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This was the America's answer to Bond, a super agent Derek Flint, and
James Coburn plays his part with an outstanding flair. Flint is more
scientific in his approach when attacking problems. He's also more
lavish and colorful (he's into ballet and stuffs James Bond will never
be engaged in). He has more girls, and he's a millionaire to boot !
What more can you expect from this super human hero ? American spirit
of independence is also evident in that he's not an "agent" of any
government agency, but an independent "consultant". The colors are
brighter, and actions more wild. If James Bond was Aston Martin, Derek
Flint is a drag racer. There's nothing this man of iron, with science,
money, and charm can't accomplish.
In hind sight I can see how difficult it might have been to out Bond a Bond in this type of movie, and Saul David and Daniel Mann did a masterful job of conjuring up a secret agent a la American style. Is it just my imagination or is James Bond starting to look more like Derek Flint after 40 years with his scentific weapons and out landish story lines ?
James Coburn was at top of his game, and I wished he'd done more sequels to this franchise. Colorful '60s; looking at this film really convinces you that there was something special about that era.
I thought this was a clever spoof of Bond. One reviewer criticized it's depiction of women. The whole point was making fun of the Bond character's smooth way with the ladies,and the Bond film's depiction of sexy women. if that is what's bothering you.One female character (the adversary, Gila)was an assertive character and not the typically helpless female. A favorite part in the movie of mine is, when after capturing Flint and she is reading the mock J.B. novel with the character called 0008, she puts down the book and sigh's "God, if there really was such a man!" As for the "dated" comment, c'mon, this is a '66 flick. Of course it's going to be a little dated.Fashions, movie making standards,slang, etc. have come and gone and are coming back. My problem with the movies nowadays is the P.C. crap in them. Now it seems that most action movies have to have a female character be a kick boxer or some other tough character.This crap should be made fun of more too. I have nothing against tough action females, (Cynthia Rothrock's a bad ass!)it's just that now it's un-PC to have a demure soft woman lead character in a lot of action films. I thought this film was so beyond reality and this was the point of the film. As for J.B.,I hope Bond does die soon. Connery commented he'd like to be the villain to do it! That would be most excellent! Besides all that, Coburn was awesome(I bet he was chuckling making this one))and will be sorely missed. R.I.P.
This movie is something of a minor masterpiece. It should be in every
home library. Sure it's a little silly but so was the decade of the
1960s that spawned it. Derek Flint (James Coburn) was America's answer
to the British super spy James Bond, hence the title Our Man Flint. But
all the 007 and Matt Helm movies together aren't as much fun as this
spy spoof. Colorful and well-directed, it doesn't take itself too
seriously and throws in some good gags to keep you chuckling. Jerry
Goldsmith does another excellent musical score, as good as or better
than anything from the 007 genre.
Our Man Flint is pure escapism and a good investment if you can find it. James Coburn is no longer with us, and like any great work of art Our Man Flint is even more valuable now that the artist has died.
How can you not love a movie in which Dick Wilson - the guy who played
Mr. Whipple in the Charmin toilet paper commercials for more than 20
years - plays an agent for that evil insidious organization, Galaxy?
Okay, time to get serious, it is not an understatement to state that Our Man Flint is one of the greatest movies ever made in the entire history of cinema!
The two-film Flint series would never had been the incredibly popular spy spoof it was - made at the height of the 007/Man From U.N.C.L.E./Wild Wild West/Matt Helm craze - if anyone other than the great James Coburn had been cast. The man was born to play the role and he is nothing short of magnificent in it.
It all comes together: Jerry Goldsmith's zippy spy music; beautiful babacious Gila Golan and Edward Mulhare as rotten rat Rodney and then of course, its legendary spoofing.
From the LBJ impersonator to Benson Fong's Dr. Schneider and Peter Brocco's Dr. Wu to Flints lighter that performs 82 separate functions...83 if you want to light a cigar, Our Man Flint is just the greatest!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The only 60's spy flick to give Bond a run for his money, albeit with more silliness and less pretentiousness. Coburn, spot on as exotic retired super agent Derek Flint, very reluctantly rejoins the service when a group of scientists attempt to conquer the world through weather control. It doesn't help their cause that they kidnap all of Flint's girlfriends, in a strategy doomed to backfire. Cobb is great in his traditional role of curmudgeon authority figure, and Golan is a very attractive femme fatale, as I'm sure the rescuer who "inadvertently" mishandles her at film's end would agree. Consistently entertaining from the first reel to the last.
If there was one film that you could pin James Coburn down to represent him at his peak, it is 'Our Man Flint'. Trained personally by Bruce Lee, he portrays a James Bond spin-off convincingly and gets all the girls at the end kissing him enviably. Because of the success of this film, he went on to appear in a mediocre sequel which did not display his talents or represent the peak of his output.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Flint was cool when it still meant something. This light-hearted spoof,
along with Michael Caine as Harry Palmer and Dean Martin as Matt Helm,
provided the inspiration for the increasingly juvenile Austin Powers.
Flint, however, did not grow tiresome.
Spoilers- When the evil Galaxy organization threatens the world with widespread natural disasters, the leaders of the free world must turn to the one man who can stop them, Derek Flint.
Flint is a one man army, reminiscent of Doc Savage, as well as James Bond. He is a master of many disciplines and an object of desire for many women. Even Galaxy agent Gila cannot resist his charms.
Flint is marvelous fun with Coburn obviously having fun with the role. Gila Golan has enough sizzle for a steak house and Edward Mulhare makes for a great snooty villain. Lee J. Cobb is at his cranky best, as Flint's exasperated boss.
The film pokes fun at the spy genre and swings as only the 60's could. The colors are bright, the music fast, and the women are beautiful objects to be rescued and wooed. There is a nice touch with the leaders of Galaxy, three scientists whose names do not reflect their ethnicity (Dr Schneider is Asian, Dr. Wu is caucasian). Pay special attention to the end of the film, when everyone is rescued by the Navy. One of our brave fighting men cops a feel as he pulls Gila out of a barrel! Never trust a sailor.
When "FLINT" first opened in 1966 much was made of the hero's gadgets,particularly his multi purpose cigarette lighter but the truth of the matter was that Flint needed no gadgets,he was a self made superman,able to master any art ( aesthetic or martial) that he wanted and James Coburn played him to perfection.Flint was introduced in the movie in a terrific fashion,displaying his fighting abilities against karate experts and fencers in a style that made him seem unique and skilful in a way not seen before in movies where secret agents usually felled their enemies with a firm sock to the jaw. So did Flint;but he delivered his with his feet. Any movie that climaxes with the hero alone on his adversary's secret island base using wits and kicks to fight his way out and destroy it is okay by me and GALAXY island is straight out of a 60's psychedelic nightmare with flashing lights,disintegration machines and even a trained anti-American eagle.All this and the disco from hell as well.Unlike the Bonds of the era,the girls in "FLINT" are a bit antiseptic and the career of the leading lady(Gila Golan)went nowhere after this.The villains are nothing special either but this doesn't matter; Coburn is the movie.He strides lithely through it with a catlike grace and cheshire cat grin knowing full well that he can overcome any obstacle put in his way.What a man! What a movie! It's a shame that after just one poor sequel,Flint retired to that great penthouse in the sky. Maybe he's ripe for a remake.
OK, in retrospective, we should all know that 1960s espionage was all
about cool dudes battling evil, and attracting hot babes in the process
(though the latter often overshadowed the former, as Austin Powers
showed). "Our Man Flint" is no exception. I will say that Derek Flint
(James Coburn) isn't exactly James Bond, but he has his merits. The
movie mostly seems like an excuse to experience that ultra-cool feeling
that always emanated from the spy movies of the '60s, and they achieve
So, even if it isn't James Bond, it's still very enjoyable. Also starring Lee J. Cobb...and a bunch of half-dressed women.
So during that era, the four most important spies were James Bond, Derek Flint, Harry Palmer and Maxwell Smart.
Having read all the James Bond novels by Britain's Ian Fleming -- most of which were written in the 1950s long before the watershed 1960s era of sexual promiscuity, recreational drug use, proud individuality, rock and roll, anti-establishment protest, etc. -- I think that tracing the evolution of the original Bond to the outrageous Derek Flint in so few years might actually make a fascinating sociological Ph.D. thesis. In each of Fleming's novels, the 6', 170-lb. Bond was little more than a glorified policeman (as Dr. No so aptly described him) who used thought, skill, courage, and gritty determination to plausibly accomplish his mission and survive torture, all while falling for a single woman who usually died in the end. In his way, he was practically monogamous and faithful, in addition to being deadly serious. Fleming picked the name James Bond to connote a bland, rather unremarkable cog in the wheel of Her Majesty's Secret Service, albeit with a license to kill. The first Bond film, "Dr. No", remained fairly faithful to the novel, except that actor Sean Connery oozed an almost animalistic and sexual charisma which Fleming found inappropriate. By the second film, "To Russia With Love", Bond was becoming a swashbuckler capable of fighting off a dozen men in hand-to-hand combat without getting winded. In subsequent films over the next 40 years, Bond became more and more sexually promiscuous while performing increasingly implausible feats of daring-do, all while the plots and gadgets and bad guys became more and more outlandish. But in the mid-1960s, when "Our Man Flint" was released, the cinematic Bond was still largely grounded in reality, and his tongue was only occasionally in his cheek. Flint, on the other hand, wasn't so much a parody of Bond as the quintessential expression of what so many male, American Baby Boomers secretly wanted to be: adored by harems of gorgeous young women; multi-millionaires without having to work for it; quick, witty, and gifted with devastatingly high IQs; super-athletes and sportsmen; ultra-skilled in all forms of hand-to-hand combat without losing a fight or getting hurt; Renaissance men equally at home amid fine art, fine wine, eclectic music, sophisticated gadgets, Zen masters, foreign cultures, and powerful weapons. In other words, the comparatively "boring, nose-to-the-grindstone Bond" of the 1950s had, by the mid-1960s, become the "ultra-fantastic fantasy figure of Flint". One of the reasons Bond (in the novels) smoked so many cigarettes and didn't care, was that he was convinced he was going to be killed soon; his body was already covered with scars. Flint, on the other hand, seems to feel he's going to live forever in his prime -- exactly what many Baby Boomers wanted (and still want, in some cases). The Bond of the novels was a former naval commander and dedicated government agent almost 24/7; Flint is a playboy who probably contributes articles to "Playboy" and saves the world when it suits him because he unexpectedly has a few hours to kill. In many respects, Bond and Flint are opposites, just as the mid-1950s and mid-1960s were. Each character speaks volumes about the societies in which they first appeared. On a lighter note, I found "Our Man Flint" a hysterical hoot led by the outrageous, scenery-chewing James Coburn, and I recommend the movie to those who want to take a lighthearted look at the "pop Sixties" while chuckling and shaking their heads at the silliness.
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