Ultimate Flint Collection (Our Man Flint / In Like Flint)
DVD | Box Set
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Includes In Like Flint and Our Man Flint.
There's really been only one rival to James Bond: Derek Flint. That's because of James Coburn's special brand of American cool. He's so cool, in fact, that he doesn't care to save the world. That is, until he's personally threatened. He's a true libertarian, with more gadgets and girls than Bond, but with none of his stress or responsibility. In Our Man Flint (1966), he's totally unflappable as he thwarts mad scientists who control the weather--and an island of pleasure drones. Lee J. Cobb costars as Flint's flustered superior, and Edward Mulhare plays a British nemesis with snob appeal. For fans of Austin Powers, incidentally, the funny-sounding phone comes from the Flint films. However, the best gadget remains the watch that enables Flint to feign death. There's a great Jerry Goldsmith score, too.
There was bound to be a Flint sequel, and In Like Flint (1967) delivers the same kind of zany fun as its predecessor. Flint is recruited once again by Lee J. Cobb to be the government's top secret agent, this time to solve a mishap involving the President. Turns out, the Chief Executive has been replaced by an evil duplicate. The new plan for world domination involves feminine aggression, and Flint, with his overpowering charisma, is just the man to turn the hostile forces around. In Like Flint is still over the top, but some of the novelty has worn off, and it doesn't have quite the same edge as the original. Even Jerry Goldsmith's score is a bit more subdued. But the film still has James Coburn and that funny phone. --Bill Desowitz
- Commentary by film historians Eddie Friedfeld and Lee Pfeiffer
- Our Man Flint: Dead On Target lost TV pilot
- New Documentaries
- In Like Flint - Puerto Rico Premiere
- The Making of Bouillabaisse
- Screen Tests:
- Gila Golan for Our Man Flint
- James Coburn & Gila Golan for Our Man Flint
- Deanna Lund for In Like Flint
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To be honest, those bonus features weren't much of a bonus at all. The little documentaries were only mildly informative and the 'long lost' TV movie "Dead on Target" would have been better off had it remained lost. Other than a character named Derek Flint, It contains nothing in any way remotely related to the two movies and every negative stereotype of mid-'70s cop/detective/crime drama shows. It's only vaguely redeeming moment is a brief appearance by a then-unknown (and uncredited) Kim Catrall in one of the opening scenes. But don't blink; her moment on screen is very brief.
Rushed into production before Our Man Flint was even released, In Like Flint is considerably less successful. In the opening half hour Coburn only has one scene, while the film strains a little too hard to be wacky and loses the straight faced charm of the original. With the exception of one excellent fight in a gym the action scenes are sloppier too. Then there's the sexism to contend with (although the notion of brainwashing the women of the world via hairdryers is ingenious), not to mention the sight of Lee J. Cobb in drag... Still, Goldsmith does have fun providing nifty variations on his themes from the first film while generally adding a more Neal Hefti tone to the proceedings.
But worse was to come with busted 70's TV pilot Dead On Target, which scrapes beneath the soil beneath the concrete beneath the bottom of the barrel for something so lazily incompetent it looks like it was made in the Stone Age with primitive tools. Cheap doesn't cover it. Aside from being shot for next to nothing in Canada with a cast who, for the most part, only recently seem to have mastered the art of connected speech, the film stock is so cheap it looks like it was shot on Super 8mm with sound recorded on a well-used Memorex cassette tape. The same aerial shots of cars driving across the same bridge or along the same road are used over and over again almost as punctuation while in one sequence you can even see the cameraman reflected in the car window more clearly than Flint and his kidnappers. Even the uncredited clumsy wakka-wakka 70s score comes from a music library to save hiring a composer while there aren't even any end credits aside from a copyright notice.
Ray Danton and one of the worst hairstyles in television history share the lead, no longer a superhero super agent but now a very dull private eye with a masseur, a phone answering service and a female apprentice so unflatteringly photographed that in several shots she looks like a man in drag. Unless you count Lawrence Dane, Canada's answer to William Windom, or the actor who played Dutch in Soap, here cast as an Arab terrorist (and his is the best performance), the biggest name in the supporting cast is an unbilled Kim Cattrall, who can briefly be glimpsed for about four seconds as an extra just before the wildly overlong title sequence that is as seemingly endless and clumsily timed as everything else in this horrendous misfire. There is a certain train wreck fascination to it, but it's still a very, very long 74 minutes.
Along with the three films, the disc contains a multitude of extras, from featurettes (more celebratory than revealing), screen tests, trailers and interviews to a recipe for the perfect bouillabaisse. The transfers on the two features are good but not great - a little too dark in places while the score in particular could have stood some remastering - but more than acceptable.
For those with deeper pockets, it's well worth seeking out Twilight Time's limited edition (3000 copies) region-free US Blu-ray releases of the two features, which are available separately. Our Man Flint is especially loaded with extras, including several which are exclusive to their release - featurettes on director Daniel Mann, one on an ill-advised review claiming her rivals had been bought off by the studio to give the film good reviews that got Pauline Kael fired from her job at McCalls Magazine, a 24-minute retrospective making-of documentary, three storyboard sequences, James Coburn's screen tests with Gila Golan and Racquel Welch, an isolated track for Goldsmith's terrific score and a booklet. And that's on top of featurettes that have been carried over from the boxed set (Spy-er-rama, A Gentleman's Game, Spy Style and The Perfect Bouillabaisse) and the original trailer!
As time passed, I wanted to see them again.
Now that both movies are available, I can view them often.
If you're looking for something different, I recommend