Nathalie, Agent Secret (1959)

aka Atomic Agent
Article 4372 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Henri Decoin
Featuring Martine Carol, Felix Marten, Dario Moreno
Country: France / Italy
What it is: Spy story

A model turned adventuress finds herself involved with spies who are after an atomic motor.

Here’s another title that I saved from my “ones that got away” list, and like many of the others, I was only able to come by it without English subtitles or dubbing. This one is extremely talky, so much so that I found it nearly impossible to make out the plot; I’m not even sure whether the spies are trying to get the plans for the atomic motor or whether they already have them. One thing I can say is that for a movie that IMDB classifies as an action thriller, there’s not much in the way of action or thrills. If it’s not an outright comedy (which is what it feels like), it’s certainly not to be taken very seriously. In fact, the key word in the plot description would be “model”; the movie seems more interesting in the revealing and sexy costumes the main character wears during the movie. It reminds me a little bit of Jesus Franco’s TWO UNDERCOVER ANGELS which I’ve seen recently, albeit with much less interest in de Sade; I couldn’t help but note the presence of Franco favorite Howard Vernon here. Well, whatever the merits of this movie, I can say this much; the atomic motor which provides the fantastic content is seen sputtering away in the first scene of the movie, and then is not seen in action again, so as far as the fantastic content goes, it’s probably pure Gizmo Maguffin.


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