Cast and Crew: Gordon Douglas (Director), Jerry Goldsmith (Music)
What It’s About: A beauty resort in the Virgin Islands is a front for a cabal of wealthy women who conspire to control the world by brainwashing other women and threatening nuclear annihilation. Before their plot is subverted by male co-conspirators, they replace the President of the United States (Andrew Duggan) with a double (also Duggan) and oust the well-meaning head of Intelligence, Cramden (Lee J. Cobb). Cramden calls on the assistance of Derek Flint (James Coburn), a Renaissance man (“superspy” is too limited a word for a man who speaks Dolphin and develops a machine that can use soundwaves to destroy things or propel him…in outer space) who realizes he also needs to rescue his harem from the evil resort operators.
Why Watch it Today?: James Coburn died on this date in 2002 at the age of 74. His film career spanned some greats (Charade) and some oddities (Duck, You Sucker!). In this film, he brings his slow drawl, huge grin, lanky frame and some outfits filched from Leonard Nimoy‘s closet to the then-popular role of the “Superspy.” (The tagline to the first “Flint” movie, Our Man Flint (1966), was “The ORIGINAL Man of Mystery!”) If you liked the original David Niven Casino Royale, which came out in the same year, or enjoy the idea of melding Bond and Q into one character, you may love this film. Otherwise, you will at least get a laugh from the campy “judo” sequences, brainwashed bikini-clad “Amazons,” bumbling Communists, and other denizens of Sixties-era parody.