Review: ‘Funeral in Berlin’

Funeral in Berlin is the second presentation of the exploits of Harry Palmer, the soft-sell sleuth, this time enmeshed in Berlin counter-espionage. Michael Caine encores in the role that made him a star. Excellent scripting, direction and performances, plus colorful and realistic production, add up to surprise-filled suspense, relieved adroitly by subtle irony. Len Deighton's novel has been adapted by Evan Jones to a taut, economical screenplay, just right for the semi-documentary feel.

Funeral in Berlin is the second presentation of the exploits of Harry Palmer, the soft-sell sleuth, this time enmeshed in Berlin counter-espionage. Michael Caine encores in the role that made him a star. Excellent scripting, direction and performances, plus colorful and realistic production, add up to surprise-filled suspense, relieved adroitly by subtle irony. Len Deighton’s novel has been adapted by Evan Jones to a taut, economical screenplay, just right for the semi-documentary feel.

Herein, amidst a clutch of running gags which never wear out their appeal, Caine is sent to East Berlin, where Communist spy chief Oscar Homolka is making the motions of trying to defect. Paul Hubschmid is the local British contact for Caine, and Eva Renzi pops up as an undercover agent for Israel, tracking down Nazis before statutes of limitation run out.

This being a well-developed suspenser, few people are as they seem, including prissy-pedantic Hugh Burden, a secret documents clerk in Doleman’s British spy group.

Funeral in Berlin

UK

Production

Paramount/Saltzman. Director Guy Hamilton; Producer Charles Kasher; Screenplay Evan Jones; Camera Otto Heller; Editor John Bloom; Music Konrad Elfers; Art Director Ken Adam

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Michael Caine Paul Hubschmid Oscar Homolka Eva Renzi Guy Doleman Rachel Gurney
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading