Deadlier Than The Male 1967

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Ralph Thomas’s take on the Bulldog Drummond novels of Sapper is something in the vein of a low-fi Bond picture, and features Richard Johnson as the smooth detective immersed in Euro-glamour with Elke Sommer. Johnson was Terrence Young’s original choice to play James Bond in Doctor No, and provides a happy centre for this spy shenanigans, with Nigel Green as Carl Petersen, a businessman who uses bikini-clad girl assassins to polish off his rivals. Updating Drummond to the swinging 60’s is an odd fit, but Thomas throws in plenty of dark humour in the dialogue, plus a iconic finale involving a giant, life-sized chess set in Petersen’s lair. Such moments make Deadlier Than The Male worth catching, even if the sequel, Some Girls Do, takes the salaciousness too far. Leonard Rossiter pops up briefly in a cameo.

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