When the intelligence agencies of the world find that their agents are being murdered at an alarming rate their leaders all write out the qualities an agent will need to succede against the terrible crisis they are facing. Derick Flint is the only agent with all the qualities, but his old boss refuses to work with him until ordered to by the president. Flint is the worlds greatest secret agent, worlds greatest lover, an expert on electronics and Dolphin speech and goes to Moscow for Ballet (To Teach!) When attempts on his life are made, Flint begins to search out the mad scientists who want to remake the world after taking over with the aid of their earthquake machine.
James Coburn ... Derek Flint
Lee J. Cobb ... Cramden
Gila Golan ... Gila
Edward Mulhare ... Malcolm Rodney
Benson Fong ... Dr. Schneider
Shelby Grant ... Leslie
Sigrid Valdis ... Anna
Gianna Serra ... Gina
Helen Funai ... Sakito
Michael St. Clair ... Hans Gruber
Rhys Williams ... Dr. Krupov
Russ Conway ... American General
Ena Hartman ... WAC
William Walker ... American Diplomat
Peter Brocco ... Dr. Wu
This was the America's answer to Bond, a super agent Derek Flint, and James Coburn plays his part with an outstanding flair. Flint is more scientific in his approach when attacking problems. He's also more lavish and colorful (he's into ballet and stuffs James Bond will never be engaged in). He has more girls, and he's a millionaire to boot ! What more can you expect from this super human hero ? American spirit of independence is also evident in that he's not an "agent" of any government agency, but an independent "consultant". The colors are brighter, and actions more wild. If James Bond was Aston Martin, Derek Flint is a drag racer. There's nothing this man of iron, with science, money, and charm can't accomplish.
In hind sight I can see how difficult it might have been to out Bond a Bond in this type of movie, and Saul David and Daniel Mann did a masterful job of conjuring up a secret agent a la American style. Is it just my imagination or is James Bond starting to look more like Derek Flint after 40 years with his scentific weapons and out landish story lines ?
James Coburn was at top of his game, and I wished he'd done more sequels to this franchise. Colorful '60s; looking at this film really convinces you that there was something special about that era.
This movie is something of a minor masterpiece. It should be in every home library. Sure it's a little silly but so was the decade of the 1960s that spawned it. Derek Flint (James Coburn) was America's answer to the British super spy James Bond, hence the title Our Man Flint. But all the 007 and Matt Helm movies together aren't as much fun as this spy spoof. Colorful and well-directed, it doesn't take itself too seriously and throws in some good gags to keep you chuckling. Jerry Goldsmith does another excellent musical score, as good as or better than anything from the 007 genre.
Our Man Flint is pure escapism and a good investment if you can find it. James Coburn is no longer with us, and like any great work of art Our Man Flint is even more valuable now that the artist has died.
This has got to be one of my favorite movies of all times. When Derrick Flint has those dogs that can smell your emotions; that is just too much for me. Also, he was the coolest American hero at the time; because James Bond was from the U.K; but Derrick Flint was ours.
This movie so cool because not only was James Coburn one of my favorite actors; but he also was cool and smooth in all of his movies. One of the best scenes is when he rescues "his girls" and tell them that "they are not a pleasure unit." That line has stuck wtih me and kept me out of many relationships and out of a lot of trouble in my lifetime.
But, my favorite scene in this movie is when Derrick Flint puts his girls in those drums. Of course; the girls had on bikinis, and after he blows up the island while looking smashing and not getting his white pants dirty. Are you kidding, Flint be dirty; it just aint; gonna happen. Also without one hair out of place on his or his girls' head. He puts them in those drums, throws them over a waterfall, but of course, there is nobody to seal his drum; so he jumps right into the the ocean and swims away just in time before the entire island blows to bits. Getting the beautiful girl in the end; now that is what I call action-movie.
I will truly miss James Coburn because he knew how to be cool, polished, and funny while keeping a straight face all at the same time.
A fantastic piece of abstraction rare in the genre cinema, which, like the 'Don Quixote' of Cervantes, transcends its easy spoof origins to become a disturbing deconstruction of masculinity, rationality, narrative and plot. It is also remarkable in a decade of visual innovation for being one of the most exquisitely beautiful films of the 1960s. Supposedly a derivative of James Bond films, it leaves that narrow entity far behind, with its wit, daring, and intellectual reach.
The story is the usual 60s spy gubbins. A group of Utopian scientists have taken control of the weather, and are holding all the world's military powers to ransom by causing massive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, dam-bustings etc. Their demands are that these governments give up their nuclear weaponry so that the scientists can govern a better, less fear-ridden society.
Normal measures against these obvious nutters fail; US intelligence reluctantly turn to maverick superspy and polymath, Derek (Derek!!) Flint, as proficient in ballet and modern art as he is in kung fu and promiscuous sex. Flint tries to infiltrate the enemy, while at the same time fending off their assassination attempts, led by the treacherously beautiful femme fatale, Gila. Eventually caught and seemingly dead, Flint travels to the scientists' secret island, a gleaming Shangri-La of rich verdure, peace, harmony, contentment and scantily clad babes.
FLINT's power is probably best appreciated in the context of its attack on the Imperialistic, macho and misogynistic ethos of Bond. Although very funny, it is not a spoof in the AUSTIN POWERS mould - no-one in the world of the film is aware of the joke; satire is largely achieved through exaggeration. For instance Bond is devilishly handsome, popular with women, mildly suave, handy with weoponry, and generally reliable in an awkward situation. These qualities more or less stay on the right side of plausibility.
Derek Flint, on the other hand, is impossible. He has not one or two Bond girls he dumps after use, but a regular harem whom he drags around with him to a preposterous extent. Happily the chief villainess is not punished for her transgression as she would in Bond, but welcomed to the fold. Bond's culture extended to a thorough knowledge of liquour. Flint's superior intellect allows him to uncover conspiracies through seemingly minimal details, such as being able to tell the whereabouts of a murderous gang from the garlic smell on a poisonous arrow dart. This excessive culture is hilarious and improbable, but it also seeks to feminise such a macho entity as the superstud superspy, and show up the impoverishment of both the Bond vision, as well as that of Flint's employers.
Bond's power comes from his ability to solve seemingly complex situations, to bring all loose ends of a global plot to himself, to master chaos with his potent masculinity. This is achieved through the clarity and swiftness of his action plots, from the centre of which he commands. The opposite is true here. Sure, Flint solves the crime, saves the world etc. But he does not master his plot, which slows itself down to a langorous, dreamlike trance, where music, editing, art direction and composition all conspire against, rather than motor, narrative coherence.
One's attitude to this is a matter of taste - I was enraptured; my wife was bored silly. But either way, you have to admire the daring. Every scene is drawn out to ridiculous length, focusing on elaborate ritual and hallucinatory set-pieces; all of which serves to befuddle, rather than enlighten. Flint's journey is from one of complacent power to complete mindblowing - for the first time in his life he is forced to make a choice; his detachment is compromised.
The scientists' Utopia is frightening and totalitarian, but no more so than the system Flint defends, so conclusively mocked in the film's uproarious opening sequences. They may brainwash women into being pleasure units, but Flint does the exact same; American brainwashing is as complicit as any other. And in fairness to the scientists, their haven is a compelling idyll, especially if you're a male. Despite Flint's protests of individuality and immunity, the island is his Id - in destroying it, he destroys himself, as can be seen in his dazed look at the end, in spite of his victory.
From the opening montage of nature manipulation, FLINT is a riot of artifice, with the dazzling colours and arousing set-designs hypnotising the viewer as much as the scientists. What the film needed to become a classic was a director like Seijun Suzuki, Godard, Fuller or Von Sternberg - journeyMann Daniel isn't quite in control of his explosive material. But James Coburn, in one of his two extraordinary time capsule roles (the other is THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST) is: alert to the unsavoury aspects of the Bond-like character, yet impishly revelling in its pleasures, his move from power to pawn to self-destrucion is an act of great nimbleness, both physically and intellectually - his charming leer and skinny grace are a constant joy. You can take your Dustin Hoffmans and Jon Voights - this is 60s acting at its best.
* Average Shot Length = ~5.8 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~5.5 seconds.
* ZOWIE stood for Zonal Organization World Intelligence Espionage.
* The coordinates given for the island are located well inside Africa, in Mauritania.
* On the official studio soundtrack album, the song 'Galaxy a Go-Go' was written by a young Randy Newman, who was in fact the nephew of Alfred Newman, the head of 20th Century-Fox's Music Department at that time.