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The Ipcress File (film)

The Ipcress File is a 1965 British espionage film directed by Sidney J. Furie and starring Michael Caine; the screenplay, by Bill Canaway and James Doran, was based on Len Deighton's novel The IPCRESS File. It received a BAFTA award for the Best British film released in 1965. In 1999, it was included at number 59 on the BFI list of the 100 best British films of the 20th century; this film and its sequels were a deliberately downbeat alternative to the hugely successful James Bond films though one of the Bond producers, Harry Saltzman, was involved with the Harry Palmer series, along with other personnel, contracted to work on one or more of the 007 movies. A scientist called Radcliffe is kidnapped from a train and his security escort killed. Harry Palmer, a British Army sergeant with a criminal past, now working for a Ministry of Defence organisation, is summoned by his superior, Colonel Ross, transferred to a section headed by Major Dalby. Ross suspects that Radcliffe's disappearance is connected to the fact that sixteen other top British scientists have inexplicably left their jobs at the peak of their careers.

He threatens Dalby. Palmer is introduced as a replacement for the dead security escort. Afterwards, Dalby briefs his agents that the main suspect is Eric Grantby and his chief of staff, codenamed "Housemartin", tells the team to find out where they are at present. Palmer is introduced and befriends Jock Carswell. Using a Scotland Yard contact, Palmer locates Grantby but, when Palmer tries to stop Grantby getting away, he is attacked by Housemartin. Housemartin is arrested but, before he can be questioned, he is killed by men impersonating Palmer and Carswell. Suspecting that Radcliffe is being held in a certain disused factory, Palmer orders a search, but nothing is found except a piece of audiotape marked "IPCRESS" that produces meaningless noise when played. Dalby points out that the paper on which Grantby had written a false phone number is the programme for an upcoming military band concert. There they encounter a deal is struck for Radcliffe's return; the exchange goes as planned but, as they are leaving, Palmer shoots a man in the shadows who turns out to be a CIA agent.

Subsequently, another CIA operative threatens to kill Palmer if he discovers that the death was not a mistake. Some days it becomes clear that while Radcliffe is physically unharmed, his mind has been affected and he can no longer function as a scientist. Carswell has discovered a book titled "Induction of Psychoneuroses by Conditioned Reflex under Stress" - IPCRESS - which he believes explains what has happened to Radcliffe and the other scientists. Carswell is shot before reaching him. Believing that he himself must have been the intended target, Palmer goes home to collect his belongings and there discovers the body of the second CIA agent; when he returns to the office, the IPCRESS file is missing from his desk. Ross had asked him to microfilm the file and Palmer now believes that he is being set up; when he informs Dalby what has happened and that he suspects Ross, Dalby tells him to leave town for a while. On the train to Paris, Palmer wakes up imprisoned in a cell in Albania. After several days without sleep and warmth, Grantby reveals himself as his kidnapper.

Having read the file, Palmer realises that they are preparing to brainwash him. He uses pain to distract himself, but after many sessions under stress from disorientating images and loud electronic sounds, he succumbs. Grantby instills a trigger phrase that will make Palmer follow any commands given to him. Palmer manages to escape and discovers that he is still in London, he phones Dalby, in Grantby's company at the time. Dalby gets Palmer to call Ross to the warehouse where he had been held; as Dalby and Ross arrive, Palmer holds them both at gunpoint. Dalby accuses Ross of killing Carswell. Dalby now uses the trigger phrase again and tells Palmer to "Shoot the traitor now"; as Palmer wavers, his hand strikes against a piece of equipment and the pain reminds him of his conditioning. Dalby goes for his gun and Palmer shoots him. Ross remarks that, in choosing Palmer for the assignment, he had hoped that Palmer's tendency to insubordination would be useful; when Palmer reproaches Ross for endangering him, he is told.

Harry Saltzman wanted The Ipcress File to be an ironic and downbeat alternative to the portrayal of espionage in Ian Fleming's novels about the spy James Bond and the film series which followed from them. Saltzman, who produced this film, was one of the producers of the early Bond films. Among other crew members who worked on The Ipcress File and had worked on the Bond films up to this point were the production designer Ken Adam, the film editor Peter Hunt and the film score composer John Barry; the Ipcress File became the first of the nominally rival Harry Palmer film series and some aspects are reminiscent of film noir. In contrast to Bond's public school background and playboy lifestyle, Palmer is a working class Londoner who lives in a Notting Hill bedsit and has to put up with red tape and inter-departmental rivalries; the action is set in "a gritty, decidedly non-swinging" London with humdrum locations. Harry Saltzman gave Jimmy Sangster a copy of the novel to read. Sangster enjoyed the book and was eager to adapt the novel, suggesting Michael Caine to play the main role and Sidney J. Furie as director.

However, Saltzman would not commit to the timeframe. Ken Hughes wrot

Narita Shinkansen

The Narita Shinkansen was a planned high-speed Shinkansen line proposed to connect Narita International Airport with Tokyo Station. The project was abandoned, although parts of the planned route are used by the Keisei Narita Airport Line. Planning of the Narita Shinkansen started in 1966 and permission to build was granted in 1972, with completion scheduled for 1976, in time for the airport's opening. Construction started 1974, but was hampered due to resistance from local residents protesting against the expropriation of their land for a project that would bring no benefit to them. Construction was frozen in 1983, the Basic Plan granting construction rights was cancelled by a special law in 1987 — the only Shinkansen line to meet this fate. Due to the opposition, only a 9 km stretch of trackbed and the airport station shell had been constructed before the project was halted. While the Shinkansen link was stalled, the private Keisei Electric Railway had constructed an ordinary rail link to the airport.

However, Keisei services had to terminate outside airport grounds and transfer passengers by bus, as the station inside the airport and the track connecting to it was owned by state operator Japanese National Railways. After the passage of the groundbreaking Railway Business Act in 1986, Keisei acquired the rights to operate as a "third type" railway company that leases tracks from JR, starting in 1991 both Keisei and JR have operated direct airport services to the terminal built for the Shinkansen; the culvert connecting to the airport station was designed for Shinkansen use. The line was to originate at underground platforms located equidistant from Tokyo Station and Yūrakuchō Station in central Tokyo. From there, it was to run underground to Etchūjima in Kōtō Ward above ground, following the Tōzai Line route across the Ara River to Funabashi. In Funabashi, the line was to again run underground, emerging in Shiroi following a smooth curve through Chiba New Town and central Narita, running underground again to terminate beneath the passenger terminal at Narita Airport.

The Tokyo-Narita trains were to make no station stops: JNR added one additional station to the planned line to serve Chiba New Town. A depot for trains operating on the line was planned at a location 51 km from Tokyo, including a single-track connecting link to the JR Narita Line at Shimōsa-Manzaki Station. Much of this right of way is used by commuter lines; the area of Tokyo Station earmarked for the Shinkansen platforms and the tunnel to Etchujima are now used by the JR Keiyō Line. Much of the above-ground right of way had been earmarked by the Chiba Prefecture for railway use; the Hokusō Railway uses one segment of this right of way between Komuro and Chiba New Town, another section between Chiba New Town and the airport is used as part of the Keisei Narita Airport Line. While revivals of the Narita Shinkansen have been proposed periodically, the cancellation of the basic plan, lack of political will and the construction of the Keisei Narita Airport Line as a replacement all combine to make this unlikely.

The Keisei Narita Airport Line was built as standard gauge, theoretically leaving a door open for eventual conversion. However, the Rapid Railway's design speed is only 160 km/h and it will — at least — terminate at Keisei Ueno Station, not the more central Shinkansen hub of Tokyo Station; the Sky Access is electrified at 1500 V DC, whereas the Shinkansen standard is 25 kV AC. With a design speed of at least 200 km/h, the Narita Shinkansen was designed to cover the 65-kilometer distance in 35 minutes, including a stop at Chiba New Town; the Narita Express takes 53 minutes for the same trip, while the more direct Keisei Narita Airport Line connects Narita to Nippori in 36 minutes. JRTR 19: Air-Rail Links in Japan Mirai Tetsudo Database: Narita Shinkansen, retrieved 25 June 2008