Billion Dollar Brain

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"Pow… Power… Brainpower"
  • NR
  • 1967
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 6.0  (5,950)

Billion Dollar Brain, released in 1967, is a British espionage thriller film directed by Ken Russell and starring Michael Caine, Karl Malden, and Ed Begley. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Len Deighton and is a part of the Harry Palmer series. Billion Dollar Brain is the third film in the series, following The Ipcress File and Funeral in Berlin.

The film's plot takes place in the height of the Cold War, where Harry Palmer, a former intelligence officer turned private detective, is recruited by an American General Leo Newbegin to investigate an anti-communist group in Helsinki, Finland. The group is led by the wealthy Texan oilman, General Midwinter, who believes that he can defeat the Soviet Union by creating a supercomputer called "The Brain."

Palmer agrees to take the job to investigate the group, but soon finds himself in the middle of a dangerous game of espionage, as he discovers that there is more to General Midwinter and his anti-communist group than he originally thought. As Palmer delves deeper into the case, he realizes that the line between friend and foe is blurred, leaving him unsure of whom to trust.

The movie kicks off with Harry Palmer being approached by an American General to investigate the actions of General Midwinter, a man who claims he can defeat the Soviet Union by creating a "supercomputer" called "The Brain." However, it becomes increasingly evident that the situation is far more complicated than it initially seemed.

The suspense and intrigue of the storyline are accentuated by Michael Caine's excellent portrayal of Harry Palmer. He's one of the few actors who could handle the intelligence and the physicality requisite for the character.

Apart from Michael Caine, Karl Malden also delivers a strong performance as General Midwinter. Malden brought a certain gravitas to his role, which made Midwinter feel like a genuine and serious threat to the Western powers. Midwinter is often soft-spoken, but his underlying menace is always present.

Additionally, the music also well complements the film's tone. The movie features a magnificent score by Richard Rodney Bennett, which enhanced the film's suspense and tension.

The action and suspense throughout the film are steady, slowly building towards the climactic finale. The film even features some memorable action sequences, including a thrilling snowmobile chase scene in the Finnish wilderness.

In addition to the film's tension and action, Billion Dollar Brain also delivers plenty of comedy. Michael Caine's dry and witty humor is in full force throughout the film, lightening the mood and helping to offset the often intense and dangerous situations going on around him. The movie had a great balance between the lighter comedic aspects and the darker, more serious themes.

Overall, Billion Dollar Brain is an excellent addition to the Harry Palmer series, with great performances, an intriguing story, and impeccable direction by Ken Russell. It's a tightly crafted espionage thriller that doesn't overplay its hand in any capacity, resulting in an enjoyable film that stands the test of time.

Billion Dollar Brain is a 1967 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0.

Billion Dollar Brain
Where to Watch Billion Dollar Brain
Billion Dollar Brain is available to watch free on Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, FlixFling, The Roku Channel, EPIX and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Billion Dollar Brain for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (5,950)