Thursday, August 21, 2008

Essential Cinema - 39

In Like Flint

James Coburn ... Derek Flint
Lee J. Cobb ... Lloyd C. Cramden
Jean Hale ... Lisa
Andrew Duggan ... President Trent
Anna Lee ... Elisabeth
Hanna Landy ... Helena
Totty Ames ... Simone
Steve Ihnat ... General Carter
Thomas Hasson ... Lieutenant Avery
Mary Michael ... Terry
Diane Bond ... Jan

Gordon Douglas

Hal Fimberg

William H. Daniels

A U.S. Secret agent must stop an organization of women from taking control of a space platform armed with nuclear weapons.

Originally, being super cool and suave. Historically, it is hard to believe that we ever thought that this was super cool and suave.

Back in the mid-1960s, there was a revolution in cinema that owed most of its origins to James Bond. There were numerous copies of the spy-formula, notably Matt Helm, Modesty Blaise and Derek Flint. None of them reached the same level as Bond and were soon forgotten.

'In Like Flint' was the second and last installment in the 'Flint' series. The first film was called "Our Man Flint". The persona of Derck Flint was an Americanized James Bond. He was edgier, more self confident, a master of all things scientific and saw women as simplistic one dimensional playthings. At least in the Bond films, the women had some sort of personality.

While this film may have been cutting edge for its day, in retrospect this work would not even be considered entertaining during Saturday morning cartoon time. Society has moved well past this type of entertainment and expects better writing, production values and plot lines.

There are some redeeming insights from the film regarding societies expectations and ideals back when it was made. It still suffers from a segregated cast (only Caucasian actors and extras need apply), and every women was single, childless and in a bikini for most of the film. This was obviously a male fantasy film, but even in that genre, I don't think most men really aspired to be 'In Like Flint'. He wasn't the every-man's spy, like Bond was.

It would be interesting to find and old Matt Helm film, staring Dean Martin, to watch in comparison. I know there was also one Modesty Blaise film made with Monica Vitti in the title role. I saw it once and I recall it being pretty corny, but hey, you get to look at Monica Vitti for 90 minutes, so it had some redeeming value.

This film is available for viewing in M4V format (iPod / AppleTV / Quicktime Pro) by clicking the images below.

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection which is located on the LaserDisc Database.

Clicking on the "Essential Cinema" title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. The listing of all the LaserDiscs that I have reviewed on IMDB can be found here.

Clicking here will take you to a listing of all the "Essential Cinema" reviews in my Blog.