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The Silencers (1966)

4.1 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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(Nov 11, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Take one shot of danger, two splashes of action and a twist of comedy and add a generous portion ofscreen legend Dean Martin to the mix and you've got THE SILENCERS, a stylishly sexy adventure in the tradition of James Bond. It's up to secret agent Matt Helm (Martin) to save the day when mascared megalomaniac Victor Bruno (What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?) and his dastardly organization, Big O, plot to sabotage America's atomic missile system. From deep inside Big O's subterranean hideout to aperilous mountainside car chase to groovy designer bedrooms filled with booby traps, Helm braves blistering showers of bullets, knives and laser beams to make the world a save place again. Helping his cause is a bevy of beauties including Stella Stevens (The Poseidon Adventure) and double agent Daliah Lavi (Casino Royale). In addition to its arsenal of high-tech gadgets and outrageous costumes, THE SILENCERS features an amazing opening sequence starring Cyd Charisse (Singin' in the Rain) and a coc

Austin Powers undoubtedly stole a few moves from Matt Helm, the swinging secret agent embodied by Dean Martin in four intentionally dopey late-'60s movies. The Silencers is the first and best of the bunch--but at that, it's barely a movie. Dino is first seen reclining in his automated bed, and he hardly wakes up for the remainder of the picture. (When a stunt double performs athletic moves in the action scenes, you rub your eyes at the impossibility of Martin moving that quickly.) And yet Matt Helm manages to stave off a nuclear disaster in the southwest desert, the nefarious plot of a Chinese archvillain (Victor Buono). The 007-style gadgets include exploding sportcoat buttons, plus the wet bar in Dino's station wagon--so he can gulp whiskey while he drives. The women are, of course, outrageously sexist playthings, although Stella Stevens remains the most adorable of '60s sex kittens. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Dean Martin, Cyd Charisse, Daliah Lavi, Stella Stevens
  • Directors: Phil Karlson
  • Producers: Irving Allen
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000CDRW1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,108 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Silencers (1966)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edmond Gauthier on April 5, 2004
Format: DVD
I've waited many years to see this fearsome foursome of cheese find a decent release in DVD. Sadly, thanks to bad cropping and seemingly random censorship, it still hasn't happened yet.

The four films are, of course, The Silencers, Murderers' Row, The Ambushers, and The Wrecking Crew. (A fifth intallment was storeyboarded but never shot.)

Letting the studio off the hook by saying things like "widescreen areas always crop full frame versions," is being much too gracious in the face of these money-grabbing studio weasels who also CUT entire parts of the film and never even gave you an original trailer.

And I should know about the widescreen concept, since I am, after all, the chairman of the WWS - the Widescreen Watchers Society. (Yes, my organization has a movie site online, but an Amazon review is not the place to plug it by posting links to it.)

Rather I just wanted to point out that it is instead within the "full frame" or "standard screen" format that all cropping takes place. The most dominant style is pan-and -scan, which is done by zooming in on whatever the film editor decides is the most important area on screen at any given moment.

That's why you often end up with the ridiculous sight of one person chattering happily away to the air for long periods of time, since you can't see the other person he's talking to. And because of the zoom effect, naturally you also get a more blurred focus on the overall picture.

But a presentation in widescreen, whether it be a regular rectangle (Vista-Vision style) or a more narrow rectangle (Panavison style), or somewhere in between, never cuts out frames and/or zooms in after the fact at any point.
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Format: DVD
I won't review the film as this has been done by others. However, I would like to add some thoughts about the "cropping" issue--

To many fans of DVD, a key selling point is seeing a film the way it was orginally presented in the theatre.

Most people are aware today that widescreen films shown on a full frame standard TV's are cropped-- that is, they are panned and scanned and you lose information (images). Pan & Scan changes the composition of the film.

With this in mind, people expect to see ALL of the composition when a film comes out on DVD and is viewed on a widescreen televison-- not less. However, there are exceptions:

In some circumstances, the director of a film will compose a shot with more information than is meant to be conveyed to the audience.

The "extra" information is never meant to be seen. When the film is "matted" for release, the additional info is covered up and you are left with the director's original conception of the shot.

Now here's the thing: when the film is shown on commercial television in a standard full screen format, the "matts" are opened up and the film subjected to pan and scan. In this case, you may now see parts of the shot that were covered up-- and also lose other parts that were originally shown.

The bottom line here is that this release of "The Silencers" shows the film in its "matted" form the way it was shown in theatre's. People who have seen the film on television all these years became accustomed to seeing the "open matt" pan & scan version. They have seen more information than was intended and now think that the released DVD version has been "cropped" because the afore mentioned images are now missing.
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Format: DVD
Following four highly successful serious spy films starring Sean Connery as that world-famous fictional British spy James Bond, American film companies began playing with the idea of producing their own spy films with equally world-famous, but more humorous, spies in their own James Bond spoofs. On January 16, 1966, the first James Bond-inspired spoof hit the big screen starring James Coburn (1928-2002) as Derek Flint in Twentieth Century Fox's film "our Man Flint". Only one month later, on February 18, 1966, a second James Bond-inspired spoof hit the big screen starring the well-known comedic actor/lounge singer Dean Martin (1917-1995) as the semi-retired spy Matt Helm in "The Silencers", which was produced by Claude Productions and Meadway, and distributed by Columbia Pictures.

Similar to Derek Flint, Matt Helm loves to be surrounded by beautiful women; but unlike the super-serious & high-tech Flint, Helm is far more laid back. Helm's bedroom is equipped with a rotating circular bed (which was also part of Mike Myer's 1997 portrayal of British superstar/super-spy Austin Powers in "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery"), which can also role forward and raise at an angle so that it can let Helm (and anyone else in Helm's bed) slide into a waiting olypic-sized bubble-bath. Doing his best to avoid being used in yet another spy mission, Helm leaves his expensive home and travels to Acapulco where an unexpected blond woman is waiting in his bedroom. While in his arms, she is shot from behind by one of Helm's former spy coworkers Tina (Daliah Lavi, who appeared in yet another James Bond-inspired spoof in 1967: the highly comedic "Casino Royale" that also starred Woody Allen, David Niven and Peter Sellers).
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