JAMES TONT OPERAZIONE U.N.O. (1965)
Article 5435 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Bruno Corbucci and Giovanni Grimaldi
Featuring Lando Buzzanca, Evi Marandi, Gina Rovere
Country: Italy / France
What it is: Spoof Spyghetti
Secret agent James Tont must defeat a plot by the international criminal Goldsinger to destroy the United Nations building.
Well, that didn’t take long; here I am with the first of the two James Tont movies. Once again, my copy is in Italian without English subtitles, so I can’t give a real evaluation of the movie. It is, however, full of gadgetry and concepts to add to the fantastic content of the movie. In fact, it slips into fantasy at times; when James Tont is able to escape from peril by escaping through mouseholes and flushing himself down toilets, you’re no longer in science fiction territory. Tont drives a tiny car that can go at super-speeds, change colors at the press of a button, and drives underwater. He also has a scuba-diving suit with a built-in outboard motor. This movie more directly parodies the Bond movies than the later one, with GOLDFINGER in particular the target of some of the jokes; we have characters and scenes designed to recall the characters and scenes of its model, including a bizarre variation on the laser torture scene of the Bond movie. As far as I can tell, Tont get secret messages delivered to him by pop music videos; the villains prefer classical music. All in all, it was quite interesting, but without an English translation, it’s really hard for me to say how funny it was; however, it does have a better reputation than its sequel.