Deadlier Than the Male [DVD] [1967]

Ralph Thomas's Deadlier Than The Male (1966) fared rather better than most of the other James Bond-derived movies of the mid-1960's, including Thomas's own clever Agent 8 3/4 -- Deadlier Than The Male actually made it onto network television in prime time in America, for multiple showings across several years; by contrast, most of the other movies in this vein got relegated to late-night local television almost as soon as they crossed the Atlantic. This DVD gives a good account of the reason -- it looks sensational, and it plays with a wry, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that's as close to the spirit of the Bond movies as any of the imitators ever got. The image, letterboxed at 2.35-to-1 to recapture the movie's Techniscope aspect ratio, is a dazzling account of Ernest Steward's cinematography, which is a veritable celebration of London and the Mediterranean locales. The soundtrack, featuring music by Malcolm Lockyer that recalls some elements of John Barry's early Bond scores, and features a title song co-authored by John Franz, of Dusty Springfield fame, that's reminiscent of "Thunderball" and sung by the Walker Brothers, is mastered cleanly and, for a change, at a high volume level. Indeed, the whole transfer has been done with extraordinary care, matching the work that goes into the Bond discs (except, of course, for the absence of any bonus features), that even if this were a bad movie, the disc would be worth owning. As it happens, the movie is a good one as Bond imitators go, and one of the very few to hold up across the decades. The disc opens automatically to a very simple menu -- there are no extras but there are a dozen well-placed chapters.
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Deadlier Than the Male
In this 1967 drama, resourceful British agent Bulldog Drummond, who appeared onscreen in a series of spy stories between 1929 and 1951, returned to duty in the wake of James Bond. Here, Drummond (Richard Johnson) is on the trail of Carl Petersen (Nigel Green), a corrupt industrialist who has a bad habit of stealing the ideas of others and then killing them so he can reap their profits. The nefarious Petersen has a team of female assistants willing to kill on command, led by Irma (Elke Sommer) and Penelope (Sylva Koscina). One more Bulldog Drummond vehicle, Some Girls Do, followed in 1969 before the series was retired again. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Richard Johnson - Bulldog Drummond
  • Elke Sommer
    Elke Sommer - Irma Eckman
  • Sylva Koscina
    Sylva Koscina - Penelope
  • Nigel Green
    Nigel Green - Carl Petersen
  • Suzanna Leigh
    Suzanna Leigh - Grace
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