Includes In Like Flint and Our Man Flint. There's really been only one rival to James Bond: Derek Flint. That's because of James Coburn's special brand of American cool. He's so cool, in fact, that he doesn't care to save the world. That is, until he's personally threatened. He's a true libertarian, with more gadgets and girls than Bond, but with none of his stress or responsibility. In Our Man Flint
(1966), he's totally unflappable as he thwarts mad scientists who control the weather--and an island of pleasure drones. Lee J. Cobb costars as Flint's flustered superior, and Edward Mulhare plays a British nemesis with snob appeal. For fans of Austin Powers, incidentally, the funny-sounding phone comes from the Flint films. However, the best gadget remains the watch that enables Flint to feign death. There's a great Jerry Goldsmith score, too.
There was bound to be a Flint sequel, and In Like Flint (1967) delivers the same kind of zany fun as its predecessor. Flint is recruited once again by Lee J. Cobb to be the government's top secret agent, this time to solve a mishap involving the President. Turns out, the Chief Executive has been replaced by an evil duplicate. The new plan for world domination involves feminine aggression, and Flint, with his overpowering charisma, is just the man to turn the hostile forces around. In Like Flint is still over the top, but some of the novelty has worn off, and it doesn't have quite the same edge as the original. Even Jerry Goldsmith's score is a bit more subdued. But the film still has James Coburn and that funny phone. --Bill Desowitz