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Columbia Pictures tried to create a tongue-in-cheek American James Bond with this, the first of five motion pictures based on the character of Matt Helm, a spy created in a series of novels by Donald Hamilton. Dean Martin stars as Helm, a boozing, womanizing cad of a spy coaxed out of retirement by ex-girlfriend Tina Batori (Daliah Lavi). His mission: stop the evil Big O organization, whose leader, Tung-Tze (Victor Buono), schemes to sabotage an atomic missile and thus spark World War III. Producer Irving Allen had once ...

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Mar 7, 2010

Matt Helm Action

TITLE: The Silencers (Matt Helm)
GENRE: Espionage spoof
CAST: Dean Martin, Stella Stevens, Daliah Lavi, Victor Buono, Arthur O'Connell and Cyd Charisse
PLOT: Brought out of retirement, Matt Helm has to stop a plan to hijack a US missle launch and its crash into an undergtound nuclear test thusly contaminating the American South West.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 6 of 10; Nothing to write home about. Martin brings his decades of acting experience and mixes it with his drunken persona (Though he remains quite sober through most of the movie while he watches everyone else get potty mouthed with good effect). Some of the sets are very hokey (like the driving scenes and the machine gunning ones), But Martin's talent carries the day! I have never seen such deadpan facials before. The beginning credits roll over a definite rip-off of 007's dance art intros by using three striptease artists who aren't shy, especially the third, Cyd Charisse. Martin sings most of the vocale except for 1 Sinatra and Vicki Carr is credited with vocal dubbing in the end credits but when she sang I do not recall.

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