man Comics 2, Danger Man Comics, John Drake Comics, Der Mann Von UNCLE, Golden Margaret Nolan, Man From UNCLE Rocksteady, Pussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P., Edward Mann Fashion, Leonard Nimoy Tribute, Shatner at 84, Bob Morane series, Thai Bond Design, Bond vs Modernism, Tokyo Beat 1964, Feraud Mod Fashion, Green Hornet Manga, Avengers Interview: Michael Richardson, Ian Fleming: Wicked Grin, Jane Bond Hong Kong Records, Ryan 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: SPYMAN, Comics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana Rigg, Shakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny Interview, The 10th Victim Japanese and Kindle, U.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Catsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.