Brawls, Broads and Booze
by The Finn

What was it about the mid-sixties that inspired so many cool spies ? Was it the broads ? The booze ? The suits ? Or just the tensions of the Cold War that seemed to surface in everyday life ? What ever it was, I love the spy shtick from the sixties. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s no smoother spy than James Bond (Connery, of course. Are you trying to insult me ?). But some days you don’t want the smooth sixties spy. You want the wacky one. Or the sinister one. Or best yet, the hipper than thou spy duo. Two, two, two spies for the price of one! I love them all and here’s a quick look at some of my favorites.

Matt Helm

Silencers-bra.jpgMatt Helm (as portrayed by Dean Martin in four films) is a smooth, sauced, roll with the punches kinda guy. Dean Martin basically took his onstage persona for these films (The Silencers, Murderer’s Row, The Ambushers and The Wrecking Crew) and applied to the tried and true “spy film” formula. Hilarity ensues as he fires off one liners and get himself out of all kinds of sticky situations with humor, wit and just a dash of cunning. And, as always, the beautiful thing about the Matt Helm movies isn’t the gadgets (although his “ten second delay” gun is pretty hot) or the dames. It’s Dino, being Dino. Throughout most of “The Silencers”, he’s a little hit or miss with the “I’m a little drunk and people are trying to kill me” routine but by the time we get to “Murderer’s Row”, the man’s got it down pat. He’s suave, debonair, half in the bag and he always gets the girl. It’s entertaining as hell to watch Dino does what he does best, be Dean Martin.

Derek Flint

coburn-ourmanflint1.jpgWhen I think of James Coburn, I don’t think wise talking International Man of Mystery. I think of the cool, calculated killer he’s played a million times. But that was before I saw “Our Man Flint” and “In Like Flint”. Super cool secret agent Derek Flint lives in seclusion, surrounded by beautiful women and a doting staff that care for this no retired secret agent. But when a mysterious organization called GALAXY threaten the planet; he’s called into action once again. Armed only with his sidearm, a multifunction cigarette lighter and that sly Coburn smile, Flint saves the world and looks good doing it. While Bond can be interpreted as pretentious and self confident to the point of arrogant, Flint is the epitome of cool. There’s no questioning it. Any man who can fight his way through a madman’s army using only his feet and walk away with five new girlfriends is a man to be reckoned with.

Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott

i-spy-1.jpgI Spy wasn’t originally a movie (and if one person brings it up, it’s curtains for ya….) but was instead a fairly complex, dialogue heavy show about a pair of secret agents who worked for the US Government. Robert Culp played Robinson and Bill “Puddin’ Pops” Cosby played Scott, a pair of agents who masqueraded as a tennis pro and his trainer. Their cover was that they were a couple of tennis guys who bummed around and played tennis against rich people, mainly for cash and room and board. In reality, they were tracking spies and traitors and taking them down. The interplay between Culp and The Cos is why this show is still a classic. I haven’t seen chemistry this good between two men in well… Let’s not go into that now. Let’s just say that I was young and my girlfriend thought it’d be hot. These two play off each other so well that at times you forget that they’re out to kill and imprison people for the government. Can’t recommend this one highly enough.

There’s tons of other good spies and these are just a few off the top of my head. So, how about you ? Who are some of your favorites ?

thefinn is often glad his wife doesn't have a bra gun. Archives


Happy new year. What a subject :) one of my all time favorites. I was always partial toward the series "It takes a thief." There's "the Prisoner," of course. For inanity, "Wild Wild West" is up there. In newer material, the movie "Spygame" wasn't so bad. The new bond is pretty good.


Oh yeah... the TV series "She Spies" is pretty funny, too. They do a lot with the genre and fact that it's a TV show to provoke humor... a lot of vague and open to interpretation fourth wall stuff.


there’s no smoother spy than James Bond (Connery, of course. Are you trying to insult me ?)

Roger Moore. Best bond EVER.


Hey pallie, like you speak the Dinopure Dinotruth. "It's entertaining as hell to watch Dino do what he does best, be Dean Martin." Long live our Master of Hip, our King of Cool, the one, the only DINO!!!! May all your days be Dinodays!!!


I loved "The Prisoner" and "Danger Man", as well... There just wasn't enough time to do them justice in this post, but maybe I'll come back to this sometime soon.

Michele, are you out of your ever-lovin' mind ? There's no way Moore is cooler than Connery...


Hi pallie! I so agree with you over Matt Helm. While I did love Bond (Connery is still the man!) and Derek Flint, there was no one quite like Dean Martin as Matt Helm. Dino was basically just playing Dino, but that's what made the movies so special. Dino as Helm was so hip and cool. The way he battled the bad guys and loved the ladies all in his wisecracking, carefree, and easygoing manner was awesome.


why do people keep saying pallie?


It's a WOW thing.


Christ... That's the funniest I've been in months and no one got it.


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