Since its premiere, in January of 1966, Our Man Flint has always been one of my favorite films. It was written and filmed to be a James Bond spy spoof, but turned out to be a lot more. It was a breakout, starring role for James Coburn. JC was already a veteran actor but found work mainly in TV roles from 1957 to 1959, when he was cast in vital roles in the classic western “The Magnificent Seven” (1959), “The Great Escape” and “Charade” both in 1963. As Derek Flint he became the ultimate individualist and master agent who worked from time to time for Z.O.W.I.E. and his admiring, but frustrated, boss played by Lee J. Cobb.
With OMF, Coburn was established as an “A” star and went on to a series of unique films which included Blake Edward’s long, but great comedy, “What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?” Also in 1966 was a neat heist film, “Dead Heat on a Merry Go Round” (Harrison Ford’s film debut), then in ‘67 the sequel to OMF, “In Like Flint” and then ” The President’s Analyst.” In ‘67 he also was in a fun western called “Water Hole #3.” All the films with James from ‘66 and ‘67 are highly recommended.
OMF was the story of a group of scientists who tried to dominate the world by controlling world weather conditions. Flint is recruited to find out what’s going on and to stop it. Along the way he encounters villains and beautiful women; with the outcome proving Flint, the James Bond American counterpart, was in every way far superior to 007. Coburn shows a flair for comedy, fisticuffs, and Sherlock Holmes-style deduction. Eventually Flint ends up in the lair of the bad guys, a.k.a. Galaxy Island, and the showdown with them and the Anti American Eagle is played out.
This film is on VHS, DVD and a two-disc edition which features both OMF and “In Like Flint” – as well as nine special features and the horrible 1976 made for TV rip off called “Our Man Flint: Dead on Target.” This film was only shown once on late night TV and disappeared until its inclusion on this DVD set. It is to be avoided at all costs. It is a stinker beyond belief.
On January 15th OMF will be available in a BR edition, which includes the film in HD as well as the extra features on the Ultimate Flint DVD set. It also contains the great score by Jerry Goldsmith on an isolated track. Another fine release from Twilight Time, it is available in a limited edition from www.screenarchives.com.
“In Like Flint” on Blu-ray will follow in mid-February. Interesting note: At the opening of Goldmember, Austin Powers (Mike Myers) is watching ILF and proclaims it to be his favorite movie. I agree.
Rated 4.0 out of 4.0 Stars in the Galaxy. Which Flint destroys single-handedly. This is why our weather remains uncontrolled.