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The Phynx (1970)

GP | | Comedy, Music | 6 May 1970 (USA)
A rock band becomes embroiled in foreign affairs when they're sent to go on tour in Albania as a cover to find hostages in a remote castle held by communist enemies of the USA.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael A. Miller ...
A. Michael Miller - The Phynx (as A. Michael Miller)
Ray Chippeway ...
Dennis Larden ...
Lonny Stevens ...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Wee Johnny Wilson (as Teddy Eccles)
...
Ultra Violet
...
Father O'Hoolihan
Joseph Gazal ...
...
Number One (as Bob Williams)
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Storyline

An athlete, a campus militant, a black model, and an American Indian are picked by a computer (shaped like a woman) to form a rock group called the Phynx and go on tour in Albania where American show biz people have been kidnapped by Communists. Some of the stars that the phony band rescues: Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan (the most famous movie Tarzan and Jane), Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall (the Bowery Boys), Ed Sullivan, James Brown, Colonel Sanders, Guy Lombardo, Andy Devine, Ruby Keeler, Edgar Bergen, Butterfly McQueen, Jay Silverheels (Tonto), Rudy Vallee, Xavier Cugat, Trini Lopez, Dick Clark, Richard Pryor, Harold "Oddjob" Sakata, George Jessel, and Rhona Barrett. Warner Bros. Studios thought it was so bad that they decided at the last minute not to release it! Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Of all the American heroes who served their country in it's hour of need - only one had a great rock sound...

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

GP
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Details

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Release Date:

6 May 1970 (USA)  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rich Little's film debut. See more »

Quotes

Bogey: On behalf of your fellow Americans, welcome to Super Secret Summer Camp Seventeen.
See more »

Connections

References Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

All-star celebrity bomb of epic proportions
7 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This horrible, unfunny spy yarn trots out a gigantic assortment of celebrities in a vain attempt to add something to fill its vacuum of story and film-making. Its supposed plot concerns Michael Ansara playing a mad military general of Albania who kidnaps celebrities to give the essentially imprisoned Albanian President (George Tobias) and wife (Joan Blondell) some famous company to keep them busy. The General continually foils the efforts of a U.S. secret agency's attempts to sneak into Albania, so the agency goes to its super-computer (named M.O.T.H.A.) for guidance and is told the best means of breaking in is by recruiting a 4 man rock band, call it The Phynx, and make it so famous that the General will allow the band in to add to the celebrity load. Then the band/spy team is supposed to break those celebrities out. That's the gist of it, but there is so much more nonsense going on within this flimsy plot, yet not worth repeating since it is mostly idiotic. This film has the feel of a late 60's TV variety show skit gone horribly wrong and long. It's a lead-footed attempt at frantic satire along the lines of The Monkees, but it has almost no laughs. The four actors playing the band members are unmemorable and, indeed, remain unknown to this day. And the celebrity cast, impressive in sheer volume, gets little to do. Richard Pryor has a small bit as a cook; Dick Clark plays himself in another short bit; Clint Walker has a tiny part as a Drill Sergeant; Harold "Oddjob" Sakata does his Goldfinger bit; Ed Sullivan does one intro; Fritz Feld does his mouth-popping waiter bit; Patsy Kelly serves a donut; Colonel Sanders serves chicken (yep, they even dragged him into this fiasco); and Huntz Hall delivers one line---but it IS the key line that helps get the celebrities out of Albania. Only Martha Raye, as a doomed double-agent, shows any spark in her very short scene. In the big finale we are given an awards-show-like display of old Hollywood with the famous fossils striding into the Albanian Presidential Palace in twos and threes, announced with fanfare. Then they are seated and forced to listen to the pathetic rock n' roll banalities of the The Phynx band. A lamentable thing to behold---all those fossils trying to act entertained by such juvenile electric guitar-laden ramblings when you know they want to hear Benny Goodman, or hell, even Liberace. And the songs by famed tunesmiths Leiber and Stoller are junk, although they at least didn't attempt any psychedelic rock. Well, all I can say is that having all those celebs in one room must have led to one hell of a fun lunch for them.... but the film is no fun for any viewer. And Warner Bros. barely released it back in 1969, for good reason, and it has since vanished without a trace, also for good reason.


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