Thursday, August 24, 2006


Thanks to the marvel of DVD technology, film studios are rereleasing their back catalogues. In the 1950's and 60's, the Cold War was at its height, and this was reflected in the popular culture of the period. Novels, films, and television series with espionage themes were very popular. In approaching the subject matter, there was the glamorous approach employed by the James Bond series, The Avengers (1961-1969), and The Man From UNCLE (1964-1968) and numerous imitators. This compared with the gritty realism of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965), Carry On Spying (1964), and Len Deighton's Harry Palmer novels, which were also adapted into films starring Michael Caine.

This period also saw the release of Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967). spy spoofs starring James Coburn as secret agent Derek Flint. An agent for a top secret government agency named ZOWIE, Flint is called upon to stop various evil plots. The first film had him on a mission to stop a group of villains, led by the evil Malcolm Rodney (Edward Mulhare, who would later play Devon, Michael Knight's boss in the seminal 1980s TV series Knight Rider), from taking over the world using an earthquake machine.

The second film rehashes the plot for world domination storyline. This time a secret cabal of women plot to take over the world from a hidden base located at a beauty resort in the Virgin Islands. Part of this villainous plot involves kidnapping the President of the United States and replacing him with a surgically altered double. This President had no resemblance to the incumbent at the time, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Regardless, Flint's exclamation of disbelief when discovering this aspect of the plot is worth the price of rental alone: "An actor as President?" Surely that could never happen...

Flint's adventures should be available for rental from any decent video store.


Glen O'Brien said...

Apparently Our Man Flint or In Like Flint (can't remeber which) is Austin Powers' favourite movie of all time.

Ross said...

I believe it was In Like Flint. The second Austin Powers movie has a scene where Austin is watching the opening titles.