Like “Our Man Flint,” “In Like Flint” is now available on a limited edition (3,000 copies) Blu-ray, which returns the film to the same bright, on screen appearance it had in 1967. None of the previous VHS or DVD releases can match the way this film now appears on the small screen. The BR can be purchased by mail order from Twilight Time and is made available through www.screenarchives.com.
It‘s a fun spy spoof that, like “Our Man Flint,” turned out to be a whole lot more. James Coburn returns as the All American answer to James Bond. Lee J. Cobb is back as the continually frustrated boss of Z.O.W.I.E. (Zonal Organization World Intelligence Espionage) but not the boss of Derek Flint He just finds himself, once again, drastically in need of Flint‘s services.
In this case a group of women (can you believe it?) are trying to take over the world. They plan all of their evil from a beauty resort in (of all places) the Virgin Islands. The film was actually shot in and around Round Hill Resort in Jamaica and the world famous Dunne River Falls. Their plan includes brainwashing women worldwide using hairdryers and substituting an actor in the place of the President at the White House. They are more insidious than Fu Manchu and Dr. No put together. But they are all really cute and look great in skimpy bathing suits.
Flint is called in to investigate. He ends up in Moscow visiting a den of women at the Fabulous Face Spa. JC is, once again, brilliant as the reluctant agent who is more interested in personal matters than governmental support. Still, he does his best to chop socky the enemy, and romances the ladies whenever and wherever necessary. Jerry Goldsmith is back as the composer, writing a great main title theme that doubles as a love song, aptly titled “Your Zowie Face.” Making it rhyme was not easy.
While not as financially successful as 20th Century Fox‘s “Our Man Flint,” the studio was more than willing to continue this series, but Coburn wanted to move on. He did. The great Cinemascope process lens saw its last usage before Fox moved to other anamorphic lenses to shoot their films.
The disc also contains lots of fun extras, the best being the featurette with Ben Starr. Starr, now 91 and still willing to work on any future Flint screenplays, co-wrote the screenplay for “Our Man Flint” but not “In Like Flint.” Why he wasn‘t back aboard is a great story. At the time the film came out in 1967 it also had a paperback novelization which I dutifully purchased and read. A couple of really great lines in the novel version didn‘t make it into the movie. The reason is revealed in the featurette “Flint Vs. Zanuck: The Missing 3 Minutes.”
Like “Our Man Flint,” this is one of my all-time favorite films. Goldsmith‘s score, featured completely on an isolated track, is worth the price of admission alone. ZOWIE.
Rated 4.0 out of 4.0 unfortunate reasons Coburn made no more sequels. The title for the one that might have been was rumored to be F is for Flint. S is for Still Waiting.