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The Intelligence Men (1965)

A chance meeting with a Schlecht agent forces a humble coffee shop manager into the secret world of spies in Swinging London. With the help of his MI5 friend, he poses as the recently dead ... See full summary »

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(screenplay) (as S.C. Green), (screenplay) (as R.M. Hills) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Morecambe ...
Ernie Wise ...
William Franklyn ...
Colonel Grant
April Olrich ...
Madame Petrovna
...
Gina Carlotti
...
Sir Edward Seabrook
David Lodge ...
Stage Manager
Jacqueline Jones ...
Karin
Terence Alexander ...
Reed
...
Thomas
...
Prozoroff
Brian Oulton ...
Laundry Basket Man
Michael Peake ...
Sinister Stranger
...
Philippe
...
Seedy Schlecht Agent
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Storyline

A chance meeting with a Schlecht agent forces a humble coffee shop manager into the secret world of spies in Swinging London. With the help of his MI5 friend, he poses as the recently dead Major Cavendish who had managed to infiltrate the dreaded organization; he knows that they are intending to assassinate someone - could it be the famous Russian ballerina who has recently arrived for an appearance at Covent Garden? Written by Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

1 January 1968 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Spylarks  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two of the Military Intelligence operatives in the communications room are named as Green and Hills, a nod to the writers Sidney Green and Richard Hills. Sid and Dick are also the duo during Eric's espresso bar singing scene. See more »

Goofs

During the cinema scene the position of the dead Schlect agent changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Eric Morecambe: [on seeing that Phillipe, who is sitting next to him, has just collapsed into his soup after being poisoned] Waiter!
Ernie Sage: Yes?
Eric Morecambe: I have a complaint to make.
Ernie Sage: What?
Eric Morecambe: There's a dead man in this soup.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Morecambe & Wise: The Whole Story: Episode #1.1 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Danse Espagnol
(uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Arranged by Philip Green
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User Reviews

Funny - but only a shadow of their TV material
4 December 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When a coffee shop owner is mistaken for a MI5 spy, the real MI5 enlist his help in uncovering an assassination plot in London. With master of disguise Ernie Sage by his side, Eric Morecambe battles dangers and beautiful women to save the day - whether he knows it or not.

This was Morecambe and Wise's first attempt to take their huge success on TV into film. And it unfortunately doesn't totally carry over. The plot is irrelevant but it doesn't really matter - in fact the film slows down in some scenes where the 'serious' actors have to do dialogue that moves the plot along. Outside of these scenes it's really all about Eric and Ernie doing their usual stand-up routine in different situations.

The film is funny, simply because of Morecambe's act and Wise's straight man, basically each scene is the same as the TV show in that each scene has a basic structure that allows the duo to do their stuff within it. The film contains many very funny scenes that are like this but too many fail because the laughter and improvisation of the TV show has been replaced by tightly scripted scenes and multiple shoots and takes. This takes a lot of the life out of their routine and some bits, most notably the musical numbers fall flat. Having said that, I don't think Eric Morecambe can help but be funny and most of the film is really funny, mainly jokes that are repeated during the film - "get out of that" and the running joke of Eric not recognising Ernie in 'disguise' being some of the best.

Overall this is a funny film simply because of Ernie and Eric. However if you've never seen their TV show then you're missing out on the funniest stuff they've ever done, cause, sadly, this film never comes close to their best.


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