A Man Called Dagger (1968)

Article 3600 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-8-2011
Posting Date: 6-23-2011
Directed by Richard Rush
Featuring Paul Mantee, Terry Moore, Jan Murray
Country: USA
What it is: Poverty-stricken James Bond

A secret agent investigates a Nazi scientist who has perfected a new form of brainwashing.

Heaven knows I’ve seen a lot of them by this point, but this may be the most threadbare ripoff of the James Bond concept that I have yet to encounter. Paul Mantee plays one of the least interesting secret agents in the business, Jan Murray’s wheel-chair bound Nazi scientist is too goofy to take seriously, and the action sequences are some of the lamest ever committed to celluloid. What’s going on around the edges is certainly more interesting than the main story; there’s a subplot involving cannibalism, and Richard Kiel (who would go on to appear in real James Bond movies) is on hand as the scientist’s assistant. Amazingly enough, director Richard Rush would go on to get an Oscar nomination for his direction of THE STUNT MAN; he must have learned a lot in the following decade.

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