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|Index||13 reviews in total|
Paramount must have been trying to recapture the success they had with
Martin and Lewis by releasing this Allen and Rossi effort a decade after
Martin/Lewis breakup. Marty Allen is a funny guy; anyone who remembers
70s appearances on "Hollywood Squares" and "The Merv Griffin Show" can
attest to that. But the Allen humor does not translate well to film;
that, or the script is just mediocre at best.
There are genuinely funny moments in the film, the best being Harvey Korman's appearance as a German officer. But there are some plain silly moments as well, such as costume changes on board a train every time it goes through a tunnel.
Nancy Sinatra fans will be disappointed in that she doesn't have much to do here...however, she looks as great as ever.
I really enjoyed this movie. Don't listen to the critics. The few reviews
I've seen bash this film. I watched it before seeing any reviews and
it was great. It's like a cross between Abbot & Costello and a Mel Brooks
film with a little Marx Brothers thrown in there. The intro to the film
genius. You couldn't see anyone's face.
The first half hour is awesome, then it slows down a bit. Still, there's tons of slapstick nonsense comedy running through the film. Plus, there's a scene in a restaurant that I don't even want to talk about because I loved it too much. It's worth a look.
This little spy spoof has been universally put down by the critics. One
wonders if any of them actually saw it or just read the credits. This
ahead-of-its-time little picture is very much the precurser of the
Zucker/Brooks school of many years later, with many inspired, singularly
Marty Allen and Steve Rossi have been described as everything from a couple of borscht-belters who got lucky, to the ultimate '60's Vegas lounge act, to the poor man's Martin and Lewis. I don't know much about that, but I do know that they're very funny here, Rossi sometimes more so than Allen, whose whiney delivery ("Hello, dere[sic]!") tends to grate sometimes. The late John Williams ("Some of the great popular songs were actually written by the great masters" for you retromercial fans!) was one of those actors who could shine in a broom closet, and he doesn't disappoint here. Neither does Theo Mercuese, who could play some of the slimiest villains of all time (Remember "The Night of the Bottomless Pit" on the original "Wild, Wild West?" A tru e classic.). He plays one with a light touch here, and does so delightfully.
A hidden alternate comedy treasure. If you can't find the video, look for it on American Movie Classics, where it's run fairly frequently.
In 'The Last of the Secret Agents,' Marty Allen and Steve Rossi end up being recruited by a very secret organization to help stop the evil force known as THEM. The evil genius behind THEM has managed to find the missing arms of the Venus Di Milo, so now he wants the rest of the statue. There are some sequences here that are very funny. The scene in which Allen and Rossi discuss marriage was my favorite. Most of the best gags in the film are in the style that would later be perfected in movies like 'Airplane' and 'The Naked Gun: from the files of Police Squad.' There are, however, plenty of sequences where the gags just plain bomb. Marty Allen seems to have gone to the Joe Besser school of comedy (shave his head and he'd almost look just like Besser). His buggy eyes and constant whining are probably not everybody's taste, but he does have some very funny moments. Nancy Sinatra sings the title tune, but her role in the film is pretty much a glorified cameo.
My family took us to the drive-in to see this when I was around six
years old. Needless to say, I was not quite as tough on it as the
junior John Simons around here. In fact, we all thought it was a
masterpiece. Well, we didn't say that; but we thought it was funny. My
Dad probably even knew the connection to "Your Show Of Shows."
Now it is impossible to see, though I guess it turns up on T.V. now and then. It sounds like the historic significance as a precursor to the now played out "Airplane" school of comedy might make it fun. Martin and Rossi continued to play Vegas for many years after the film. Harvey Korman must have just been getting started.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Last Of The Secret Agents?" is a hard film to review, because parts of it seem to come from the Marx Brothers' surrealistic brand of comedy (sometimes even breaking the fourth wall), while other parts are closer to the more lowbrow tradition of Abbott and Costello. The best part is probably the clever opening sequence, followed by Nancy Sinatra's terrific title song (by the way, Nancy also has a small role in the film, sporting a luscious body and an adorable French accent). Another bit that comes close to weird brilliance (or brilliant weirdness) is what happens inside the train when it starts passing through the tunnels. But there are also certain sequences that divert the film from its main targets and go on needlessly long (like the one at the go-go club, notable for its extended, suggested but invisible to the viewer female toplessness). It's a hit-and-miss comedy where the hits are about equal to the misses, but it's also a valuable artifact of its time period. ** out of 4.
As a kid, I really enjoyed this movie. But that was the 70s. While still having positive feelings for it, that is from memory. I don't blame Allen and Rossi. Their humor did not translate to the big screen and were let down by a script written by someone who had no understanding of the spy genre, nor how to spoof it. It seems to me you have to have a plot that makes sense within the context of the story and then introduce humorous characters and twists that have no business being there. After an entertaining opening sequence, which goes on a bit longer than it should, the first half hour is fun, introducing Allen and Rossi and setting up the story. What follows after is slow, unfunny and nonsensical. More staid 50s than the hip 60s. Too bad Mel Brooks wasn't brought in to save it.
Just wanted to know if anyone else noticed William Petersen in an uncredited role. He appears in the restaurant/club about thirty or forty minutes in, with blonde hair or streaks. He looks good; appears to be a bouncer. I didn't mind the movie a bit, needs a few more good gags.
This is one of the old "B" type films which have been too easily forgotten. I remember this film from my childhood, and had to search for years to find it again. Don't run away because of my rating. This is one of those quirky little 'lost gems' which just didn't rate a sequel. Admittedly, I was more impressed with this film as a child - back before the more modern Star Wars like gadgets of today, but it can still be a fun flick for those of us who like to root for the "underdog" films. Allen and Rossi are a couple of the fun comedians of days gone past. It's unfortunate that they didn't make more movies. Marty Allen is a screwball - to say the least. He goes through the film looking as though he had stuck his finger in a light socket. There is another added bonus to this film. Nancy Sinatra as the girl interest - who is out to land Steve (Rossi). The song of the same name was made for this film - and, unfortunately, has had a far better following. These off-the-wall films are too precious to take no notice. I would like to see this one make it to our TV screens again.
Art thieves in France are in for trouble when a couple of clumsy American tourists-turned-spies (Steve Rossi and Marty Allen) are assigned to expose their operation. Loud, poorly-written slapstick comedy might appeal to Three Stooges or Martin & Lewis fans. It isn't a bad-looking film, but it's shrill instead of funny. Director Norman Abbott (who also co-wrote the script and produced!) seems to really believe Marty Allen is the next Jerry Lewis or Lou Costello (he isn't) and there's far too much of him. Linking this to later spoofs like "The Naked Gun" is really doing this movie a favor. It has some snap, but it's a bit long and bumbling. Good supporting cast features Nancy Sinatra, who also sings the title cut penned by Lee Hazlewood (which is more clever than anything else in the picture). *1/2 from ****
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