Directed by: Jack Cardiff
Starring: Rod Taylor, Trevor Howard, Jill St. John, Wilfred Hyde White, David Tomlinson, Akim Tamiroff, Eric Sykes, Gabriella Licudi
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 104 minutes
Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars
I don’t think that anyone can deny that Rod Taylor is bad-ass. I just don’t see him working as well as Sean Connery did in this James Band rip-off. The film entertains for the most part but is missing the suave and gadgets to be considered a respectable spy entry. Cool fact, the two women in this film actually ended up being in Bond-related films anyway. Gabrielle Licudi was 1967’s “Casino Royale” and Jill St. John, played Tiffany Case in “Diamonds Are Forever”. I guess you can say they willed the roles.
Warner Archive is responsible for digging this 1965 film out of the vault and bringing it to DVD for the first time ever. It is presented in 16X9 widescreen letterbox with its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1.
The audio included is a Dolby Mono track, which works mostly well but the action scenes are little deprived. The only special features included on this release is just the trailer for the film. If you are looking for a fun action-film that aims to steal a little thunder from 007, then I would definitely check this out.
Synopsis: In an era when Sean Connery, Michael Caine, James Coburn, Dean Martin, Robert Vaughn and more brought varying styles of secret-agent cool to movie screens, along came one of the most unusual spies ever to enter the Top Secret realm of hush-hush, bang-bang and kiss-kiss. Rod Taylor plays Boysie Oakes, Agent L, who enjoys the swinging-London lifestyle perks that come with espionage but would rather not engage in the squeamish business of killing, so he hires a professional hitman for that part of the job. Of course, events soon plunge Oakes into situations that require him to be a hero in spite of himself. Jack Cardiff directs this offbeat caper based on the John Gardner novel, reuniting with the star he guided previously in Young Cassidy. The cast includes two beauties who would soon return to sexy subterfuge: Gabrielle Licudi in 1967’s spoof Casino Royale and Jill St. John, who played Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever.