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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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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael A. Miller ...
The Phynx
Ray Chippeway ...
The Phynx
Dennis Larden ...
The Phynx
Lonny Stevens ...
The Phynx (as Lonnie Stevens)
...
Corrigan
...
Bogey
...
Col. Rostinov
...
Markevitch
...
Ruby
...
Foxy
...
Philbaby
Ted Eccles ...
Wee Johnny Wilson
...
Felice
Pat McCormick ...
Father O'Hoolihan
Joseph Gazal ...
Yakov
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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

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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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Release Date:

6 May 1970 (USA)  »

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1.85 : 1
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Trivia

Sally Struthers' film debut. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An embarrassment of stars - and not in the good sense
14 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If The Monkees are QVC-peddled diamonique to The Beatles flawless diamonds, then The Phynx are plastic, made in China, children's jewelry sold in large bins at the Dollar Tree store.

This bizarre 1970 musical comedy is very obviously designed to cash in on the success of the Pre-Fab Four but it's so bad it succeeds only in falling well short of that less than ambitious goal.

The Phynx are a manufactured pop group, comprising 4 minimally talented, totally charisma-free young men, who are put together by the SSA - Super Secret Agency - with the intention of infiltrating Albania and rescuing a bunch of American celebrities who have been kidnapped by the country's communist dictator.

Are you still following me?

The Phynx is badly written, poorly acted trash that doesn't even rise to the redeeming level of kitsch. This leaden satire is less funny than the least amusing 'Saturday Night Live' sketch, and Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber - the men who wrote 'Jailhouse Rock,''Love Me' and 'King Creole' for Elvis - should be ashamed at the musical tripe they served up for The Phynx to sing.

But still I stuck with it and the reason was the supporting cast list. The kidnapped celebrities are actual celebrities! Director Lee H.Katzin has rounded up a 1970 Who's Who of old time Hollywood stars still upright,breathing and willing to prostitute themselves for a final chance to grasp for even a tiny portion of their former fame.

Cinema's most famous Tarzan and Jane, Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan are reunited for one brief scene; tiresome Bowery Boys Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall rehash thirty seconds of their tiresome schtick; and there's blink and you'll miss 'em appearances by Joan Blondell, Dorothy Lamour, Busby Berkeley, Andy Devine, Butterfly McQueen, Rudy Vallee, Edgar Bergen, George Jessel, Ruby Keeler, Joe Louis and even KFC founder Colonel Sanders!

Their plight as fodder in this third rate production is best summed up by Warner Bros veteran Pat O'Brien, who wearily turns to Marilyn Maxwell during the final chase scene (in a turnip wagon) and says "If only I'd played the other part I'd be in Sacramento right now (as Governor of California) and Ronald Reagan would be here." It's meant as a joke but the expression on O'Brien's face and the tone of his voice suggests otherwise.

A monumental embarrassment to everyone involved, The Phynx is about as close to unwatchable as it gets without actually turning off the TV.

Check out more of my reviews at http://thefilmivejustseen.blogspot.com/


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