Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
United Kingdom/USA, 1967. Famous Artist Productions. Screenplay by Wolf Mankowitz, John Law, Michael Sayers, suggested by the novel by Ian Fleming. Cinematography by Jack Hildyard. Produced by Jerry Bresler, Charles K. Feldman. Music by Burt Bacharach. Production Design by Michael Stringer. Costume Design by Julie Harris. Film Editing by Bill Lenny. Academy Awards 1967.
This parody of James Bond movies was probably funnier when it first came out in 1967, but it is certainly stale now. David Niven plays the famous superspy as a tottering old fart who gallivants about in a clunky car and speaks like the perfect British gentleman complete with Sherlock Holmes hat and pipe. Very freely based on Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name, the story has Bond recruited out of retirement to fight the evil SMERSH organization and save the world from a collapse of civilization. He is assisted by a former agent who is now a Lady in a Scottish castle (Deborah Kerr at her most delightfully loopy), his illegitimate daughter with Mata Hari, Mata Bond (Joanna Pettet) and his questionably motivated nephew Jimmy Bond (Woody Allen). Ursula Andress does a hilarious sendup of her own image as one of the dangerous femme fatales who are thrown at Bond to get in his way. The only really good thing to come out of this boring comedy is the beautiful theme song “The Look Of Love”, which has since been rerecorded endless times and was used in another Bond parody, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery. Piece of film trivia: insert shots of Agent Mimi’s hands were performed by co-director John Huston’s future Oscar-winning daughter Anjelica.