OSS 117 – From Tokyo With Love (1966)

O.S.S. 117 – TERROR IN TOKYO, etc. etc.
Article 1961 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-28-2006
Posting Date: 12-25-2006
Directed by Michel Boisrond
Featuring Frederick Stafford, Marina Vlady, Henri Serre

A secret agent disguises himself as the husband of a woman who was blackmailed into revealing military secrets. This is done in an attempt to thwart a blackmail plot involving bombs delivered by miniature airplanes.

At this point of time, the most difficult movies to deal with that pop up on my list are these Italian superspy movies (and the fact that this one is more French than Italian doesn’t really make a difference). Unlike Sword-and Sandal movies, these James Bond clones don’t appear to really have had much success here. Sword-and-Sandal movies are also relatively easy to find; in fact, there’s a company which puts out DVD packages that has put out one consisting of fifty Sword-and-Sandal movies for about sixty cents apiece, and I don’t see them doing the same for these Eurospy features. Furthermore, trying to locate these spy features can be really difficult, as they exist under a bewildering array of alternate titles (actually, Sword-and-Sandal movies have the same problem, but at least IMDB has done a better job of keeping track of these titles). If you do manage to find a copy of one of these Eurospy movies, there’s a good chance that it won’t be either dubbed or subtitled in English, either. And, after all this, it probably won’t be a very good movie anyway; it will be just what it sounds like, a lame James Bond rip-off.

However, I ended up quite surprised by this one. Sure, I had to go through some contortions to match the title under which I bought it with the title under which it was listed in my reference book and the title under which it is listed in IMDB. And yes, the print is pretty lousy, and it’s cluttered with subtitles in some Germanic language (I think it might be Dutch). But it is not only dubbed into English, but well dubbed as well. Furthermore, it’s actually a fairly decent movie, with witty dialogue and a fun plot. No, it doesn’t have the stunts of a real James Bond movie, but I was quite happy with this one. My favorite scene has the hero doing battle with one of those big brutes who seem indestructible, only to find out eventually that the character was an ally. The movie is also loaded with gadgets; these, as well as the miniature airplane device, push the movie into the realm of borderline science fiction.



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