EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|SILENCERS, THE (director: Phil Karlson; screenwriters: from the Donald Hamilton novels The Silencers and Death of a Citizen/Oscar Saul; cinematographer: Burnett Guffey; editor: Charles Nelson; music: Elmer Bernstein; cast: Dean Martin (Matt Helm), Stella Stevens (Gail), Daliah Lavi (Tina Batori), James Gregory (MacDonald), Victor Buono (Tung-Tze), Arthur O’Connell (Wigman), Robert Webber (Sam Gunther), Nancy Kovack (Barbara), Roger C. Carmel (Andreyev), Cyd Charisse (Sarita), Beverly Adams (Lovey Kravezit); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Irving Allen; Columbia; 1966)|
|"A tawdry action
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The first of the Matt Helm films starring
Dean Martin (others are: Murderer's Row, The Wrecking Crew and The
Ambushers), as the laid-back Sean Connery (which means less action and
more lame comedy, since there's no chance in believing Dino as a super
competent action hero). Phil Karlson
("Framed"/"Walking Tall"/"Ben") directs
'bosoms and bullets' flick as a tawdry action comedy. It's based on Donald
Hamilton's popular series of novels such as The
Silencers and Death of a Citizen, and is scripted by Oscar Saul.
The over-sexed American superspy Matt Helm (Dean Martin),
working for ICE (Intelligence Counter Espionage), is coaxed out of
retirement when American Intelligence discovers that an
enemy ring led by the Chinese Tung-Tze (Victor Buono) is
planning to divert an American missile so that it will destroy a vital
atomic testing base in the United States and the baddies try to
assassinate him even before he takes the case. Matt is aided by former
colleague Tina Batori (Daliah Lavi), and the duo
follow the spy tracks to Phoenix to witness the murder of the stripper
Sarita (Cyd Charisse)
by Sam Gunther (Robert Webber). Before she
dies, Sarita hands over a valuable American scientist's computer tape
to the klutzy Gail (Stella Stevens), who had been
with Gunther. Helm uses force to make the well-meaning Gail take them
Tung-Tze's hideout. Once there Helm discovers who is the real leader of
the spy ring and destroys the equipment to be used to divert the
missile heading for Alamogordo, N.M., and then eliminates the members
of the spy ring.
the pic bores you, as it did me, you can tune into the soundtrack
and hear Dino sing such tunes as "If You Knew Susie," "On the Sunny
Side of the Street," "South of the Border," and "The Glory of Love."But
the best thing might be just to take a pass on this ersatz Bond and
instead watch the real Bond films--even its worst one is better than
this obnoxious one that stars a miscast Dean Martin.
REVIEWED ON 4/21/2010 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ