In the height of the James Bond craze in 1966, every major studio was looking for a way to create their own Bond franchise, with an indestructible spy that's irresistible to women. The best of the knockoffs is widely considered to be 20th Century Fox's Derek Flint series, which began with OUR MAN FLINT.
With a very tongue-in-cheek comedic tone throughout, James Coburn is terrific as Flint, a brain surgeon, karate & fencing expert, nuclear physicist and much more. Try fitting that on a business card.
Surrounded by beautiful women, Flint is recruited by American Intelligence Chief Cramden (Lee J. Cobb in a hilarious performance) to battle a group of baddies who are controlling mother nature.
It's all very predictable but fun.
The production values suffer by comparison to the Bond flicks, with much of "Europe" looking like a bad back lot and the volcano lair (hmm where have we heard that before) looking like a $500 model.
But Coburn is having so much fun, it's hard not to do th same alongside him. The worldwide spy organization that the US leads is called ZOWIE, which stands for Zonal Organization for Worldwide Intelligence and Espionage. Is that mid-sixties enough for you?
One of the most clever scenes in the movie has Flint meeting a Sean Connery look-a-like that Flint refers to as 008. As they pretend to beat the crap out of each other in a third world bar, they exchange information and wish each other good luck, saying their adversary is even worse than Spectre. It's a fun touch for Bond fans and sets the right tone.
Gila Golan is gorgeous, Edward Mulhare makes a great, stuffy bad guy and Jerry Goldsmith's music score is excellent.
Coburn came back for the sequel "In Like Flint" the following year when this was a hit with American audiences.
Like a prototype for the Austin Powers films years later, OUR MAN FLINT is a retro, fast flashback to the groovy sixties, baby.
Our man gets a fun B.