The handsome top agent Matt dies a tragic death in his bath tub - the women mourn about the loss. However it's just faked for his latest top-secret mission: He shall find Dr. Solaris, ... See full summary »
In this, the first Matt Helm movie, we see Matt Helm coaxed out of semi-retirement by an attractive ex-partner. It seems that the evil Big O organization has a nefarious plan called "... See full summary »
The count has stolen enough gold to cause a financial crisis in the world markets so I.C.E. sends in ace spy Matt Helm to stop him. As Matt works alone, the British send in Freya to aid ... See full summary »
A government space saucer is hijacked mid-flight by a powerful laser beam under the control of Jose Ortega, who then proceeds to rape the female pilot, Sheila Sommars. ICE sends agent Matt ... See full summary »
Comedy-drama about a middle-aged Italian businessman Vittorio Gassman who is married to Eleanor Parker and is innocently introduced one day to a schoolgirl with pigtails named Carolina. ... See full summary »
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 »
The handsome top agent Matt dies a tragic death in his bath tub - the women mourn about the loss. However it's just faked for his latest top-secret mission: He shall find Dr. Solaris, inventor of the Helium laser beam, powerful enough to destroy a whole continent. It seems Dr. Solaris has been kidnapped by a criminal organization. The trace leads to the Cote D'Azur... Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Having managed to acquire this one soon after THE SILENCERS (1966) and THE WRECKING CREW (1969), I can say that, while a definite comedown from those two Matt Helm adventures directed by Phil Karlson, it’s fairly enjoyable in itself and far from the “uncontrolled disaster area” the late eminent critic Leslie Halliwell took the sequels to be (though I haven’t been able to get my hands yet on THE AMBUSHERS , considered the worst in the series).
Things start off nicely enough with the elimination of all the top I.C.E. agents: Helm’s photo has him taken from the back – thus making his undercover activity later within the enemy ranks seem more plausible – but, amusingly, amply displaying his fondness for booze and broads. The villain this time around is played by Karl Malden, while Helm’s women include Ann-Margret (as the daughter of an inventor of a deadly ray being held captive by Malden) and the latter’s assistant Camilla Sparv; the girls both look good but aren’t given a lot to do – besides, Ann-Margret relies too much on the energetic dancing style she had displayed in the Elvis Presley vehicle VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964)…though this does result in a funny scene inside a nightclub where Martin has a hard time trying to ape (and keep up with) her irrepressible moves! Incidentally, despite the set-up at the end of THE SILENCERS with respect to the upcoming contribution of Beverly Adams’ Lovey Kravezit, it’s still too brief (to say nothing of secondary) here!
The film also features an imposing henchman fitted with an iron plate over his bald head – appropriately dubbed “Metalhead” – who may or may not have inspired the “Jaws” character from a couple of much-later James Bond adventures; the hovercraft chase (starting at sea, continuing on dry land, and ending in a crowded street) also anticipates the one from the 007 flick MOONRAKER (1979). As for preposterous gadgets, here we get a gun programmed to delay shooting for a few seconds – so that, if it were to fall into enemy hands, the holder will invariably point the gun at himself (believing it to be empty) with fatal consequences! Martin, of course, gets to sing as well – and there’s another jibe at Frank Sinatra; however, a rather blatant goof went unnoticed by the film-makers: Martin and Ann-Margret flee a scene in the latter’s car (with the top uncovered) but, somewhere down the line, the vehicle turns into that usually driven by Martin (complete with specially-fitted equipment to thwart the pursuers)! Once again, then, the final scene paves the way for the next entry in the series.
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