Salt and Pepper (1968) Poster

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"I Saw This Movie Once..."
ShadeGrenade1 October 2006
Surely this was one of Mike Myers' favourite movies from his childhood? 'Salt & Pepper' was produced by its stars Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford. 'Charles Salt' and 'Christopher Pepper' are owners of a seedy Soho nightclub who get into trouble when a beautiful Chinese agent dies in Salt's dressing room. Then, one by one, V.I.P.'s start dropping like flies. Despite continual interference from the law, Salt and Pepper manage to uncover a diabolical plot by extremists to take over the country using a stolen nuclear submarine, H.M.S. Hercules. Its like watching a 'Matt Helm' picture without Dino. The opening scenes are atrocious, but as soon as Salt and Pepper are kidnapped by fake policeman, it perks up. Some of the action is surprisingly violent for a lightweight comedy, particularly the finale in a military academy in which an M.P. dies when Pepper removes the pin from one of the grenades hanging from his belt. The excellent British cast are a big help - Michael Bates as the incompetent 'Inspector Crabbe', Ernest Clark as 'Colonel Balsam', and John LeMesurier as the eye patch-wearing villain 'Colonel Woodstock'. Johnny Dankworth's swinging music catches the mood of the film perfectly. Michael Pertwee went on to write for 'The Persuaders!' starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore. Financially successful though the film was, it didn't lead to Sammy and Peter becoming 'the new Hope & Crosby'. A sequel, 'One More Time' ( directed by Jerry Lewis ) was an unmitigated disaster. Richard Donner went on to make 'The Omen', 'Superman' and 'Lethal Weapon'.
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pretty swingin movie with 2 rat packers in spy caper
kpmerriweather12 November 2010
I thought this movie was pretty hep and funny, given its age (came out in 1968). You can't go wrong in this goofy spy film set in swinging 60's London. Sammy plays Charles Salt and Lawson plays Chris Pepper, nightclub owners of the Salt and Pepper Club by night and spies by day. There's pretty girls and Sammy and Lawson getting into all sorts of trouble while still looking cool. Sammy is working his usual swinging self with numerous wardrobe changes and Lawson being the brains of the group. The duo work well together, especially during exchanges to each other. Some folks might not like this lighthearted film so it's not to be taken too seriously. Davis's song "i like the way you dance" features.
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An amusingly inane 60's spy spoof
Woodyanders24 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
After discovering the body of a murdered female agent in their trendy Soho, London nightclub, groovy owners Charles Salt (the divinely hip Sammy Davis, Jr.) and Christopher Pepper (smooth Peter Lawford) partake in a fumbling investigation and uncover an evil plot to overthrow the government. Can our cool, yet inept duo stop the bad guys in time? Director Robert Donner (who later went on to helm such major hits as "The Omen," "Superman," and the "Lethal Weapon" pictures), working from a blithely silly script by Michael Pertwee, relates the cheerfully asinine story at a steady pace and maintains a suitably wacky tone throughout. Naturally, we get the inevitable slapstick car chase and plenty of cartoonish explosions, plus a few endearingly crummy racial and homosexual puns in the dialogue. Davis, Jr. and Lawford easily carry the picture with their breezy and engaging on-screen chemistry. Whether he's singing a rousing song on stage while surrounded by hot dancing chicks or ineffectively attempting to use martial arts on the villains, Davis, Jr. is nothing short of a total gas to watch (he even sings the great ending credits theme song). The tip-top supporting cast have a ball with their colorfully broad roles, with stand-out contributions by Michael Bates as the uptight, blundering Inspector Crabbe, John Le Mesurier as the sinister, one-eyed Colonel Woodstock, Ilona Rodgers as the fetching Marianne Renaud, and Ernest Clark as the stern Colonel Balsom. John Dankworth's jazzy and spirited score really hits the swingin' spot. Kenneth Higgins' vibrant color cinematography likewise does the trick. Moreover, the ladies are sexy and attractive and there's a certain animated funky'n'zany 60's go-go vibe to the whole movie that's impossible to either resist or dislike. An enjoyable piece of fluffy nonsense.
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Hysterically funny spy spoof.
loserfilmnerd25 January 2012
I found Salt and Pepper to be a hysterically funny, well paced, beautifully sixties spy spoof. I'm gonna start doing reviews in a different style than I usually do, where I'm just gonna list the things I like and things I disliked. I know I'm not the only one on here that does this.

Things I liked:

-The two leads were hilarious and had great chemistry and interesting characters.

-Very cool jazz score.

-Very witty dialogue and some great lines. There was also some great slapstick gags mixed in there.

-Amusing action sequences. They may have not been the most exciting action scenes in the history of cinema, but they were certainly entertaining and well staged.

-The police inspector character was pretty hilarious.

-The sets and costumes were very awesomely sixties.

Things I disliked:

-Some people may find this movie to be sexist, since the two leads sometimes treat women as sex objects. There was also a couple of mildly racist jokes thrown in. But, the fact that the movie stars an interracial friendship should make up for all that.

Overall, I'd recommend this movie to anybody that enjoys action-comedies, especially ones that came from the sixties.
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The Stars Are Good, The Rest Not Too Much
Michael_Elliott14 September 2017
Salt and Pepper (1968)

** (out of 4)

Charles Salt (Sammy Davis, Jr.) and Christopher Pepper (Peter Lawford) are friends who own a nightclub in Soho and after a woman is found dead there they are held on suspicion. Pretty soon the two are working as undercover spies to try and track down why so many other agents are being killed.

The 1960s were full of various spy movies and Rat Pack member Dean Martin was having a major success with his series. It was an obvious idea to try and get others into the mix and with SALT AND PEPPER both Davis and Lawford got to get back up on the big screen. Sadly, the end result isn't nearly as good as one would have hoped for.

For the most part SALT AND PEPPER is a mildly entertaining film that works largely because of the two leads and their performances. There's no question that they've got a nice chemistry together and their timing bouncing off each other is quite good. Davis is given an extended music sequence and Lawford gets to be that classic British charmer. The two of them make the film worth watching and especially if you're fans of theirs.

With that said, outside of them there's really not too much going on here. The plot itself is rather routine, boring and it never offers up any fresh or original. I'd also argue that the direction is rather lackluster and there's not really much humor to be found in the screenplay. Technically speaking the film is well-made but there's just not enough entertainment here to make it worth recommending.
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Nary a bow to reality
bkoganbing18 October 2013
Around the time that Peter Lawford was officially declared persona non grata by Frank Sinatra from the famous Rat Pack, Sammy Davis, Jr. defied the chairman of the board and teamed with Lawford to do this spy spoof Salt And Pepper. And Davis lived to tell the tale.

Salt And Pepper casts Davis and Lawford as a pair of club owners in the swinging Soho section of London in the Sixties. As cool a pair of hip dudes you'd ever want to meet. A working girl is killed in their club which brings the wrath of constipated police inspector Michael Bates down on them. Bates doesn't like them on general principles, I wouldn't with all the nasty cracks made about him being so uptight. But Bates is the least of their problems because the girl was an enemy agent and that gets Davis and Lawford involved in a plot to bring down the British government the details of which I won't reveal because they are truly to bizarre.

The Sixties made London the hip capital of the world and at the same time Ian Fleming and his James Bond novels brought to the screen by Sean Connery put a new twist on the spy novel. Salt And Pepper combines both trends with Davis and Lawford constantly rolling witty dialog off their tongues. The film is fast paced and breezy with nary a bow to any reality.

I did mention Michael Bates before who looks through the entire film like he needs a stiff shot of prune juice. His performance is a tribute to James Finlayson, the perpetually uptight foe of Laurel and Hardy in dozens of films. Bates gets quite a few laughs of his own.

Salt And Pepper holds up well and was popular enough for a sequel One More Time to be made. You'll probably want to check that one out as well.
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this is why cinemas closed
ptb-811 December 2007
This abomination and the sequel ONE MORE TIME (no thanks) and the hideous Jerry Lewis disasters like Don't RAISE THE BRIDGE LOWER THE WATER (why not just flush instead) drove cinema owners to close their doors rather than be forced to run these films. True: in the 60s block booking of films was still enforced on hapless suburban and country cinemas... this means that in order to get a good film the cinema was forced to run woeful timewasters like these: I remember well in 1974 keen to screen FIDDLER ON THE ROOF or something good like that, I was bailed up in the United Artists booking office by some sozzled salesman who waved a sheet of flops before me and squinted, bellowing: "Now before we get to that one, lemme see ya date these ones first". which basically means: "book these duds and we will give ya a tired hit". This is how and why so many cinemas closed, forced to screen and annoy their waning audiences with these assembly line failures with lame comedians and bored talent. Cinema owners, exhausted with arguing simply closed, sold to a petrol station and saw the cinema demolished. These days the same type of films (eg: I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY) get banished to the 20 seat cinema 99 in a mega google plex instead. Not much has changed. FREDDY GOT FINGERED... anyone?
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hillari11 December 2000
An attempt to bring back the glory days of the Rat Pack. Both Davis and Lawford were middle aged men at that time. That's a little long in the tooth to play swinging cats in England. The plot is something about the men fighting off false charges after their hip night club is closed down. Full of jokes that probably would have worked better on Laugh-In, but then, maybe not.
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Not even as much fun as you hope it will be
VLeung22 November 2000
I thought this would be worth watching: 60s caper movie with Rat Packers fallen on unhip times, trying to juggle their increasing fogeyness with the galloping modernity of the late 60s. I thought at least there'd be some unintentional ironic fun to be had in comparing their view of 60s London with Austin Powers, and that they'd both be similarly and amusingly inauthentic. But the fun stuff isn't there. There are too many scenes of Pete and Sammy in cheap hotel room/dressing room/cellar/police station shots, when Sammy Davis sings, it's not the knockout like Sweet Charity's Rhythm of Life that you're hoping for, and the copy of Crosby/Hope's Road series is never pulled off because neither of these blokes is a good enough comedian and the script is terrible anyway. It's like watching your dad trying to be funny.

Also, there aren't enough pretty girls in pretty 60s dresses. For a better version of this sort of thing, you'd be better off watching the Man from UNCLE movies. Robert Vaughan is a little bit of an old git in them, but he's self-mocking and sexy, Ilya Kuryakin is genuinely dishy, and they have proper party scenes with proper pretty frocks and just enough plot to pay attention to. This movie, not funny, not pretty, and more than a little embarrassing, isn't even good enough to laugh at.
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Stay for the London Swingin' 60s fashions, leave for everything else
movieswithgreg9 July 2020
This is just too goofy and corny to rate well. The editing and continuity are clunky, but that's not the worst of it. The goofy 50s sitcom musical cues are beyond cliche, the dialogue is fit only for 50s sitcoms, and the movie is so stupid that it can only be enjoyed by cultural deficients or hipsters who like their fare drenched in superficial ironies.

It has historical merit as an exaggerated view of fashions, looks and behaviors of London's famous swingin' 60s. This film was meant to be hip at the time, so it can be viewed by modern eyes as a window into what director Donner thought would sell as 'cool.'
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Still holds up in 2020
midgetman-7648321 April 2020
Silly spy spoof scenario that is still funny in 2020. Ridiculously goofy fun for the whole family. Although a bit risqué for the 60's, it is very mild in content by today's standards. Even though it does have a few fighting and gunfire scenes, there is no blood in any of them. It's much like "Wild E. Coyote" violence, especially the exploding bombs!!! Sammy Davis, Jr. has some great lines and a couple with undertones that are still relevant today. Both he and Peter Lawford must pack some pretty heavy punches because almost everyone they hit, is knocked out with one punch!!! LOL!!!
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Phoned in movie from two of the Rat Pack.
rdhoran7 October 2020
I find every movie by the Pack, or any of their subset, other than Sinatra alone, to be a sad waste of film.

This is yet another, where Sammy Davis, Jr and Peter Lawford pilot this shameless, dopey vehicle at missile speed right through the middle of my IQ. Gosh, please make this stop, or at least, make Peter Lawford stop smoking cigarettes for one second and stop ashing his butt on the nightclub floor.

There's one funny scene where Sammy performs a song and dance number with some go-go girls. He pretends not very well to play the guitar.

I couldn't get through the entire movie. Its on a low par with the dreadful Ocean's 11.
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