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Campy... but so bad it's almost funny
jack_helltoy12 March 2005
Really one of the worst movies I've ever seen. But funny in the same way "Plan 9 from Outer Space" is. The "musical" scenes are stunningly bad and the songs themselves are worse still. The acting is consistently horrific throughout. The plot and storyline impossible to fathom let alone follow. The 'actors' themselves seem to have no idea what the plot is. High point would be the 'musical' number near the end with Phyllis Diller and Jack E Leonard dancing around in some garden. But even though it's terrible from start to finish, it's watchable on some strange campy level. It's just so incredibly bad ... I kept wondering if it might eventually make some sort of sense before it was all over. But it didn't.

It would be impossible to write a spoiler of 'The Fat Spy' because even after watching it twice, I have no idea what it was about.

I found this on DVD at Wal-Mart for $2.00 CDN.
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If you like movies with a purpose, The Fat Spy ISN'T for you...
kharing30 July 2007
This movie is a must-see for any B movie connoisseur. The combination of sub-par dance choreography, word bubbles, and breaking into song presents a wide range of filmography faux pas that is sure to get at least a couple laughs out of anyone who watches. The movie itself seems to have three or four separate story lines, the only connection being everyone's search for the Fountain of Youth on the island; and at one point, the movie jumps back and forth between them so quickly that it's almost difficult to keep up; in fact a plot is practically nonexistent. It's basically one of those movies that you can't pick just one moment to describe because every scene leaves the viewer thinking "Did that REALLY just happen?" If you have 75 minutes of time AND an iron constitution, you're qualified to handle this particular train wreck.
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Very funny movie
Garbo-2126 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Yes it's bad but I think that is the point, it was meant to be. The music was quite good, I especially like it when Jayne sings "I'd like to be a rose in your garden" the song is very witty and full of innuendo kind of like Jayne herself. The scene where the guy goes down into the sea to be with the mermaid had me laughing hard and so did the scene when Junior (Jayne) is flying the plane and then casually mentions that they are running out of gas, they way she says "Irvin we're running out of gas" and he replies "Thats nice dear", just the way it's said is funny. Another scene that made me giggle was when the teenagers are doing "The Turtle". As for the plot well I admit it's confusing, there seems to be a number of things going on, a bunch of teenagers goes to this Ireland to dig for treasure on this Ireland there is a guy called Irvin and Jayne's character, Junior, is in love with him but thats about as much sense I can make of it. Your like this movie if you have a completely silly sense of humour like me, love Jayne Mansfield and don't take life to seriously. If you take it as a low budget movie with a confusing plot and you watch it not expecting a great movie, with the spirit that it in meant then I'd say go ahead and watch it. But for someone who takes every movie they watch seriously then avoid this.
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Girth, but no Mirth
bkoganbing2 April 2007
What was everyone thinking when they signed on for this one?

The Fat Spy has just about everything wrong with it, actors not motivated to act, jokes that just fall flat, a plot that makes no sense, and Jack E. Leonard.

I remember Jack E. Leonard from many viewings of the Ed Sullivan show in the Fifties and Sixties. He was the Don Rickles of his day. A roly-poly comedian who made his bones in burlesque, Leonard specialized in insult comedy.

For some reason someone thought he'd be good to star in a feature film. So The Fat Spy was created and we got two Jack E. Leonards. They're playing brothers, one of whom is involved with Jayne Mansfield and the other with Phyllis Diller. Talk about differing tastes, that is the funniest thing about The Fat Spy.

No one ever asked Leonard to star in another film. Jayne Mansfield would make two more and then be tragically taken from us. Phyllis Diller was better served by her appearances with Bob Hope. Brian Donlevy is Jayne's father in this film and he calls her Junior. Donlevy has a look of pain throughout the film, wondering if his paycheck was going to clear the bank.

Anyway a group of treasure hunting teenagers on Brian Donlevy's private island look like they might discover the fabled Fountain of Youth rumored to be there. As Shaw says, "youth is wasted on the young" so the older generation wants to chase the kids off and get the secret of eternal youth for themselves.

Johnny Tillotson who is a fine singer and songwriter made his one and only appearance in film as a character. Acting was not among his talents, but he got to run off with a mermaid.

Pass this one by unless you want to hear Johnny Tillotson sing.
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What's good about this film? Some of the songs, actually.
dlbroome0112 August 2008
Not much. BUT, for a low (low, low, low) budget "beach party" film (set in Florida, for a change) there are *just* enough special moments to satisfy the truly curious. Those moments are all found in the musical numbers: Frank E Leonard croons to his long-lost love, cosmetics mogul Phyllis Diller, an amusing "love" song regarding Diller's supposed ugliness in "You Haven't Changed a Bit"....with lines like "the paper said that Peeping Tom was pulling down your shade.." Ironic, as Phyllis Diller looks quite good here. Jayne Mansfield portrays a chubby daddy's girl/bush pilot who is sent by her father (Brian Donlevy) to see what 'those kids' are up to, and in doing so meets up with her beloved (Frank E Leonard, in a second role). Jayne gets to sing one song, the charming "I'd Like To Be a Rose in Your Garden (But I'm Just a Thorn in Your Side)." In real life, Jayne is obviously pregnant (with her youngest child); in some scenes there was no attempt to conceal her growing belly. Maybe the intention was for her character to be plump? Other numbers include cast member Lauree Berger (a very appealing short-haired brunette who could easily have given Annette Funicello a run for her money) singing the weirdly upbeat but submissive ditty "You Put Me Down the Nicest Way You Can." Jordan Christopher and the Wild Ones appear as "the boys" and perform "The Turtle", a slow-moving dance -which is like nothing you'll ever see in the big-budget "beach" movies. However, none of these musical moments belong in the same film with the Jordan Christopher-Lauree Berger duet "Nanette", a dreamily beautiful melody that could have been a hit if it wasn't lost in this film. "The Fat Spy" succeeds in a few fragments -if not as a whole- and for that its worth a look.
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Objectively terrible, but I love it.
simnia-110 April 2006
I first saw this movie on television in the 1980s, and I immediately loved it and enthusiastically set out to get a copy of it. Yes, objectively it's a terrible movie with ridiculous humor, but those facts are obvious enough that they doesn't need to be belabored. Now let's look at what the film has going for it:

1. set in Florida

2. '60s culture

3. '60s music

I truly love some of the songs in this film, especially "Come On Down" (?), "Wild Way of Living," and "The Turtle" (?), especially when set to scenes of teenagers dancing in swimsuits, rushing around in cars, and cruising on boats, all with a '60s Florida backdrop and a party feeling.

4. '60s architecture

5. Jayne Mansfield

6. ladies in swimsuits

7. captures a party feeling

8. humor

Although much of the humor is marginal, some of it is good, and some of it is quite original. For example, I thought the part where Junior (Jayne Mansfield) is tied up to an air conditioner that is supposed to destroy the building when it's left on too long was delightfully offbeat. And while tied up Jayne can't help but get carried away making kissing motions at the camera, which "forces" them to do multiple takes, whereupon she keeps doing exactly the same thing, and they leave all those takes in the movie.

9. offbeat touches

The air conditioning threat, the acoustic guitar duo that starts the film without warning, the film cards left in the final footage, Irving's "B-I-K-E" emphasis are all totally unexpected, original, and wacky, which adds to the humor.

10. film obscurity

11. scientific touches

12. escapism

This film came so close to being great. If only they had put some fast footage-with-music scenes, like at the motorboat scene in the part where "Wild Way of Living" is playing, in the style of the aerial scene in "Where the Boys Are" (1984) where the fast song "Hot Nights" is playing, or in the style of some of the better episodes of The Monkees or Laugh-In, this would have become a very appealing film that would have perfectly captured the beach party feeling. And some better Florida scenery thrown in, even if unrelated--better beaches, more theme parks, interesting buildings, parrots, iguanas, coral reefs, and so on--would have added attractiveness, interest, and ambiance. And a sexier scene of Jayne, a more straightforward plot, a clear-cut ending, and fewer old-fashioned songs all would have helped to streamline the film, and all that would have been so easy to do.

They had the right models, the right music, and the right locale, but they simply didn't put them together correctly. The essence of a great beach party film is here, but as it is you have to sort of read between the lines to enjoy it.
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People Sure Act Funny
wes-connors2 May 2010
"Off the Florida coast, teenagers (sic) come to a nearly deserted island, rumored to have 'The Fountain of Youth.' This island's owner is none too happy about that, and dispatches his daughter, Junior, to get rid of them. The island's only resident, Irving (Jack E. Leonard), is Junior's sweetie. He is sent to spy on the kids to find out what they know. Irving's twin brother and his girlfriend Camille (Phyllis Diller), are also headed for the island, with their own nefarious plans," according to the DVD sleeve description.

Baby-fattened Jayne Mansfield (as Junior) is introduced hiding her belly behind a bust of George Washington. But, the titular "Fat Spy" refers to "Bronx High School of Science" and "Fink University" stand-up comic Jack E. Leonard (as twins Irving and Herman). With a bald head, Mr. Leonard smooches Ms. Diller, while a toupee allows gets him some necking time with Ms. Mansfield. Her father is rotund Brian Donlevy (as George Wellington), who mutters something about "LSD 26"and speaks on a phallic telephone.

Hopefully, Mr. Donlevy had more blackouts than flashbacks regarding this appearance. Leonard and Diller were likely able to laugh it off. Also appearing, in a candy-striped swimsuit, pop star Johnny Tillotson (as Dodo Bronk) re-plays the "Mermaid" subplot from "Beach Blanket Bingo" (1965). None of the aforementioned cast members are seen at their best, but four stars must be awarded Jordan Christopher and the Wild Ones (Chuck Alden, Tom Trick, Ed Wright and Tom Graves) for the bathing suits and tight tunes.

"People Sure Act Funny" (an apt opener), "Nanette" and "Wild Way of Living" (the version nearer the end of the film) are highlights.

**** The Fat Spy (5/11/66) Joseph Cates ~ Jack E. Leonard, Phyllis Diller, Jordan Christopher, Jayne Mansfield
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FF through the "comedy" to the tunes
LynxMatthews10 October 2003
Let's not beat around the bush. This movie is terrible. Jack E. Leonard is just not funny. He's fat in a rather unpleasant-looking way, he tries too hard, and he's given nothing funny to do in playing TWO PARTS.

HOWEVER, for fans of the genuinely wrong-headed and insane, this movie has some appealing facets. The music is pretty doggone cool. The film begins very suddenly with two guys singing an acoustic rock number on a dock. Recorded live, they're just singing "People Sure Act Funny When They Get A Little Money", and it goes on for about 5 minutes and you don't know if it is part of the movie or what. It suddenly ends and shifts to a cool, cartoon mid-60s style of credits with a bouncy title tune.

Later the band, The Wild Ones, treat us to their song "The Turtle". It's the "slowest dance you'll ever do," replete with leering camera shots of the chicks in their skimpy suits writhing along. The song really rocks in an intense way. The lead girl character gets a song of her own, which would serve as a brilliant parody of Lesley Gore, if the filmmakers were smart enough. It is unbelievably catchy, but the basic theme is "I'm so glad I never get my way and you are a man, because you put me down the nicest way you can." On second thought, that's the actual chorus!

So these and a few other musical moments bring the movie to a level of disbelieving watchability. Fast forward through all the "comedy".
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gnb30 September 2004
Truly abysmal beach 'comedy' featuring the fading glamour that was Jayne Mansfield.

I think I would be hard pushed to find a worse movie than this! The acting, direction, stock quality, music, sound recording and plot are all dreadful. The plot, or what little of it there is, has something to do with the fountain of youth on a small tropical island but will leave you bamboozled to say the least.

The only attraction here is Jayne Mansfield and it will only be fans of the actress that will want to get hold of this film. However, by now Jayne was on a downward spiral that would eventually lead to her tragic death. Never averse to making a quick B picture to bring in some cash and push her celebrity, things were by now in dire straits and this is well and truly a Z grade film made for next to nothing. Mansfield takes 50 steps backward here in her personal quest to be taken seriously as a dramatic actress. Her dumb blonde performance in this picture is an embarrassment to behold and her sex pot image is seriously on the wane as her famous curves have been filled by extra flesh.

A disaster in every sense of the word and a real shame to see someone with Jayne's obvious potential wasted in a load of old rubbish. It's hard to imagine that someone who appeared in the classic 'The Girl Can't Help It' and got the full Fox treatment is now doing Monroe rip-offs in nonsense such as this.

Steer clear...!
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Not really all that bad.....
fuzbuni24 October 2004
I am watching it as write and am amazed at how they actually got people to perform for this. I really don't think it is as bad as some of the other viewers have commented. True enough that it is basically a rip-off but if you paid under 10$ for this movie like I did then you should think of it as a bargain. kept waiting to see if Phyllis Diller was gonna do anything exciting with her riding crop. I have seen all of the Beach Blanket movies and find that this is actually a good comparison. Makes Frankie and Annette look really good. I will have to watch it again to see if I have missed anything. Sure I will find something interesting the next viewing. Take care and have fun watching.....
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Jayne is a rose in the garden...............
hilljayne31 January 2005
I give the movie a 10 for La Mansfield. Yes, I am biased. This is more of a "low budget" beach movie. Basically a cast of characters is on the hunt for the fountain of youth. Jayne plays the daughter of a rich business tycoon in love with a nerdy heavyset scientist. She has an adorable little musical number "I'd Like To Be A Rose In Your Garden". She was pregnant during the filming of this motion picture. Its quite avant garde as we go from Phyllis Diller and Jack E. Leonard looking for the fountain of youth (can you believe Phyllis looks better TODAY than in this film) to a bunch of teenagers singing and dancing on the beach. Its cute and lots of fun and our Jaynie is lovely!
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Some songs, some bikinis, no script, no laughs
gridoon201822 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Ever since I first heard of "The Fat Spy" I thought it must be a spy spoof, but it really has nothing to do with that genre whatsoever; it's more of a musical-beach comedy (with a little fantasy). Some of the songs actually aren't bad, but the mere inclusion of them may put you off if you're not prepared for them. The main problem with the film is that it has no script, in a dual sense: there is no plot, and there are no funny lines written for the actors. But none of the actors involved are comedically gifted enough to improvise and carry a movie with no plot and no funny lines. Plus, they all seem to be in separate movies. The result is a comedy that does not contain a single laugh (the closest it gets are some of the titles for the proposed "sequel" at the end - "Son of the Fat Spy" and "Bride of the Fat Spy"). Jayne Mansfield does a blatant Monroe imitation and shows very little of her famous figure. * out of 4.
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Bizarre look back at Cape Coral
racerx7013 February 2010
As a longtime resident of SW Florida, I had to watch this film after finding out it was filmed entirely in the city of Cape Coral, and showed parts of Cape Coral Gardens (known to local residents as The Rose Gardens - an abandoned water park that was a popular hangout for teens back in the late 70's/early 80's). The story is pretty incoherent, and as a previous reviewer put it, was basically a sales pitch for the city of Cape Coral. It looks like the majority of it was shot at the Cape Coral Yacht Club (the beach scenes anyway), with the remainder being Cape Coral Gardens (obvious sale pitch for the park at about 1 hour in), and the corner of Del Prado Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway. Pretty low budget... The performances, as well as the music... just plain bizarre (though it was the '60's).

I rated this a "4" simply for the archival footage of the city I've known for 30 years. Of particular interest to local residents is a shot of the Iwo Jima statue - located originally at the entrance to Cape Coral Gardens, left abandoned when the park closed and long neglected for years... is the very same statue that now resides by Eco Park along Veteran's Memorial Parkway westbound from the Midpoint Bridge (one of the entrances to Cape Coral from the city of Fort Myers). And unbelievably...this film is available on DVD!
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Uneven collection of vaguely related songs and sketches
Nozz2 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is a film that will, and does, occasionally throw aside the logic of plot and characterization just for the sake of including a silly gag. At one point, astonishingly, it throws them aside for a moment of pathos when one of the characters apparently swims out to sea never to return, whereafter the rest of them resume their fun as if nothing had happened. The music is surprisingly competent, but the strong singers are not the strong comedians, the strong comedians don't get much good material, and the strong actors-- well, there are no strong actors. It must be said, though, that when you put a toupee on Jack E. Leonard he is not a bad-looking man. All in all, it's a hit-and-miss effort, much like some second-rate TV variety show of the time.
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Truly Offbeat...
Space_Mafune19 August 2003
This quasi-comedy/parody of Teen Beach party films actually does have its fun moments. I particularly enjoyed the interactions between Jayne Mansfield's Junior and Jack E. Leonard's Irving myself. Nevertheless this is widely uneven and never quite fully succeeds in terms of the parody it's attempting to pull off. Plus it's not really all that funny either. Still if you're looking for something representative of the 1960s Beach Party phase but even more offbeat and strange than that, look no further (and the music really isn't so bad in terms of what came from the period).
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Fun in Florida
titanicflint14 January 2007
So what were you expecting with Jayne Mansfield and Phyllis Diller heading up the cast? Schindler's List? Granted this is one stupid movie (and I"m a fan of both ladies!) but it's a good, fun stupid. Along the lines of Plan 9 from 0uter Space, and almost as fun. The plot is confusing, and not really worth mentioning. If you can make sense of it you're one up on me. Like any other movie it has its pros and cons. 0n the minus side Jayne really isn't looking her best, but it's probably worth mentioning that she was six months pregnant when this was filmed, so she can be excused for that. Phyllis Diller looks like Glenn Close with a hangover. And don't get me started on the music. If there are movies with worse soundtracks floating around I sincerely hope I never see, or hear them. 0ne number "Do the Turtle" is excruciating, and probably would play better if you were on magic mushrooms. It's not even terrible. It aspires to be terrible, and if you could call it terrible you'd be paying it an undue compliment. Enough said. You've got to see it to believe it. The script, for lack of a better word could have been(and probably was) written by a third-grader. 0n the positive side there are some genuinely funny moments. Johnny Tillotson catching a mermaid being a prime example. Jayne and Phyllis are always fun. And this movie was to me just that. Fun. And with a truly once-in-a-lifetime cast as well. I enjoyed this movie immensely. See it for yourself and be your own critic. Just don't expect Masterpiece Theater.
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Tacky "Beach Blanket Bingo" imitation (that's funnier)
Tails-517 July 1999
Apparently, the beach movie "Beach Blanket Bingo" was very successful with the wasted minds of 60s teenagers, for green-eyed exploiters were quick to copy it just for a part of the cash. This movie stars Jayne Mansfield, who is the daughter of a megabuck businessman who goes on a quest for the Black Rose (aka "The Fountain of Youth"). Very unfunny indeed, but it is a lot more enjoyable than "Beach Blanket Bingo", because it had only 1/18 of the energy in it. Be careful of the music!
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Plain Dumb
dougdoepke19 January 2017
Whatever the creators were looking for, they didn't get it. That is, unless they were angling for a mess, which the 80-minutes amounts to in spades. I guess the producers figured they didn't need plot if they just showed enough bikini skin, which they do. So move over, Gidget. Speaking of blonde cuties, poor pregnant Jayne Mansfield just sort of pops up. Looks like they didn't know what to do with her any more than with the rest of the cast. Then there're the two fugitives from late night comedy shows—Diller and Leonard. He's about as funny as a sleepless night with his aimless muggings and fat man contortions. Let's hope he stuck to verbal insult comedy after this abortion. Then there's fright wig Diller who's scarier than she is funny. She too, needed to stick to her genuinely funny monologues. But what on earth was that fine actor Brian Donlevy doing in this drivel. At least, it wasn't his last movie outing. I'd hate to think he exited the stage on such an abysmal note. Anyway, consider viewing the concoction, if and only if, the one alternative is a politician's speech.
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The which what?
JohnHowardReid16 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
There are bad movies that are watchable because they are so hilariously inept, and there are bad movies that have a certain curiosity appeal. And then there are are bad movies that are just bad movies because they are simply downright boring. The Fat Spy is a mixture of all three of these traits. It's sad to see people we admire and whose performances we normally enjoy – like Brian Donlevy, Phyllis Diller and Jayne Mansfield – caught up in rubbish like this candidate for worst movie of all time. Even the title is bad. Maybe I fell asleep, but I didn't spot any fat spy. Admittedly, there was a mild bit of spying going on, but to very little purpose. What was going on was an almost endless parade of lazy teenage beach bums, who seemed to spend all their time either jumping and dancing around or just simply canoodling. The movie's publicity describes this inept waste of time as a satirical musical comedy, but I would challenge all three of these misleading descriptions. The movie has a slight curiosity value, but even that appeal evaporates once it becomes plain that neither Miss Mansfield nor anyone else is going to storm off the set and take a swipe at their agents for signing them up for a role in this mess. And as said above, I'm still waiting patiently for the fat spy - or any spy at all!
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Blatant rip off of the beach party movies.
mark.waltz3 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
And those movies weren't worth ripping off anyway! Jack E. Leonard, a comic I know very little about other than a few movie appearances, plays twin buffoons in this paradise set farce that not only rips off Frankie/Annette, but the spy films of the movies of the time as well. Leonard isn't actually all that funny, but his ego got him two leading ladies in this movie-Jayne Mansfield and in her first major film role, Phyllis Diller.

"Teenagers!", Diller exclaimed. "Yechhhh!" while Miss Diller always does provide some laughs, they come few and far between. This is actually a musical, and thanks to a group called The Wild Ones, some decent modern music is provided. That prevents me from giving this a one star, as the songs that the adults sing are absolutely wretched. One of the characters Leonard sings an insult song to Diller, and later he dances to do the turtle with the teenagers, looking absolutely ridiculous. The only other live action movie I have memories of him in is the Warner Brothers musical 3 sailors and a girl where his personality got in the way and was entirely over the top, making him more obnoxious and funny. He turns down the obnoxiousness here, but not really all that much. Attempts to imitate Cagney, Bogart and EGR are ghastly.

Mansfield by this time was a parody of the blonde bombshell image she had in the 1950s, and while the girl can't help it, she's far from her glory days. Veteran actor Brian Donlevy is wasted in what is basically an unnecessary cameo, and the teenage actors are a far cry in the talent area that Frankie and Annette, well certainly not good actors, at least had in likability.

To make matters ridiculous even more, the spotlight simply surrounds I suppose that function of youth in this paradise, and the way Phyllis is made up, it would take more than a sip of that water to bring back the bloom which is far off her rose. Bad editing is also very apparent in the one musical number she is in where the camera keeps flashing on her angry man servant, making the flow of the number very awkward to watch. The situations just get more outlandish and off the wall, and in an attempt to be mod in a mid $0.60, it just ends up looking much sillier then funny.

There is even a reference to Frankie and Annette, and the leading team character makes an obscure reference to a 1920's musical when he says no no Annette at which sounds strange you like No No Nanette. Available easily because of its public domain status, it seems like perhaps the copyright owners decided they wanted no part of it and why waste good money in renewing what you know was practically a bomb.
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Wow, this was bad!
Wizard-81 November 2014
Someone once said that there are few movie experiences worse than a comedy that simply isn't funny. The so-called comedy "The Fat Spy" is serious evidence for that theory. To call it a real mess would be a great kindness. For starters, it appears that the filmmakers were making things up as they went along - it takes FOREVER for the core plot to be properly revealed. Even when that happens, the movie does not improve in the least. The gags are lame and simple-minded, and the songs are some of the worst I have listened to from a motion picture. Is there any kind of merit to be found here? Well, there is a little life with the scenes involving Phyllis Diller, though it does not take much observation to realize she is phoning things in because even she realizes what a turkey she's in.

By the way... the spy in the movie really isn't that fat.
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Truly truly awful
Scotthannaford129 August 2006
Oh, dear God, no! Well look, okay, we all know that some truly awful music films were made in the 60s (look at most of the dross with Elvis in), and I have to say that this really is awful.

Such lines as "gee, can I sing my song now" punctuate the film throughout, as do pointless dance scenes... oh, not proper choreography such as with Oliver! or Guys and Dolls, but just dreadful F-rated actors and actresses swinging on the beach.

Oh and then we have the Fat Spy himself, who must be in his late 50s. He joins in the swinging (sadly, dancing, nothing blue) and when the cats and dudes (or whatever they called girls and boys) talk about him, one of the girls said that he was at school in New York. For freud's sake - he looks about 50! Oh dear God! Well look, yes Elvis filmed some dross, but at least his films were partially saved by the songs and by his charisma. The songs in this piece of.... of... I can't think of a non-rude word... are just awful. Poorly recorded, terrible lip synch... to be honest the whole film could have been done better by a film student who has only attended Cinematography 101.

There we go... now for goodness sake, get off this board and go watch a decent old movie like Oh, Mr Porter or if you fancy some flimsy popcorn pap, maybe something like Bullet Proof Monk (yes its mediocre, but the two leads have more charm in their little toes than this whole movie!)
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So bad and so pointless, it's boggling!
MartinHafer29 June 2013
I would like to know the story behind "Fat Spy". After all, when you watch it, you keep saying to yourself that this must be a joke! That's because it's a horrible and incomprehensible mess--even worse, in many places, than films like "Plan 9 From Outer Space" or "Robot Monster"! That's because the movie is so disjoint--as if someone just tossed many disparate pieces of junk and strung them all together. In fact, just describing the plot is practically impossible, as the film is THAT much of a mess.

The film consists of three usually separate films. One is a teen film--sort of like a SUPER-cheap surfer film. None of the folks performing in it appeared to be real actors--just a bunch of young adults cavorting on some island off the coast of Florida. They say that they are looking for some hidden treasure but this rarely seems to be the case. Another consists of music videos by some group I'd never heard of...and I assume the same would be true for you and I can DEFINITELY understand why they never became more famous! The final is made up of professional(??) but mostly D-list stars performing some skits--most of which aren't funny in the least (but I did like the Jackie Leonard song that he sings to Phyllis Diller). The scenes really look like outtakes--bad ones at that. You KNOW a film is doomed when it is anchored by Diller, Leonard and Jayne Mansfield. Oddly, however, Brian Donlevy (a legitimate actor!!) appears in a few of these scenes. All three are woven, ineptly, together with some plot involving the fountain of youth...kind of. And, to make matters worse, the film has no ending....just some sort of hurried comments on the screen trying (in vain) to wrap everything together!

Is the film worth seeing? Well, since it's in the public domain, it costs nothing--so at least that's a plus. Otherwise, unless you are a bad film addict, stay away...RUN from this film. But, for folks who like to see people embarrass themselves, it is an interesting curio.
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somewhat mangled spoof, refreshing summertime show
Cristi_Ciopron23 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This summertime musical comedy with Jayne Mansfield as the daughter of a tycoon played by Donlevy can be enjoyed on its own terms; by which I mean that its idea of fun was right, and otherwise belonged to its decade's trend, and the pop band was a honorable one. I laughed a few times. What's spoofed here is the trendy spy movies, and perhaps even their already released spoofs, and not the summer party musicals. The spoof, gathering pop songs (some gentle, other rebellious), summertime beach footage of partying youth, and an idea of a race for an elixir, a quest of youth (the oldsters search for youth, while the partying young people search for a treasure …), is anarchic and zany, even occasionally glamorous (the leading starlet), but overall opportunistic and meager, and not very inspired. Though, one feels good watching it. Why can the slapdash be lovable in a non-dismissive way, without contempt? Because what's human made conveys much more than can be subjected to an abstract ideal of art, it conveys qualities that can be effective even if those involved might of been absolutely unaware of their worth. On the other hand, this isn't a misinterpreted and unacknowledged masterpiece, but simply a comedy better than deemed.

The many songs aren't spoofed, or only incidentally so. Some of them are good, others passable.

Suitably, the spoof of a plot has been entrusted to the handful of proved actors; perhaps Donlevy's role didn't excite his sense of fun and ease as much as expect-ably, anyway he has both indoors and sea scenes, and Jayne Mansfield was actually glamorous in this slightly bizarre comedy. I liked the use of the cards. The few events happen in the 2nd half of July. Phyllis Diller's humor is even more lowbrow than Leonard's. While the comic principle was fancy, advisable and trendy, and remained fashionable and has proved sustainable for another almost two decades, the resulting show is opportunistic and slapdash. A new comic trend had dawned by the late '50s, it was anarchic and quirky, and it could suit subtle as well as very lowbrow comedy.

Each will have to decide whether the songs or the gags are the topping.
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It's only a movie!
jimddddd18 May 2012
That's what I kept repeating: "It's only a movie." How else do you think I got through this movie with my sanity intact? It's bad on so many levels I wouldn't know where to begin. The real humor is imagining how anybody involved with making "The Fat Spy" thought it would be watchable. In fact, if there had been a documentary filmmaker hanging around the producers from the very beginning, I'll bet THAT would have been a world-class comedy. I see a bunch of fat old guys with cigars, sitting around talking about how "the kids'll love it, it's the bee's knees." In the end, nobody wanted to claim this movie. That's why it's available on cheap DVDs. Nobody renewed the copyright. I'll bet the names of the director and writer are pseudonyms. Even the best thing in the movie, beach babe Lauree Berger ("Nannette"), who's now a psychologist and the wife of a famous film and TV producer, has renounced this turkey by simply ignoring its existence.
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