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Perhaps the best of the escapist superspy movies spawned by the James
Bond phenomenon,"Deadlier than the male" benefits by taking itself more
seriously than the leering and campy approach found in,for example,the
"Matt Helm" series and the 2 "Derek Flint" films.Richard Johnson-who
could well have played James Bond,and would have brought more humanity
to the role than any of the actors who played 007 managed,is excellent
as Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond(a character featured in a series of books in
the 20s and 30s and a number of "b" movies,reborn here as a secret
agent for the swinging 60s).Nigel Green is also perfect,as a suave and
very dangerous master criminal.The female assassins,played by 60s
stunners Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina,are allowed to be despicably
evil,and without any redeeming features(they are as keen to
sadistically torture people as they are to kill them),and the sight of
the murderous pair in bikinis emerging from the ocean with harpoon
guns,should be as iconic as the "Ursula Andress hits the beach" moment
in "Dr No".
Unfortunately the sequel to this movie,"Some girls do"(1969),though not without interest,adopted the over the top camp "Deadlier than the male" avoided,and ended the franchise.
This two Ladies are absolutely sizzling in this movie. I saw it in 1968, in a german cinema. i hope it will be rereleased on DVD, so I can purchase it. They are not only playing the aggressive fem fatales, they also dressed to kill. I love the ultra feminine fashion of those years. Also one of the best "007 genres" movies I have seen.
This tough and stylish Bond pastiche from 1967 has a life all of its own and is as good a film as "DR. NO". Richard Johnson plays a suave and sophisticated version of the old 20's hero Bulldog Drummond and he gives his character a tough veneer that makes him as believable as Sean Connery when he squares up against the bad guys, the leader of which is played by the superb character actor Nigel Greene who plays the same sort of villain here that he did in the Matt Helm movie "THE WRECKING CREW". The women in this movie are sexy and aggressive and are the reason for the title,the climax takes place in the villain's lair, a medieval castle where Johnson and Greene play a taut game of death involving giant chess figures. I visited Pinewood Studios in England in 1986 and saw a couple of these huge chess figures lying in the backlot and it brought back fond memories of a film which though very much of its time would offer much pleasure to present day viewers if it were released on video.An inferior (though still enjoyable) sequel appeared the following year called " SOME GIRLS DO" and unfortunately that was the last we saw of Drummond.A pity.
Classy production, solid plot, witty dialog, believable characters. When watching this film, one does not say, "Oh yeah, a 60's Bond take-off", as one does when watching perhaps "Our Man Flint" or "In Like Flint". Richard Johnson's Hugh Drummond is smooth, handsome and resourceful without being obnoxious or larger than life. Steve Carlson's Robert Drummond provides youthful energy without becoming a foil. Elke Sommer's Irma Eckman is irresistably gorgeous, intelligent, eloquent, and cold-as-ice deadly. Sylva Kocina's Penelope is kittenish, sensual and apologetic...even as she's torturing or killing a man. Nigel Green is a ruthless, cunning business man who has figured out how to get rivals out of his way; Kill them. The murders are clever, sexy and brutal but not campy. Universal Studios should make this "best-of-the-genre" entry available on video.
This entry into the world of the 1960s spy genre is one of the best. Due to its witty screenplay, with some great dialogue, and its great visual direction, this film stands out above any of the Matt Helm series or other European films. The two female leads, Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina are perfect, as are Nigel Green and Richard Johnson. I highly recommend this film is you are into fun adventure, told with tongue-in-cheek style.
Several oil executives die in mysterious 'accidents' and each time, an anonymous company is richer by a million pounds. Insurance underwriter Hugh Drummond is called in to investigate. Jimmy Sangster had earlier put Hammer Films on the map by reworking old horror favourites like 'Dracula' and 'Frankenstein'. In 1966, he gave Sapper's 'Bulldog Drummond' a Bond make-over. Richard Johnson was well cast; smooth, charming, and sophisticated. The girls are stunningly beautiful, and the film bristles with excitement, invention and good humour. Nigel Green is excellent as Carl Petersen. Some great set-pieces; the underground car park fight is surprisingly violent, while the chessboard finale is straight out of 'The Avengers'. All this plus a cameo by the late, great Leonard Rossiter, and a blinding title song by The Walker Brothers! Wisely, the film doesn't try to compete with the more lavish Bonds such as 'Goldfinger' and 'Thunderball'. Both Drummond films were novelised for Coronet Books by Henry Reymond.
This 1966 adventure flick was quite well done and Richard Johnson seems
perfectly cast as the lead. The real treat of this flick is the women: Elke
Sommer in a bikini with spear-gun is as attractive as any Bond moment,
Suzannah Leigh, and the Italian beauty Sylvia Koscina. Nigel Green is great
again as a corrupt adversary and the locations are great. This is a 7 out
of 10. Best performance = Elke Sommer.
This blows away FATHOM with Raquel Welch. Tough chicks who are easy on the eyes in the mid-60's will always be a joy to watch. Don't sell this one short. Well worth the effort and a pleasant experience. This is definitely available so look for it if you dig those 60's spoofs!
This above-average Bond knockoff deserves to be better known. It's too imitative of the Bond pictures of the time (especially "Thunderball" - minus the underwater scenes), and the plot slows down at times, but Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina make a terrific pair of sexy, teasing assassins (with Sommer being the sexier one and Koscina the more teasing one). Nigel Green also makes a smooth villain (although he should have hired more guards!). This picture should become more widely available, because although it's not perfect, it's much better than, say, the atrocious pseudo-spoof "Our Man Flint". (**1/2)
This splendidly entertaining spoof of spy thrillers, brings back detective Bulldog Drummond (debonairly portrayed by Richard Johnson) to do battle with a megalomaniac villain (elegantly laconic Nigel Green), who uses sultry female assassins (Eurobabes Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina) to do his dirty work. Stylish doses of brutality, sly humor and witty set pieces make this obscure thriller a real winner...a widescreen DVD is due out in May of 2003.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Surprise, surprise - a James Bond spoof that works. Richard Johnson (of
The Haunting fame) is Bulldog Drummond, a insurance investigator trying
to uncover what happened to one of the planes his company had written a
policy on. It's not long before anyone with information for him turns
up dead. And most of the deaths "appear" to be accidents. Before you
can say "Shaken, Not Stirred", Drummond is up to his neck in hired
killers and a mad genius.
Deadlier Than the Male has a lot to enjoy. The 60s feel, Johnson's Drummond, Nigel Green, terrific locations, and the implausible yet wonderful gadgets and traps are all a delight. But my absolute favorite moments are those between the two hired henchmen (or should that be henchwomen or maybe even henchpersons) played by Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina. There constant spats and barbed remarks are a riot.
There are a lot of bad Bond wannabes out there, this is one of the good ones.
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