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  In Like Flint This Is A Man's World
Year: 1967
Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: James Coburn, Lee J. Cobb, Jean Hale, Andrew Duggan, Anna Lee, Hanna Landy, Totty Ames, Steve Ihnat, Thomas Hasson, Mary Michael, Diane Bond, Jackie Ray, Herb Edelman, Yvonne Craig, Robert 'Buzz' Henry, Henry Wills, John Lodge, Erin O'Brien, Jennifer Gan
Genre: Comedy, Thriller, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: This day is a historical one because the pioneering space platform has been sent out into orbit successfully. As one of the chiefs of the project, Lloyd C. Cramden (Lee J. Cobb), who also happens to be in charge of government spy operation Z.O.W.I.E., broadcasts the news on television, he is unaware that among the viewers is a coterie of schemers. These women have used plastic surgery to turn an actor into the spitting image of the President (Andrew Duggan), and now will implement their plan to replace the head of the free world with this impostor. Can superspy Derek Flint (James Coburn) put a stop to them?

Well, he'll certainly have a go, in this, the second and final Flint film to star Coburn. James Bond spoofs were very much in vogue during the sixties, even Dean Martin starred in a few, and by 1967 the genre was still showing no signs of flagging even if Coburn was - he refused to appear in any more. Returning from the first instalment was screenwriter Hal Fimberg, and with him guiding the plot it was very much as before, only instead of the hero battling Utopians - damn their idealistic ways! - here it was the fairer sex who had to be put in their place.

Indeed, when Flint hears that this society of women are intending to rule the world, he bursts out laughing as if to say, what a ridiculous idea! Women in charge of the planet! So as you can see those progressive attitudes are most markedly in play here, with Flint, who now lives with three women instead of four (he says he's trying to cut down), the epitome of masculinity with all the capability that implies. There's a danger that he could come across as obnoxious and smarmy, yet in Coburn's hands he manages to turn around your misgivings and amp up the charm.

It's something to do with the way he doesn't seem to be taking things very seriously that saves the film, so even if it's no classic for fans of sixties kitsch In Like Flint (a pun on "In like Flynn", which was what they used to say about Errol Flynn back when he was bedding the women of the world) emerges as a perfectly acceptable timewaster. To the untrained eye, much of these Bond-inspired adventures bore striking resemblance to one another, and many simply bored, but there can be amusement in their playing with the clich├ęs, especially when, as with director Gordon Douglas here, there was a substantial budget to be taken into consideration.

Actually, for the first half hour Flint is a supporting player in his own movie, with his boss Cramden getting the majority of the screen time as he is duped into losing his position with a staged scandal and has to turn to Flint for help. The spy is only too happy to oblige, and soon, with his lady friends away at an exclusive retreat that is in fact the baddies' lair, he is cottoning on to the notion that it might not just be the women who are behind this plot, even if he hasn't worked out precisely what that plot is yet. Pausing briefly to head for Moscow and dance with Russian ballerina Yvonne Craig (that's right, T.V.'s Batgirl), he disguises himself as Fidel Castro (or so it seems) and parachutes out of a Soviet plane over the Caribbean, all set to combat the forces of evil. Yes, it's painfuly predictable, even monotonous, but addicts will find much to their liking here. Music by Jerry Goldsmith (including the song "Your Zowie Face"). "An actor as President?!"
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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