Ipcress File, The

Date: 1965
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Production Company: The Rank Organisation, Lowndes Productions Ltd, Steven S. A.

Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Gordon Jackson, Sue Lloyd, Frank Gatliff
Location(s): London



A counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Additional Information:

Ian MacDonald advises that the Supermarket shown in the film was Gardners, 31 The Broadway, Wimbledon, identified as a result of the shops seen opposite through the supermaket window, S J Pierce and the TV rental shop next door. All now absorbed into the redevelopment of the area. A picture of the supermarket can be viewed in a download pdf available here and select “e1. LAP Wim Shops”.

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson.


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Dr. Radcliffe (Aubrey Richards) walks to the car that will take him to the station. Christopher Matheson has identified this as what was Athenaeum Court, 116 Piccadilly at the corner with Down Street before it was redeveloped to what is now The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences. (RL)

The car takes the Doctor through London to the station where the train to Nottingham is waiting. Melcombe Place outside Marylebone station in NW1.

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Now. SJ

Accompanied by Taylor and a Porter, Dr. Radcliffe walks along the platform as the service is announced. Marylebone station in London confirmed by Keith Bray.

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It was platform 4 when filming took place but is now a shorter platform 6. (PW)

The calling points of the train are announced as Taylor looks for the reserved compartment. Richard Loweth remarks that the train is announced for Rugby, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield, which is the old Great Central Railway route from London Marylebone.

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The nearest possible to the former platform 4 is this view along what would have been the space between platforms 2 and 3. (PW)

The train departs after Dr. Radcliffe goes missing from his compartment as the shot pans to find the dead body of Taylor in a pile of mail bags. The station also features in 'Up Jumped a Swagman', 'The Day of the Triffids' and 'Nowhere to Go'.

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Platform 6 now occupies what was the 'country' end of platform 4. (PW)

Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) makes his way to continue observation duty. Neil Rigby found Hamilton Terrace in NW8.

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The same location by SJ.

The disgraced Army Sergeant approaches a run down building. The Carlton Hill end of Hamilton Terrace located by NR.

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Looks more upmarket now. SJ

Running twenty minutes late, Palmer enters to take over from the agent who's been there all night. Hamilton Terrace in St John's Wood located by Neil Rigby.

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A revamped house now stands at the spot. SJ

During the morning Palmer keeps watch but is soon relieved and called to see his boss, Colonel Ross.

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Looking from 28-30 Grosvenor Gardens at Chester Square, London SW1. This 3D Google view will have to do until a contributor lives there or someone can obtain access. (RL)

Taking a cab, Palmer arrives outside the Colonel's offices. Old Admiralty building SW1 advises J.T.

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And the south end of Admiralty Arch. SJ.

The Old Admiralty Building on Spring Gardens off The Mall in SW1. The building was seen in 'Further Up the Creek'.

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Having an obvious problem with obtaining a suitable shot, Peter manages to catch sight of the entrance.

Palmer finds Colonel Ross feeding the pigeons at his window overlooking Trafalgar Square. The National Portrait Gallery dominates the distance and the base of Nelson's Column stands to the left.

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From ground level. SJ

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Ross takes Palmer to Major Dalby where he's briefed about Eric Ashley Grantby, codename 'Bluejay'.

During the briefing, the Colonel shows covert footage of Bluejay taken in Vienna. This is an additional capture from David Winner which features Maida Avenue in Little Venice W2, looking towards Blomfield Road. The area features in 'Georgy Girl', 'A Fish Called Wanda' and 'Omen III: The Final Conflict'.

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David also provides this picture showing the changed background. Image copyright Google Earth.

After the briefing and meeting his new colleagues, Palmer drives along Whitehall in the pouring rain. In the distance stands Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.

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Nicer day. The Duke of Clarence pub on the right on the corner of Great Scotland Yard. SJ

Palmer turns his Ford Zodiac into Great Scotland Yard. The arches of the Metropole Building directly ahead to the right have been replaced with a shuttered entrance.

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Also seen in 'Children of Men'. SJ

The rain continues as Palmer gets out of his car and feeds the parking meter. Great Scotland Yard in London SW1.

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The same place by Harrison Morrisey.

Palmer goes inside where he calls in a favour to get information on Grantby. Great Scotland Yard off Whitehall.

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No rain on the day that Harrison Morrisey visited.

Learning where his target may be found, Palmer waits and watches Grantby's Bentley. Kensington Gore in SW7 with the base of Prince Albert's statue to the right.

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Paved now. SJ

As time passes, Palmer continues to wait. The junction of Jay Mews and Kensington Gore, South Kensington with the chimney from the Royal Albert Hall's boilers to the left. The stack makes an appearance in 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' and . . .

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. . . we've been here before with 'X-Files: the movie'. SJ

Eventually, Grantby's chief of staff, codename Housemartin (Oliver MacGreevy), appears to feed the parking meter. In the background stands the Royal College of Music, also seen in 'Hennessy', 'The Girl on the Boat', 'Interlude' and 'The Thirty Nine Steps'.

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No meters left now. SJ

Housemartin returns to Grantby as he reads in the Royal School of Mines library. The Royal Albert Hall stands in the background.

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This comparison was provided by Jimmy Smith.

Palmer follows. Panning right brings the Royal School of Mines into view on Prince Consort Road SW7.

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A similar view, complete with car roof. SJ.

Housemartin enters the building and Palmer follows to meet with Grantby. Outsise the Royal School of Mines on Prince Consort Road, South Kensington.

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The same entrance from SJ.

After Grantby gives him a telephone number, Palmer decides to check it. Facing east on Prince Consort Road.

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Now. SJ

As he learns that the number is disconnected, Palmer sees Housemartin and Grantby heading to their car. The steps running between Prince Consort Road and Kensington Gore as seen from the film's prop phone box. The area appears in 1978's 'The Thirty Nine Steps' as well as 'A Touch of Class', 'The Mutations' and 'To Catch a Spy' to name but a few.

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They plonked the box just at the base of the steps. SJ

The ensuing fight between Palmer and Housemartin is watched by an American Agent (Tony Caunter). Prince Consort Road in South Kensington SW7.

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Some nice detail in the Royal College of Music. SJ

When Housemartin gets the better of him, Palmer watches as Grantby is driven away. Looking towards the statue of Prince Albert on Kensington Gore.

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Now. SJ

After making his report, Palmer heads home with groceries. The corner of Stanlake Villas and Stanlake Road in Shepherd's Bush.

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Steve Connolly captured the same place.

The junction of Stanlake Villas with Stanlake Road in W12 with the rear of Shepherd's Bush Police Station on the extreme left.

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Panning right at the same location by Steve Connolly.

Looking west at the corner of Stanlake Villas and Stanlake Road.

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Steve Connolly continues to follow the shot.

Inside his flat, Palmer prepares dinner before receiving a call from his police contact telling him that Housemartin has been detained. Properties on Stanlake Road trail away in the centre of the capture.

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The same entrance from Steve Connolly.

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Palmer and Carswell arrive at Shoreditch Police Station where Housemartin is being held. Actually, this is Shepherds Bush police station at 87 Askew Road on the corner of Hadyn Park Road, W12 says Alan F. Now demolished and re-developed. (RL)

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Finding that Housemartin has been killed in his cell and a suitcase taken by someone posing as him, Palmer arranges clearance for a raid as Jock Carswell (Gordon Jackson) waits.Viewed from what was Shepherd Bush police station, 87 Askew Road, London W12 looking out at the corner of Askew Road and Cobbold Road. With thanks to Alan F. (RL)

Arriving at the place where Housemartin was picked up, Palmer and Carswell wait outside Sandersons disused factory on the film's Wellington Street. In reality, this is Stephenson Street in NW10 identified by Philip Mackie.

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This is looking south on Stephenson Street. SJ

A car screams towards the factory. Facing north on Stephenson Street, Willesden.

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This is the view north. SJ

Palmer and Carswell follow the car as Special Branch officers prepare to break into the factory. In the distance stand the cooling towers of Acton Lane Power Station which were seen in 'Look Back in Anger'.

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Looking from Stephenson Street to where the entrance of the yard once stood. (PW)

Looking onto Stephenson Street from railway land next to the Sheet Stores.

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A general shot of the houses on the street. SJ

Major Dalby approaches the scene. A better view of NW10's Stephenson Street.

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A more upright shot looking north. SJ

The Major brings his car to a halt as Palmer authorises the Police Inspector (Michael Murray) to break down the door. On the extreme left is the sheet store behind which is the wagon shed. Location confirmed by Philip Mackie.

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Inside the yard. With thanks to the staff at Double 4 Self Storage for allowing access. (PW)

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Once the door is opened, Palmer and the police pour into the building. Philip Mackie advises that this is inside the British Railways' sheet stores at Willesden. The colour scheme is typical of the former B.R.'s London Midland Region.

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Major Dalby (Nigel Green) is not impressed by Palmer's unauthorised use of security clearance to raid an empty factory. The British Railways sheet stores at Willesden recognised by Philip Mackie.

At a concert in the park, Dalby and Palmer listen to the Band of the Irish Guards.

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The trees really helped here. Kennington Park, SE11. SJ

The American Agent sits in the audience as Grantby and his men approach to negotiate payment for Radcliffe's return.

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Again the trees play their part as well as does the building on Kennington Park Road, SE11. SJ

A CIA Agent (Thomas Baptiste) watches as Palmer escorts Dr. Radcliffe from the Victoria and Albert Museum. The entrance to the museum faces the junction of Cromwell Place, Thurloe Place and Thurloe Square in SW7.

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With a much needed face lift the museum presents Peter with a better picture. (RL)

When it's discovered that Radcliffe has been brainwashed, Colonel Ross (Guy Doleman) feeds ducks while he waits for Dalby. The bridge over St. James's Park Lake in London SW1. Also seen in 'The Deadly Affair' and 'Britannia Mews'.

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If one waits long enough, there may be a tourist hiatus. SJ

Dalby arrives and the two discuss their next actions. The bridge across St. James's Park Lake.

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The Blue Bridge (1957) is a great meeting place for spies and selfie-taking tourists. SJ

The pair continue talking as they head for the Colonel's club. Facing east on Birdcage Walk in SW1.

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Somewhere about here. SJ

At a rendezvous arranged by Dalby, Palmer tells Grantby about Radcliffe and asks for the ransom money back.

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Peter advises that due to the extended entrance and refurbishment, most of the screen capture detail is hidden.

As he turns to leave after the unsuccessful meeting, Palmer notices that the two are being watched. Looking from Jay Mews into Kensington Gore on the east side of the Royal Albert Hall.

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The same location now from Peter.

The suspicious CIA Agent smiles as Grantby and Palmer depart together. Looking into Jay Mews from Kensington Gore on the west side of the Royal Albert Hall in SW7.

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Peter took this shot and, again because of alterations, much of the screen capture detail is hidden.

Borrowing Palmer's car, Jock Carswell drives through the City. Upper Thames Street in London EC4 identified by Keith Bray and Simon James.

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A rather different view now. SJ.

Another shot of Upper Thames Street to accommodate the two comparison views of the location. To the left of centre lies Whittington Garden with Dowgate Hill House on the right.

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A better view of St. Michael Paternoster Royal church that's just coming into view in the screen capture. SJ.

Facing the junction of Queen Street Place, Queen Street and Upper Thames Street in EC4, The area was seen in 'Hue and Cry'.

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The same corner. SJ.

Traffic builds as the traffic light remains at red. JT remembers Upper Thames Street at the junction with Queen Street Place, just north of Southwark Bridge which he used to cross on a fairly regular basis when walking between his soldier shop in Kennington Road, Lambeth, and his wife's sandwich shop in Carter Lane near St. Paul's Cathedral.

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And here's what can be seen now. Picture from Peter.

As the lights change to green Carswell remains stationary, having been mistaken for Palmer and shot. JT continues that "On occasions, rare I must admit, I would stop at a flower stall and buy her a bunch of daisies. The whole street has been widened and my flower stand has now long gone".

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St. James's Church is seen to better effect in this shot. SJ.

  • 'Now' required

After the CIA is found dead in his flat, Palmer tells Major Dalby that he's being framed and needs help. Identified as Serpentine Road in Hyde Park W2 on the Worldwide Movie Locations website.

Palmer joins the Night Ferry for Paris, on board which he is captured by Grantby and taken to Albania. Platform 2 at Victoria station in SW1. The location and train were also seen in 'Night Ferry'.

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Platform 2 now. SJ

  • 'Now' required

After being held and tortured in Albania for weeks, Palmer is finally able to escape from his captors. St. Katherine Docks in E1 with East Smithfield beyond the closed gates.

Palmer climbs the unguarded gates. The gateway to St. Katharine Docks on East Smithfield located by Neil Rigby.

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Neil provides this image noting the huge changes, but look at the gate posts. Image copyright Google Streetview.

Dropping down onto the pavement, Palmer looks around.

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The same location.

The dazed agent is shocked to see a London bus on a busy road. Ingenious research by Neil Rigby identifies this as Wood Lane in W12, looking towards the Shepherds Bush Pavilion which is now hidden behind a tree.

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Neil sent us this picture as proof. Image copyright Google Streetview.

Struggling on, Palmer makes it to a nearby telephone box on fictional Austin's Wharf Lane and calls Dalby . . . .

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Neil found this picture from 1975.