My Classic Movie Pick: In Like Flint, for the 1967 Movies Blogathon

When I learned  that classic film bloggers Silver Screenings and The Rosebud Cinema  declared June 20-22 as 1967 in Film Blogathon, I jumped at the chance to write about a film from that year.    Be sure to visit these wonderful blog sites to read about more films that premiered in 1967.   1967 in Film Blogathon I have always enjoyed a spy caper movie.  When the first James Bond flick  Dr. No hit the movie screens in 1962, it was a huge,smashing success.  It only cost $1,000,000 to make the film but it raked in much more in profits.  Hollywood took notice and more spy movies went into production to capitalize on this new movie genre. 1966, two screenwriters, Hal Fimberg and Ben Starr, wrote a film plot centering on a new American  super spy named Derek Flint.   20th Century Fox loved the idea and asked Daniel Mann to direct.  Lee J. Cobb was signed to play the super spy’s boss, Lloyd Cramden and James Coburn was hired to play the super spy, Flint.   This first film, Our Man Flint, did great at the box office and that led to 20th Century Fox making a sequel, 1967’s In Like Flint, with the change of Gordon Douglas for director, and only Fimberg wrote this second film’s screenplay.

1565in_like_flint In the first film, Flint takes some fun jabs at 007 and  his gadgets,  shows he is cooler than cool, a master of disguise, a karate master, and a charmer of the ladies.  He has a trio of scientists to deal with as the main baddies.  In 1967’s sequel, the times were changing and this was reflected in the plot, pitting our super spy against a group of feminists who want to take over the running of the world!

These ladies are using their make up corporation Fabulous Face as a front for their plans, and using their spa resort in the Virgin Islands as their secret base.   The ladies have successfully kidnapped the US President(Andrew Duggan), replaced him with an actor who has had  plastic surgery to make him look like the President, made Flint’s boss Cramden look like a scandal swamped idiot who has to be put on administrative leave, and have sent two Russian lady cosmosnauts into space in order to gain control of a new space platform.   Their last goal, to replace male world leaders with strong females, is in the works when Flint has to infiltrate their HQ’s and stop them.    It was fun to see Anna Lee, British actress and one who usually played such polite, gentle characters get to play the leader of these feminist baddies!

Lee J. Cobb is good as the spy boss, head of Z.O.W.I.E., which stands for Zonal World Organization Intelligence Espionage.  He admires Flint’s skills but also is frustrated with him because Flint often goes it alone on missions, refusing the gadgets offered to him.  Flint doesn’t use a gun, he relies on his karate skills, and at times, he reminded me of a proto-type for MacGyver, without all the girls! Flint has a cool jet, a fab apartment with the latest 1967 home furnishings, and 3 ladies who take care of him at home.  In the first film, he had 4 ladies caring for him and as Flint meets with Cramden(Cobb) in the second film, Cramden asks about those 4 ladies and is told that they all got married!

Flint’s new ladies, a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead all get tricked into going to the spa run by Fabulous Face in the Virgin Islands.  The spokeslady for Fabulous Face, Lisa(Jean Hale) has a plan to brainwash Flint’s 3 ladies into believing that women should run the world, that men are worthless.  However, Flint’s 3 gal pals are immune to the brainwashing so into cryogenic shower stalls  they go for future efforts.

Flint's gal pals under the brainwashing hairdryers.

Flint’s gal pals under the brainwashing hairdryers.

Meanwhile, Flint is in Moscow trying to find out about the cosmonauts and the new space platform.  He gets to be in a Moscow Ballet number with their star ballerina, Natasha(Yvonne Craig-tv’s future Batgirl) and then back at her place, in between kisses, tries to discover what the Russians are up to.  He realizes he has to get to the Virgin Islands, to that spa where his 3 ladies are being kept prisoner.  Fabulous Face holds the key.  The closest a Russian plane can fly to the Virgin Islands, in 1967, was Cuba, so in a jab at communists, he dons a Fidel Castro outfit, with beard and dark sunglasses and boards a plane to Cuba.  I caught the jab as all the passengers on the plane looked like Castro,  the stewardess was a plain, sturdy woman, and they had to share their seating area with crates of chickens!

Flint's time with Natasha is interrupted by the KGB.

Flint’s time with Natasha is interrupted by the KGB.

Cramden, in Washington D.C., with the help of  young  Lieutenant Avery(Thomas Hasson), has discovered that the Z.O.W.I.E. office has been bugged, that the President is a fake, that Cramden’s own forced scandal was part of a larger plot, and it all points to Fabulous Face.  Cramden declares that Flint’s not the only master of disguise and comes up with one to help him get into the spa.  It was interesting to see Cobb play in a film that was a campy take on spy films.  Usually Cobb acted in serious, dramatic works.  He did fine and I like to think that he enjoyed himself, even when he had to don make up, wig, and heels!

Flint learning about the Feminists plans of taking over the world.

Flint learning about the Feminists plans of taking over the world.

Flint, Cramden, and Avery get to Fabulous Face and so does the double-crosser, General Carter(Steve Ihnat).  Carter was working for the US Government as a liason for them and Z.O.W.I.E.  He was actually working with Fabulous Face on their plans, but decided to double-cross the ladies and take over the world for himself.  This turn of events causes Flint and his side to work with the lovely ladies on an Operation Smooch, to bring down General Carter and his minions.

Coming up with a plan to stop General Carter

Coming up with a plan to stop General Carter

Operation Smooch!

Operation Smooch!

In Like Flint is a fun, silly romp into the world of super spies, super villains, and 1967.  The opening shots of the film are close ups of ladies getting massaged and bathed at that spa, filmed in  the color red with  gauzy swaths of fabrics obscuring things a bit, an obvious nod of how James Bond movies open.   James Coburn is great as Flint.  He exudes cool and while he may not have had drop dead handsome looks, his voice is one to reckon with!  I could just sit and listen to him read a phone book!

Here is the link from TCM of a trailer for the movie, and it is available to buy through the TCM Shop.   In Like Flint is available to buy via Amazon or to watch on their instant rent.  Also, a kind soul has put the entire film up on Youtube.   So kick back on your groovy couch and plan to watch this coolest of cool spies in action!

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23 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t really like mockery with feminism, but, wow, this movie sounds hilarious! I’m glad it’s available online, I can’t wait to watch it in a lazy evening!
    Great review!
    Thanks for the kind comment!
    Kisses!
    Le from Critica Retro

    Reply

  2. This was a good one, Jenni, and it’s definitely under-appreciated.
    In that way, it almost reminds me a bit of 1979’s “Ffolkes” (aka “North Sea Hijack”) starring Roger Moore.

    Great review; now I’ll need to grab both of the “Flint” movies for this weekend… 😀

    Reply

  3. “pitting our super spy against a group of feminists who want to take over the running of the world!” that alone was enough to convince me – this sounds HILARIOUS! Thank you for writing this for the blogathon!

    Reply

  4. Cheesy vinyl bikinis and the whole nine! Though they’re a bit of a gooey bite for me now, when I was a kid, these were GOLD. Thanks for reminding me of those fun Saturday afternoons. 🙂

    Clayton @ Phantom Empires

    Reply

  5. That “dolphin speak” thing is hilariously stupid and funny – just like the whole movie! Plus Flint meeting up with a Russian contact by joining here on stage mid-ballet. I prefer the first Flint film for having at least one little toe dipped into the serious spy caper realm, IN LIKE FLINT is really more of a comedy, and is much more enjoyable if taken in that spirit. Coburn is always great, and as you say, seems to be having a whale of a time. Lee J. Cobb gets more to do this time out and his apoplectic sputtering at Flint’s shenanigans is amusing. And while the Flint films always look cheap and suffer from poor action scenes compared to the 007 movies, they easily compete in the lovely ladies stakes.

    Fun post, and a nice choice for the blogathon!

    Reply

  6. This looks like fun! I love all the 60s styling, so retro-futuristic. I do love Bond so I’m sure I’ll love it. Have added it to my (not inconsiderable!) ‘to watch’ pile!

    Reply

  7. Great post! I can recall when a Bond-loving buddy saw these two films and got so annoyed at how they poked fun at his favorite spy that he refused to talk to anyone who said they liked them. I think that didn’t last long, but in grade school, a week or two can be a lifetime. At least we didn’t have to listen to him talk about Bond for a bit, as he tended to get a wee bit too excited about those movies and didn’t really have a decent sense of humor…

    Reply

    • Glad you liked the post. Your poor friend, I did watch the first Flint film too, Our Man Flint, which had a lot of jabs pointed at Bond, or 008, as they called him. 🙂

      Reply

  8. Posted by John Greco on June 21, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    It does not get more 60’s than the Flint films. Good choice!

    Reply

  9. Coburn is a fascinating and fun actor to watch. I haven’t seen “Flint” in years. What a stroll down memory lane!

    Reply

    • I also watched Our Man Flint and he must have had fun playing the part. I especially wondered how long it took him to master his Karate yells and the dolphin speak for the movies.

      Reply

  10. Flint sounds like too much fun! I’ve read a lot of rave reviews about this film, but have never had the chance to see it.

    So glad you chose this super-spy satire for the blogathon!

    Reply

    • Thanks! Having seen a lot of Bond films, and like you, having heard of the Flint movies but had never seen them before, I thought In Like Flint would be a fun film to add to the blogathon.

      Reply

  11. [in austin powers’ voice] yeah, baby! I have these but haven’t seen yet and you just bumped them closer to a viewing. 🙂 what’s not to like? fun pick

    Reply

  12. […] NuRay Pictures – Don’t Look Back Portraits By Jenni – In Like Flint […]

    Reply

  13. I enjoyed your write-up — this movie sounds like a hoot!

    Reply

    • So glad you liked it and yes, it is quite a hoot. I do think the first Flint movie has more action sequences in it, i.e. fight scenes, but Cobb’s character has more to do in the second movie.

      Reply

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