1962 was historical for spy thriller:James Bond had happened!
André Hunebelle,who was a "swashbuckler" specialist("le bossu","le miracle des loups","le capitan" etc)realized -and he was one of the first!- that the wind had shifted.Now the knight would become a secret agent,and he 'd swap his sword for a gun,and his horse for a car (and what a car!a "dauphine" 1960,now a museum piece)So why not Jean Bruce's hero,OSS 117 -Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath-,why not the Corse -an ersatz for Bond's Jamaica-,and two OSS girls -Irina Demick and Nadia Sanders- two good-looking starlets .But there was another problem:using Jean Marais ,his interpret for all the movies I mention above ,and aristocrat to a fault,would have been a mistake.So hire a young American actor,Kerwin Matthews(the seventh voyage of Sindbad,Nathan Juran,1958)and hope for the best.
That's not exactly the best we get,by a long shot.The story will seem naive even to a four-year old,there are no special effects,but some underwater scenes predate,in their own modest way "thunderball"! There's some humor,and one regrets it was not shot in color,because the côte d'azur in black and white ,it's a crime.
André Hunebelle would carry on with OSS (And Matthews ,then Frederick Stafford),3 movies in all ("furia à bahia pour OSS 117" "banco à Bagkok pour OSS 117" ),both shot in color,with bigger budgets and for "furia"
a true star Mylène Demongeot as the OSS girl) .The three movies are naivete itself but they are pleasant to watch if you're interested in the evolution of the spy film genre.
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