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Deadlier than the Male

UK 1966
produced by
Betty E. Box for Greater Films, Rank Organisation
directed by Ralph Thomas
starring Richard Johnson, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Nigel Green, Suzanna Leigh, Steve Carlson, Virginia North, Zia Mohyeddin, Justine Lord, Lee Montague, Yasuko Nagazumi, Laurence Naismith, George Pastell, Milton Reid, Leonard Rossiter, Didi Sydow, Dervis Ward, John Stone, William Mervyn, Jill Banner
screenplay by Jimmy Sangster, Liz Charles-Williams, David Osborn, based on a story by Jimmy Sangster & characters created by Sapper (= Herman C.McNeile), music by Malcolm Lockyer, titlesong by The Walker Brothers

Bulldog Drummond, Bulldog Drummond (Richard Johnson)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Dead bodies start piling up, first it's industrialist Keller (Dervis Ward), then secret service agent Wyngard (John Stone), then industrialist Bridgenorth (Leonard Rossiter), & it all has to do with Venetian Oil taking over Keller Oil & a certain mysterious organisation, represented here by Ms Eckman (Elke Sommer), that has promised to remove all obstacles.

Soon Bulldog Drummond (Richard Johnson) & his young nephew Robert (Steve Carlson) become involved, & after several clues back in England have led to someone dieing or someone being tortured by Ms Eckman or her lovely but dim-witted partner Penelope (Sylva Kocsina), a definite clue leads to the Riviera, & to Robert's old friend, Arabian king Fedra (Zia Mohyeddin), who just happens to be there on his yacht.

& while Robert soon joins the King on his yacht, Drummond receives an invitation to a nearby castle, where he meets his nemesis Peterson (Nigel Green), who tries to make himself a fortune with business espionage & especially the assassinations that go with the job, & for that he has employed a stable of sexy female assassins, including Ms Eckman & Penelope. His next victim, by the way, is to be king Fedra ...

It seems that the only thing between him & total success is Bulldog Drummond, but instead of killing him right here on the spot, he spends an evening gloating & then tries to have Drummond seduced by Ms Eckman - without success.

Then though, via surveillance cameras, Peterson learns that one of his girls, Grace (Suzanna Leigh), plans to make a getaway & asks Drummond for help ... & Drummond suggests that she should, once out of the castle, turn to Robert & the king for help. & that gives Peterson a great idea, why not use the girl as a living timebomb, & use her disloyalty for his own ends ?

So he plants a bomb on the girl somewhere on her body (but who knows where), unbeknowest to her, & gives Ms Eckman & Penelope express orders to give her an opportunity to slip away ... & the plan works.

& while the timebomb on the girl is ticking away the king's last hours, Peterson finally wants to get rid of Drummond ... & does so by challenging him to a game of chess, played with remote-controlled lifesize robots. & wouldn't you know it, Drummond is able to use the robots agauinst Peterson & ghas him killed by his own robots.

Then it's off to the king's yacht, with only a few minutes remaining, & along the way he captures Ms Eckman & Penelope, who are supposed to help him looking for the bomb - they refuse of course.

On the ayacht, the bomb can be found nowhere on the girl, even if Drummond has stripped her naked, so in utter despair, he throws nude Grace into the water. Ms Eckman & Penelope have meanwhile used the confusion on the yacht to make a getaway.

But where might the bomb be hidden, Penelope asks innocently.

In Grace's hairpiece, answes Ms Eckman.

Grace's hairpiece ? ... but I have switched that one for mine, because it was prettier, says Penelope before she (& Ms Eckman) goes boom ...

 

To compete with the then enormously successful James Bond series, Sapper's super-detective Bulldog Drummond, who has had an exciting cinematic life in the 1920's & 1930's both in Great Britain & America, has been unearthed & updated to go with the time. Drummond has now become less of a private investigator but is thrown into an espionage plot full of exotic locations, sexy assassins, super villains & of course bizarre weapons ... all key ingredients of the James Bond series as well. Of course, Deadlier than the Male did not have the same high budgets as the James Bond series, & it shows, still the film is a fun piece of 1960's nostalgia, colourfully directed & with all the unreal, sometimes surreal elements one has come to expect (& indeed love) from an espionage film of this era. You might have forgotten it the veery next day, but it's a harmless fun ride while it lasts.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD