An Overlooked Gem


Next to Our Man Flint, this is the best of the Bond-inspired action flicks of the 60s. While Flint was more satirical, DTTM plays it straight albeit with tongue in cheek. Johnson is smooth and dashing, Nigel Greene is appropriately slick. Elke Sommer and Sylvia Koscina are great as a pair of femme fatales who relish their work. Sommer and Greene would reunite in The Wrecking Crew, the last of the Matt Helm films but they seem to be having more fun here.

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Greene's greatest role is Colour Sergeant Major Bourne in ZULU

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"Next to Our Man Flint, this is the best of the Bond-inspired action flicks of the 60s. While Flint was more satirical, DTTM plays it straight albeit with tongue in cheek. Johnson is smooth and dashing, Nigel Greene is appropriately slick. Elke Sommer and Sylvia Koscina are great as a pair of femme fatales who relish their work. Sommer and Greene would reunite in The Wrecking Crew, the last of the Matt Helm films but they seem to be having more fun here."


I agree. When I first watched DTTM, I figured it would be something in the Flint/Helm vein. I was pleasantly surprised. It's the only one of the 007 imitators I've seen that even comes close to the feel and quality of the EON Bond films of the 1960s. It's being shot at Pinewood Studios probably had a lot to do with that. Add to the fact the Bulldog Drummond character was one of Fleming's inspirations when he starting writing the Bond novels. DTTM and both Flint films(I slightly prefer In Like to Our Man) are far and away the best of the 007 knockoff films of the time period.

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"only one of the 007 imitators" Fleming said his James Bond character was largely based on McNeile's Bulldog Drummond character, played here by Johnson.

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His discrepancy raises an interesting point. James Bond became so hugely successful in the sixties that people naturally assume that the character was the template for all others that followed, and yet it transpires that 007 was began life as a clone himself.

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Technically this film isn't a Bond imitator because Drummond is an insurance investigator not a secret agent, although you're right it has everything a Bond movie would have. Not surprisingly Richard Johnson was one of the 3 finalist that were up for the part of Bond at the time they made the first film. It was between him, Sean Connery and Roger Moore for 1962's Dr. No. Too bad he never got the chance to do one.

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