The 2nd Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World (1965)
"Licensed to Kill" (original title)

 |  Comedy  |  1965 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 98 users  
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Dauntless British agent Charles Vine is called upon to escort to London the famed Swedish scientist Henrik Jacobs to negotiate the sale of a secret formula. However, sinister forces ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Adams ...
Karel Stepanek ...
John Arnatt ...
Francis De Wolff ...
Felix Felton ...
Veronica Hurst ...
Judy Huxtable ...
Carol Blake ...
Claire Gordon ...
Sarah Maddern ...
Hotel Maid
Mona Chong ...
Shelagh Booth ...
George Pastell ...
Denis Holmes ...


Dauntless British agent Charles Vine is called upon to escort to London the famed Swedish scientist Henrik Jacobs to negotiate the sale of a secret formula. However, sinister forces gambling for enormous stakes are already at work. With the aid of the most fantastic gadgets, Vine manages to extricate his charges from the most diabolical traps until the final battle in a mile-a-second showdown fought along the Thames dockside and culminating to a wild and unexpected climax. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Meet Charles Vine. He tries, spies harder...fights deadlier...and loves more dangerously! See more »




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Release Date:

1965 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The 2nd Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World  »

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Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »


The Second Best Secret Agent in the World
(U.S. version only)
Written by Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen
Sung by Sammy Davis Jr.
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User Reviews

How I long to see this one again! Well, I did finally.

I saw this film when I was fourteen and now I'm 48. In the meantime, I've seen thousands of films but never again this film. Could I be mistaken in my memory of it, I asked myself. Then I got hold of Lindsay Shonteff's 'Big Zapper' and found a marvelous satire about most everything but especially about sex and violence, which is ridiculed most thoroughly in that film. I now believe my memory and this film is the one I most desire to see of all films lost to me. First of all, another reviewer wrote about 'black and white - photo'. This film was shot in wonderful color, especially vivid to me. There were the most endearing autumn colors. I fear there are some really gruesome copies out there, which do not do justice to this film. Now for the film. My impression of Tom Adams was then, that he made any other agent-actor, including Sean Connery and James Coburn (whom I both like), look like choir-boys in comparison. This man was no bull-s**t. Strapped on his back was a gun. He never drew it from where it was. He let it stay there and when meeting up with bad guys, he shot from the back, each time ruining an overcoat. He also had a small gun of one shot, which he could hide behind a matchbox if necessary and when offered a last smoke before dying, he reversed the cards. The gun on the back was however much more fun. In the end of the film, he is chased by 'Sadistikoff' (yes, a pun) through some alleys in the city, early in the morning (nobody else is around). Since everything is so quiet, he notices that his shoes are far too noisy. He takes them off and continues in his socks. Sadistikoff notices the same thing and takes his shoes off - you can see, that there are holes in his worn-out socks! Poor Russia. This silent scene all ends when Adams lets the lid of a garbage-can smash down and hides opposite it in a doorway or something of the kind. Sadistikoff comes in and empties his gun on the garbage-can. Adams steps out and Sadistikoff is history. Just to see Adams in this role again - what a treat! Will I ever again? I saw Adams in some spy-flick with Raquel Welch, in which he played a heavy. I was not mistaken. This guy really had charisma. Why was he stopped, I wonder? Refused to play ball? I don't know. Or was it Lindsay Shonteff, the director, who made Adams look so good and who is equally neglected? Quentin Tarantino hasn't seen this one, nor seems anyone else of those who claim to dig up lost diamonds. Dig this one up, if you can!

Well, I got a German copy of the film on VHS and must admit that time has not been too kind to it. The humor does however still remain and the film impresses now for the fact that it was obviously done on a shoestring budget.

It is also obvious, when seeing this film again, how little special effects mean in order to maintain your interest in a film. Had they blown up a real helicopter in the end of the film instead of no helicopter at all, which was the case obviously, it would not have made the film better or worse. In fact, action is highly overpraised. It is for idiots. A thinking man or woman look for other things in a movie, things that cost very little destruction and therefore little money. Such people look for a good plot that makes you feel more deeply or a dialogue that makes you think more deeply. The money then goes to the writer, the composer of music and the director who manages not to destroy a good plot and beautiful music and last but not least actors that are interesting people. This film had a decent plot and dialogue, a good craftsman of a director that could work with little money, very good actors and lousy music. Had Ennio Morricone done the score, it would have been a classic!

14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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