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OUR MAN FLINT ($15) is the perfect spy movie spoof, tweaking one’s expectations of the genre in such a gentle way that the comedy doesn’t overtly draw attention to itself. Of course, if one were to take the antics offered in OUR MAN FLINT too seriously they might come away with the mistaken impression that 007 is a second rate hack. Actually, OUR MAN FLINT was released in 1965, just as James Bond mania was sweeping over the popular consciousness, which was something that the producers of OUR MAN FLINT took full advantage. Using Bond-mania as a launching pad, the producers of OUR MAN FLINT to take their hero to a level beyond the 007 mystique- disregarding the line of credibility, which Bond himself had a hard enough time straddling. This allowed "Our Man Flint" to be even cooler, smarter, more resourceful and irresistible to women than James Bond himself.

OUR MAN FLINT stars James Coburn as Derek Flint, a renaissance man of a sort, with an expertise in an astounding array of subject areas, including science, medicine and hand-to-hand combat. As the film opens, the world is besieged by a series of disasters that are attributable to a group of scientists that have learned to control the weather. When the Z.O.W.I.E. (Zonal Organization World Intelligence Espionage) agents to fail to neutralize the global threat, the worlds finest computer is given the task of selecting their replacements.

Z.O.W.I.E. head Lloyd C. Cramden (Lee J. Cobb) is dismayed when the computer selects Derek Flint as the only man capable of dealing with the threat. Cramden’s past dealings with Flint has left the Z.O.W.I.E. head apprehensive about Flint’s unorthodox methods, as well as the agent’s inability to respect the chain of command. Still, Cramden is forced to offer Flint to the mission and even has difficulty in getting him to accept, that is, until an attempt is made on Flint’s life and his four live in girlfriends are taken hostage. The cast of OUR MAN FLINT also features Gila Golan, Edward Mulhare, Benson Fong, Shelby Grant, Sigrid Valdis, Gianna Serra, Helen Funai and Michael St. Clair.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made OUR MAN FLINT available on DVD in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for 16:9 displays. This is a great looking transfer that restores the bright, colorful picture to the way it must have looked on the day it was released into theaters. There is a nice of variety in the hues on display, with the film’s production design making the most of the psychedelic sixties’ color scheme. Flesh tones are generally pleasing and reasonably natural. Neither chroma noise nor smearing detracts from the beauty of the colors in this presentation. The image itself is pretty crisp, with only the occasional shot coming across as soft. Blacks are accurately rendered, contrast is pretty smooth, plus the image displays good depth and respectable shadow detail. Digital compression artifacts remain well concealed throughout the presentation.

OUR MAN FLINT is offered on DVD with a Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack. In general, the track gets the job done without significant flaws. Fidelity is limited, which does affect both the film’s sound effects and music- leaving both without much of an impact. Some amplification does help Jerry Goldsmith’s musical score come across with a stronger sense of presence, although the sound effects remain flat sounding. Actually, Goldsmith’s score is one of the movie’s highlights and should indeed be amplified. Dialogue is cleanly rendered, with excellent intelligibility. A French monaural soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English and Spanish subtitles. Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features as well as a theatrical trailer, plus bonus trailers for IN LIKE FLINT, FATHOM and MODESTY BLAISE.

OUR MAN FLINT is a cool, hip and fun spy spoof. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has done a great job with the transfer, producing a great looking DVD at a relatively low price. If you are a fan, you must own a copy of OUR MAN FLINT on DVD. And, even if you are a James Bond fan or an Austin Powers fan, then OUR MAN FLINT is certainly a DVD for the must have list.


Our Man Flint (1965)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2002 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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