James Coburn played Derek Flint in two movies. Our Man Flint came out in 1966 and In Like Flint came out the following year. Derek's an ex-secret agent who used to work for Z.O.W.I.E. which is the Zonal Organization for World Intelligence and Espionage. Isn't that a stupid name? I know this is a parody but you'd think they could have figured out a better gag. Luckily most of the movie isn't that dumb. Not all the gags are 100% but there's enough of them to get a laugh here and there. I remember going to see both of them in the theater when I was a teen. I thought they were a hoot. I enjoyed seeing them again in the 90's and I was happy to pick them up on dvd when they came out in 2002. There's a newer 3 disc dvd set that has more making-of stuff than the editions I have.
In Our Man Flint 3 mad scientists have banded together to form an evil organization called Galaxy. Their goal is to extort money from the governments of the world with their weather controlling device. Cash or hurricanes. They have some misguided goals and quite the design flair. Gina Golan is a Galaxy section head who tries to assassinate ZOWIE's head man Lee J Cobb with a poison arrow shot from a harp. Our man Flint saves the Lee J's ass by sucking out the poison. Not literally from his ass. While the movie never sinks that low there are some corny gags.
It's an active movie that moves fairly quickly. There are plenty of silly bits, some action, a few fights, lots of pretty girls to look at, nice scenery and nice sets. I really liked the secret Galaxy lair on an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Edward Mulhare plays Gina's assistant and James Brolin has a small part as a technician. Flint has a lot of wonderous gadgets and several nice personality quirks. He's got some extraordinary talents and abilities. When Lee J comes calling Flint had just come back from Russia where he had been teaching at the Bolshoi Ballet. What a guy!
That's the Glaxy lair. Nice, huh. No wonder they need to extort money, they've spent all their's on that nice island hideout and all those uniforms. It looks like the onlything off the rack are the mad scientists white lab coats. The movies have a nice design style with lots of nice vivid colors and expansive sets. Look at the inside of the secret lair below. Big giant curved walls with colored hexagons on them. What's up with that purple stuff? I love the little set of stairs up to their desks. No safety rails, it's so 60's.
Our Man Flint was directed by Daniel Mann and had a script by Hal Fimberg and Ben Starr. Mann directed quite a few good movies in his career. The movie was produced by David Saul. He only produced 6 films in all, the 2 Flint movies and these other 4 films: Von Ryan's Express, Fantastic Voyage, Skullduggery and Logan's Run. Quite the group of movies. Besides the Flint movies the only other one of them I have on dvd is Logan's Run. It's ok but it has it's problems. Sperhauk mentioned he'd seen Fantastic Voyage recently and it's wasn't holding up so well.
In In Like Flint Gordon Douglas takes over the directing reigns and Hal Fimberg tackles the script by himself. It's a bit sillier than the previous film, parody turned up to 11. The plot is pretty much the same. A secret organization is planning to take over the world. This time it's some woman and the organization is called Fabulous Face. Their publisc face is beauty treatments. They have a fabulous spa in the Virgin Islands. The woman's lib movement of the 60's gets a bit of a push back from this film. That doesn't make me enjoy the movie much less. The movies are of their time and that time had a lot of issues.
Lee J comes looking for some more help from his old pal Derek. Lee J was out golfing with the President and something happened. The Prez, Andrew Duggan, takes a swing and the golf ball bursts open. White powder sprays over everyone and they all get rigid. Henchmen from a secret organization with plans for world domination kidnap the President and replace him with an exact duplicate. Lee J had been timing the President's swing on a stop watch when the ball exploded. When they all wake up they don't know anything happened but the stop watch says that 3 minutes had past. Derek finds traces of the power in Lee J's mustache hair.
The story takes us all over, New York, The Mojave Desert, the Virgin Islands and outer space. Yup, there's space travel in this movie, with female Russian Cosmonauts, and Derek's in like Flynn. Our man Flint gets into some fights, figures out who the villains are and saves the world, again. There's still some fairly fun gags and the movie has plenty to look at and listen to. The audiences didn't pack the theaters and the series stopped with this movie. It was also the last movie to be shot in CinemaScope.
Both are worth taking a look at, I think they're worth having, but not everyone would need them.