THE SILENCERS (1966)
Article 2656 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-19-2008
Posting Date: 11-20-2008
Directed by Phil Karlson
Featuring Dean Martin, Stella Stevens, Daliah Lavi
Matt Helm is called out of semi-retirement to catch the members of an evil organization that has a plan to take over the world called “Operation Fallout”.
The Matt Helm series took a definite approach in their intent to ape the James Bond series; less action, more comedy, and more female anatomy. I’ve already seen one movie from the series, THE AMBUSHERS, and had I judged the series from that one, I would have written it off as the tackiest and crassest of the Bond rip-offs; thankfully, this one, the first of the series, is much better, mostly because the leering and the stupid double-entendres are kept to a minimum. It also helps that this has a strong cast; Stella Stevens was a great comic actress as well as a looker, Victor Buono always makes for a fun villain, Cyd Charisse does a memorable dance, and the cast also features Roger C. Carmel and Arthur O’Connell (who is sadly wasted as Joe Wigman). Still, the movie is only mildly funny at best, and as a Bond rip-off, it’s only passable. Reportedly, this is the best of the lot, though the other two (MURDERER’S ROW and THE WRECKING CREW, which I have yet to see) are supposed to be better than THE AMBUSHERS.