The Silencers

dir. Phil Karlson

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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Dean Martin made his crooning, droopy-eyed debut as superspy Matt Helm in this first of four tongue-in-cheek spy capers packed with slapstick antics and swingin' sixties style.

Packed with slapstick spy antics and swingin' sixties style, this first of four big-screen adaptations of Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm books is not only a spoof of the Bond films, but of star Dean Martin's own off-screen image as a hard-drinking womanizer. Former secret agent Matt Helm (Martin) has retired to a comfortable, post-espionage career as a fashion photographer, but when the villainous Tung-Tze (Victor Buono) plots to drop an atomic bomb on New Mexico, Helm is coaxed back into service. With an assortment of hi-tech gadgets and the help of two sexy accomplices, femme fatale Tina (Daliah Lavi) and the beautiful but bumbling Gail (Stella Stevens), Helm swings into action to foil Tung-Tze's nefarious plan, in between rounds of cocktails, crooning and droopy-eyed seductions.