Starring: Neil Connery, Daniela Bianchi, Adolfo Celi, Agata Flori, Bernard Lee, Anthony Dawson, Lois Maxwell, Yachuco Yama, Franco Giacobini, Ana Maria Noe
More info: IMDb
Tagline: Neil Connery is too much.
Plot: The evil crime syndicate Thanatos is bent on taking over the world, using a magnetic wave generator that will cause all metal-based machinery to grind to a halt. However, the well-known British secret agent normally assigned to such tasks isn't available, so they engage his civilian brother, Neil, to help. Neil, played by Neil Connery, is a world-class plastic surgeon, hypnotist, and lip-reader, which turn out to be precisely the skills required for thwarting Thanatos.
My rating: 6/10
Will I watch it again? Maybe.
This is the best way to watch movies...
Compare this to the Bond pictures and it's terrible. Compare it to the oodles of Bond knock-offs that cropped up in the mid-60s and it's better than average. I prefer to look at it like the latter. But what makes this one stand above every single Bond clone is this cast. You star with Sean Connery's younger brother (playing a character called Dr. Neil Connery!!!)...
and work your way down a who's who of Bond actors like Bernard Lee (M) and Lois Maxwell (Ms. Moneypenny)...
and then you've got Adolfo Celi (who played the villain, Largo, in THUNDERBALL (1965))...
and you've got more with Daniela Bianchi (the love interest/spy, Tatiana Romanova, from FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)) and Anthony Dawson (Professor Dent in DR. NO (1962) and Blofeld in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and THUNDERBALL). And all of these actors make up the stars of this film. I really dig all of these folks and it's especially nice seeing Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell with substantial roles. Hell, Maxwell even has some action scenes!!!
One thing that hurts this picture is the dubbing. It's not only that the dub is poor (it's obvious from start to finish that this movie was completely dubbed) but that it's dubbed at all. Connery's voice isn't his. I'm not sure if that hurts or helps the picture. He's also sporting facial hair which keeps you from seeing just how closely he resembles his brother.
Another point against the film is the 104 minute run time. I've rarely seen a Bond knock off that was good enough to sustain even 90 minutes. I'm sure that if you make some slight edits here and there, tightening up the film in more than a few places, this could possibly be a much better film.
Did I mention how much pussy is in this picture?
This marks the first film that composers Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai teamed for a score. It's what you'd expect from a bouncy, pop-y 60s score and it overstays its welcome (like so many European scores of this era tended to do), nice at first, becoming repetitive, expected, and at times annoying. It would be easy to knock this picture and accuse it of being a steamy pile of shit but it's not that bad depending on how you look at it. I'm a huge Bond fan so it's got some serious curiosity value for me.