Michael Caine

© David Bailey

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Michael Caine

by David Bailey
bromide print, May 1965
16 1/8 in. x 16 in. (409 mm x 407 mm)
Purchased, 2001
Primary Collection
NPG P951

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • David Bailey (1938-), Photographer and film-maker. Artist or producer of 35 portraits, Sitter in 19 portraits.

This portraitback to top

He is photographed here in the year he first played cockney spy, Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965). Included in David Bailey's box of pin-ups (1965)

Linked publicationsback to top

  • 100 Photographs, 2018, p. 89 Read entry

    Born Maurice Micklewhite in London, Sir Michael Caine (b.1933) came to prominence in the film Zulu (1964). He starred in many hit films of the 1960s and 1970s, with trademark glasses and cockney accent. His most memorable films include Alfie (1966) and The Italian Job (1969). Caine has made more than a hundred films, and was nominated for an Oscar for Educating Rita (1983). He is photographed here in the year he first played cockney spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File. The portrait is a variant of a shot that David Bailey (b.1937) included in his Box of Pin-Ups (1965), a portfolio of thirty-six prints, published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson, which sold for 63 shillings (£3.15). The ‘pin-ups’ included the fashionable elite of the 1960s, photographed by Bailey against a plain white background.

  • Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 223 Read entry

    Born Maurice Micklewhite in London, Michael Caine served in the Korean War before acting in repertory theatre and small television roles, under his adopted stage name. He came to prominence in 1964 as a young army officer, Lieutenant Bromhead, in the film Zulu. Caine was photographed by David Bailey (b.1938) in the year that he played the spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965), adapted from Len Deighton’s 1962 novel. An alternative pose from this sitting was published in David Bailey’s Box of Pin-Ups (1965), a portfolio of thirty-six portraits of key cultural figures who defined Sixties’ London. Caine’s memorable film parts during the 1960s also included the title role in Alfie (1966) and Charlie Croker in The Italian Job (1969). Caine received two Academy Awards - for Hannah and her Sisters (1986) and The Cider House Rules (1999) - and was knighted for services to drama in 2000.

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1965back to top

Current affairs

Sir Winston Churchill dies after suffering a stroke at the age of 90. By Royal Decree his body lay in state for three days before he was given a State Funeral (a very rare honour for a non-Royal). Representatives from over 100 countries attended the funeral and thousands of people watched the procession of his coffin down the Thames.

Art and science

Julie Christie stars in John Schlesinger's film Darling, a film that captures fashionable London in the 1960s, while critiquing the superficiality of the jet-setting society. The film has subsequently been itself criticised for being out-of-touch with the realities of the day.
The Post Office Tower (now the BT tower) opens for use, housing microwave aerials to carry telecommunications traffic from London.


President Johnson sends US troops to assist South Vietnam against communist North Vietnam and domestic nationalist insurgents. Johnson's plan for a short, limited war was soon quashed by North Vietnam's strategy of protracted war. As the conflict dragged on the US government instituted a draft, sparking anti-war protests that would continue until American involvement ended in 1973.

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