Our Man Flint (1966)

Our Man Flint (1966), directed by Daniel Mann.

James Bond spoofs began early in the series. The two Derek Flint films were the best and most successful. They were fun at the time. Now: well, you have to project yourself back to the mid-60s very light and silly ambience. The sexual politics: hoo, boy!

A group of tyrannical do-gooder scientists have collected their minions at a secret island base (behind the waterfall, under the exploding mountain) and are disrupting world weather until Earth surrenders to their domination. Their goals...are a bit fuzzy. Like Dr Horrible, they just need to rule. It involves mind control and women programmed to be Pleasure Units (who are branded with a hot electric gizmo).

World spy organization ZOWIE calls for independent agent Flint. He keeps a stable of women, is expert in martial arts and mental disciplines of the East, speaks all languages, is an art collector and ballet dancer, is familiar with every dangerous spot in the world, builds his own gadgets and has his own jet. Maybe Buckaroo Banzai could take him but it would be a close thing.

This is James Coburn's first starring role and he is appealing as the playboy genius agent. He is too tall and thin for the running and punching work, but he makes up for it with style and wit.

We have a bunch of Bond quotes in the gadgets and names: they mention SPECTRE and we meet agent 0008 briefly. The President sounds like LBJ. The enemy femme fatale was a former Miss Israel.

1960s sets tend to look cheap. Believe it or not, this had the same budget as Goldfinger (1964), which looks vastly more expensive. The Bond production people delivered more for the money.

Jerry Goldsmith score.

The Blu-ray is a Twilight Times limited edition. The image quality is only fair. Two 1960s film buffs and authors provide a happy, wide-ranging commentary track. Isolated score.