In Like Flint/Our Man Flint
Double pack

Starring: James Coburn, Lee J. Cobb, Gila Golan, Edward Mulhare, Benson Fong
20th Century Fox
RRP: 14.99
Certificate: PG
Available now

A league of master criminals known as GALAXY plots to take over the world by controlling the weather. They threaten to destroy the planet unless the leading nations capitulate to their demands. The Zonal Organisation World Intelligence Espionage, Z.O.W.I.E., is called upon to stop them, but even it is powerless against GALAXY's mighty machines. The President personally demands that Flint, ace spy and secret agent, be assigned the job that no one else can do...

Derek Flint (James Coburn) is unlike any other spy you've ever met - he can do everything better than everyone else, which is funny up to a point but the joke starts to wear a little thin after a whole movie's worth of it. And the unsubtle, and often unfunny, spoofing of Bond, complete with gadgets and girls, has lost a lot of its appeal after almost 40 years if only because Bond still does it better. Although for fans of Austin Powers it'll be interesting to see where Mike Myers got pretty much all his inspiration. Listen out for the copied sound effect...

However, what really makes Our Man Flint such tough going is its hymn to male individualism American style. Filmed in an age of hippy idealism - which GALAXY represents with its aim of creating a world based on group values - Flint is the fast living, womanising loner who has his roots in the wild west frontier where a man lived on his wits and women were for loving and leaving.

Overrated and often in very bad taste, gross misogyny like racism is never funny unless you're a bigot, Our Man Flint is unlikely to appeal to modern audiences although for fans of right wing propaganda, movie-style, and crap spy capers this will just about do. However, back in 1966 Flint was a big enough hit for him to be called back a second time to save the world. In Like Flint (1967) has our man uncovering a plot to install a puppet regime in the US government led by a group of female spa owners in the Virgin Islands. No, I'm not making this up... you'll just wish I had when you watch the film.

The picture quality is generally good for both movies and the sound, although mono, is clear and clean. Not that should make any difference as the films themselves are best avoided.

Anthony Clark

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