HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Liquidator, The Squeamish Superspy
Year: 1966
Director: Jack Cardiff
Stars: Rod Taylor, Trevor Howard, Jill St. John, Wilfrid Hyde-White, David Tomlinson, Akim Tamiroff, Eric Sykes, Gabriella Licudi, John Le Mesurier, Derek Nimmo, Richard Wattis, Alexandra Bastedo, Daniel Emilfork
Genre: Comedy, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Rod Taylor is the man. Whether punching Morlocks in The Time Machine (1960), kicking ass as a hard-bitten mercenary in Dark of the Sun (1968), or er… watching his house explode in slow-motion in Zabriskie Point (1970), he exudes a certain rugged masculinity that makes him ideal for a Swinging Sixties James Bond rip-off. Except The Liquidator isn’t that straightforward. Based on a novel by John Gardner, the movie opens with Shirley Bassey shrieking her way through Lalo Schifrin’s theme music, suggesting this aims to be another Goldfinger (1964). However, the cartoon credits animated by Richard Williams are equally redolent of The Pink Panther (1964).

A black and white prologue in war torn France introduces our clumsy hero, Boysie Oakes (Rod Taylor) who accidentally saves Colonel Mostyn (Trevor Howard) from enemy agents. Mostyn remembers Oakes twenty years later, when he and his superior (Wilfrid Hyde-White) hit upon the cheerfully amoral idea of liquidating any British agents who prove treacherous or bothersome. Trained to fight, shoot and identify poisonous toxins by smell, Oakes is given a stylish bachelor pad and any number of young ladies to satisfy his raging libido - except Mostyn’s secretary Iris (future Bond girl Jill St. John - whose British accent is surprisingly good), since romancing agency employees is strictly verboten. Problem is, Oakes is rather squeamish about killing people, so he hires diligent professional killer Griffen (Eric Sykes) to bump targets off for him. With Griffen’s aid, Oakes rises to the top of his profession. He decides to risk a holiday of sun, sand and sex with Iris in Monaco, where trouble awaits…

Capably handled by cinematographer-turned-director Jack Cardiff, The Liquidator trundles along amiably without ever really kicking into high gear. At its heart lies a genuinely witty idea. Imagine James Bond hired some nobody to do all the hard work, while he indulges his playboy lifestyle. Eric Sykes is quite intriguing as the dryly philosophical assassin (“I long ceased to ponder the foolishness of my fellow man”), but this becomes one of several promising plot threads abruptly snipped before they blossom. In Monaco, a sultry French fancy (Gabriella Licudi) lures Oakes into a trap, but the villains suddenly allow him to escape. Halfway through, the film springs its big surprise when Oakes is tricked into trying to assassinate the Duke of Edinburgh, but even this is dispensed with far too easily.

The presence of so many droll, British character actors pitches this closer to an Ealing comedy laced with Swinging London sex appeal, but the film lurches from satire, spy caper and sex farce without ever deciding what it wants to be. Despite his qualms about killing, Oakes handles himself well enough through several punch-ups and thrilling stunts. He’s neither a super-spy nor a total buffoon, which is perhaps more realistic, yet still smacks of the filmmakers trying to have their cake and eat it. A few gags are on a Carry On level (“What lovely multi-coloured tits!” remarks Mostyn, admiring the birds while Oakes does a double-take and his girlfriend takes offence), but some - including Oakes’ climactic attempt to land an experimental aircraft aided by a delightfully dry RAF instructor (Richard Wattis) - are very funny indeed and the identity of the master-villain is a genuine surprise. Eurospy fans will enjoy Daniel Emilfork and Alexandra Bastedo in minor roles, plus the once in a lifetime sight of David Tomlinson as an ice-cold, ruthless assassin. What would Mary Poppins say?
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3214 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: