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 Posted:   Jun 19, 2007 - 9:02 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)



Hey, Greg Department:

Sir Manderley recently commented about "Guilty Pleasures" and, we’ve gotta admit, at the top of that
triangle for us is



starting with



and his deadly assortment of femme fatales be it Nancy Kovacs



sultry Stella Stevens



and, our favorite, divine Daliah Lavi



Yeah, we KNOW they’re generally not all that good (especially the sequels) and the humor is really retrograde where its depiction of the ladies are concerned – and, infinite insult they are, they have ABSOLUTELY nothing in common with Donald Hamilton’s original books - but so flamin’ what!

We still love ‘em!

(Not to mention they sported first-class scores – Elmer Bernstein for THE SILENCERS, Lalo Schifrin for MURDERERS ROW and, not in the same arena but enjoyable nonetheless, Hugo Montenegro for THE AMBUSHERS and THE WRECKING CREW).

Plus he out-did Connery’s Bond with that movable bed that slid into the pool in the other room. Always impressionable teenagers that we were at the time, we thought (and still do) it’s just about the COOLEST contraption we’ve ever seen

 
 Posted:   Jun 19, 2007 - 9:19 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Nancy Kovack acutally (who deserved a much larger role than what she got).

I watched the first two movies recently on DVD and frankly I wasn't impressed with them as light-hearted takes on the genre the way the Flint movies are. In the Flint movies, there's still enough of a plot to keep things going, but the Helm movies, forget it. Martin is on automatic pilot so much the whole way through, I keep thinking Jerry Lewis should just crash the scene once and pour water over him to break the monotony! (The tackiness also IMO crosses a line in "Murderers Row" when Dean is imbibing while at the wheel, plus Ann-Margret still seems too much the teenager from "Bye Bye Birdie" to be clenching with Dean at the end)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 19, 2007 - 9:29 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Thanx for putting us straight re the K in her name (and it's a shame she didn't have more footage, tho she didn't do too badly afterward when she pretty much gave up her career to become Mrs. Zubin Mehta).

True, the FLINTS are quite different from the HELMS.

(Mebbe we should amend that "guilty" part to criminal?)

Incidentally,



tells an interesting story re how Jerry Lewis, whom she starred with in what we regard as his all-around best, THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, wouldn't speak to her for years because she appeared with Martin in THE SILENCERS (with them teaming up again for HOW TO SAVE A MARRIAGE a coupla years after



- which was also Michel Legrand's first American musical score.

Y'know, someday we really oughta DO something about this photographic memory; it can be quite a pain (and worth virtually nuthin' on the open market!) ...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 19, 2007 - 9:39 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

Hey, Greg:

Sir Manderley recently commented about "Guilty Pleasures" and, we’ve gotta admit, at the top of that triangle for us is Dean Martin’s Matt Helm movies, starting with




AH, YES I do remember that title sequence. Made quite an impression on this 13 year old mind when it first played on network TV.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 12:15 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Hell, amigo, you shoulda seen her on the BIG SCREEN!



Our neck went severely outta whack!! embarrassment ...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 1:14 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

All I can remember thinking was:

"DAMN THOSE CREDITS!!!!" mad

(Apologies to all if I am appearing a bit sexist today.) frown embarrassment

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 5:34 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Re that attention-getting title sequence, Elmer Bernstein provided a jazzy, theatrical coda to the, um, (non)unveiling that sold it with a fabulous flourish that’s one of our favorite cues of his (including the title song and, above all, the captivating nightclub number Cyd Charisse sang).



And, OH, that the original soundtrack was available on CeeDee (or, better yet, a totally refurbished Special Collection. Intrada, where are ya?!)



Also on our (probably never-to-be realized) Holy Grail list would be Lalo Schifrin’s



spiffy, infectious, charming and altogether lively contribution to





Now, excuse us while we take a detour onto the truly abysmal with



definitely a candidate for one of the most GODAWFUL monstrosities ever unleashed (with some visual "puns" so gross you’re groaning at their tastelessness at the same time you’re sinking with Titanic-embarrassment into your seat - and wondering how the HECK they got past the snickering studio screening room in the first furlishginner place).

What scant attractions exist are chiefly thanks to Senta Berger



and the always woefully-underrated and extremely captivating Janice Rule (then Mrs. Ben Gazzara)



THE WRECKING CREW was the 4th and final underwhelming Helm-er whose key claim to fame is it was Sharon Tate’s final movie before her murder. Actually, her role is an extension of the one Stella Stevens essayed in THE SILENCERS, revealing a here-to-fore unexpected comedic side of Tate usually overshadowed by her other attributes.



Not widely known is THE WRECKING CREW’s fight sequences were choreographed by none other than Bruce Lee.



Also, producer Irving Allen (no relation to the Master of Disaster) was a former partner of Albert R. Broccoli and, amazingly, had the unbelievable wisdom of turning down the chance to join Broccoli in trying to obtain the Bond film rights! So, when GOLDFINGER blasted open the spy bonanza in the mid-60s, Allen quickly snapped up the rights to Donald Hamilton’s spy novels (which had been going on since 1960).



THE WRECKING CREW didn’t tank at the box-office, doing moderately well (and pre-production on a fifth, THE RAVAGERS, was actually in the pipeline) but Martin decided he’d had enough and turned in his trademark turtlenecks and Sy Devore blazers.



However, damnit all, we STILL want that groovy bed ...

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 6:23 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

(including the title song and, above all, the captivating nightclub number Cyd Charisse sang).


While Cyd danced up a storm and looked spectacular for her age at that time, all of her singing was Vikki Carr's voice, since Cyd was usually dubbed in the past (proving how dancing and singing talent did not always go together).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 6:39 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

I feel obliged to acknowledge what is probably going to be the only time I'm going to agree with Eric on anything.

With the exception of the Bernstein and Schifrin scores, The Helm films are absolute crap.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 6:50 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

We oughta switch our twin munchkins for your ever-resourceful researchers, Eric. We'd forgotten about Vikki Carr's



invisible but no less spirited contribution.

And, hey, cut us some slack, willya, Vee?

Is anything ever absolute? (Mebbe ya just hadda be there - then).

We copped a plea our indulgence was criminal, didn't we? Don't we score any points for our unbashful declaration of overall worthlessness?



Whaddaya WANT, fer cryin' in loud, Ann-Margret? ... embarrassment

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 7:05 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

Okay, Neo, what can I say? I'm turning into a curmudgeon on the threshold of the big "six-O".

Besides, I had to sit through THE ABUSHERS twice to see sneak previews of films I actually WANTED to see.

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 7:14 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)



brm

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 7:14 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

I feel obliged to acknowledge what is probably going to be the only time I'm going to agree with Eric on anything.

With the exception of the Bernstein and Schifrin scores, The Helm films are absolute crap.


Ditto on the second part at least (not that familiar with the music to make a judgment).

"Even a stopped watch is right twice a day"

brm

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 7:25 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Ah, Vee, we've been known to take a heapin' healthy dose of those C-pills ourselves, so we forgive ya.

However, don'tcha miss when you could actually sit through as many screenings as your tush could take?

The studios must've lost untold gazillions of greenbacks until they wised up and put a stop to it but as



would say: "Those WERE the days." And we sure miss 'em, by gar ...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 7:40 PM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

A couple of years ago I got THE SILENCERS on DVD from Netflix to watch. I remember I had to watch it the night before a trip to New York and I put the thing on and it was just so terrible that I put it back in the mailer and sent it off after about 30 mins.

It was the first time I ever sent back a film without finishing it. I figured if this was the first one in a series, it would most likely be downhill from there and didn't even bother with the others.

I couldn't figure out which was worse, the acting, the "story" or the Dean Martin songs popping up on the soundtrack every 5 or 10 minutes for no reason. Not even Elmer's music could make me finish THE SILENCERS.

Yeesh.


James

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2007 - 7:54 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Okay, if it's any consolation, we assure you Donald Hamilton's BOOKS are the anthesis of the anathma the movies represent (see previous commemorative thread concerning Hamilton's recent passing).



So which one of you hombres wanna permanently put us outta our wretched, no-good, absolutely abominable and utterly beyond redemption misery? ...

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2008 - 9:32 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)



As HooRaq



Has Set the Standard for Retro Visual Appreciation
Department:

Such being so, there's probably no better time for us to re-indulge as a sorta cuddly complement to our Bond-anza elsewhere.

So, sit back, put yer feet up, grab a bottle of whatever bubbly suits ya and mischieviously mosey with us to the profoundly UNpolitically correct (who really gave a good goldarn?!) mid-60s with



as our always amorous agent.

Upcoming:





Temperatures



rising? ...



wink

 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2008 - 6:50 PM   
 By:   TheSaint   (Member)

I love the books and I love the films though the portrayals are different the way I love the Adam West Batman series and the more serious Batman of the comics.

I'd love to see a Helm film that did justice to the books.

After seeing Dean's serious movie roles, I think he could've played the Helm of the books.

 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2008 - 7:00 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Neo, I've not seen the Matt Helm pictures, but intend to acquire the collection fairly soon and watch them in order. I've been visiting spy flicks of the '60s recently and just completed the Derek Flint films. Helm is the next logical choice. I expect to enjoy them because I dig those wacky '60s adventures that have no logic and are totally ridiculous...but they look good (ohhhhhh cinemascope) and have great scores! And in the end, with something like Flint, it's merely about being entertained, so I anticipate the Helm films will deliver.

We'll see...

 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2008 - 11:11 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Neo, I've not seen the Matt Helm pictures, but intend to acquire the collection fairly soon and watch them in order. I've been visiting spy flicks of the '60s recently and just completed the Derek Flint films. Helm is the next logical choice. I expect to enjoy them because I dig those wacky '60s adventures that have no logic and are totally ridiculous...but they look good (ohhhhhh cinemascope) and have great scores! And in the end, with something like Flint, it's merely about being entertained, so I anticipate the Helm films will deliver.

We'll see...


Matt Helm films are very comparable to the Flint films. All they lack in is the wit, charm, satiric bite, sensuality, beautiful women (for the most part), romance,
great action and great music of Mr. Flint's adventures.
oh, and they are smutty! (great bed though)

 
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