Deadpan Lunacy

Amid the avalanche of overproduced and overmarketed films that flooded movie theaters in the summer of 2006 (Poseidon, Miami Vice, Lady in the Water and Snakes on a Plane to name a few), a gallic import flew in under the radar and delighted any moviegoer willing to give in to its droll sense of humor and fond appreciation of the spy thriller genre of the sixties. OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies was a huge box-office hit in France and Europe but it barely lasted a week in many of its U.S. playdates.

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Bring It On

Revenge is a dish best served cold and the recipe is given a distinctly Italian flavor by director Stelvio Massi in The Last Round (Italian title: Il Conto e Chiuso, 1976), a blue collar reworking of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1961) for the poliziotteschi genre, which was originally inspired by Dashiell Hammett’s 1929 novel Red Harvest.

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James Bond’s Lesser Known Sibling

The James Bond film craze of the 1960s was responsible for launching a secret agent/spy movie sub-genre that thrived for more than a decade. Some of the imitators like Our Man Flint (1966) and The Silencers (1966) even spawned mini-franchises but the majority of them were strictly B-movies with international casts and exotic locations. One of the more obscure and unusual entries is Operation Kid Brother (1967), which is an entertainingly bad knockoff and sports a genuine Sean Connery-007 connection. It stars younger sibling Neil Connery in his screen debut.    Continue reading