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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Comedy > Fat Spy

The Fat Spy


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Film: C



I knew any film called The Fat Spy would be silly, but the 1965 Joseph Cates-directed cash-in on the James Bond craze is all over the place and a narrative cannot even click for there are so many sudden and odd musical numbers throughout that look like Music Video precursors done very badly.  Instead of being something Beatlesque or Bondish, it is more like the odd strain of muddled middle-of-the-road Pop that was more like a Beach Movie on downers.


That is not to say this is a Musical, especially with such bizarre songs, but the only exception in all the bad material is a pretty good song at the opening by (at first) two unidentified men who turn out to be co-writers Jordan Christopher and Chuck Alden singing People Sure Act Funny acoustic to a single guitar and brief harmonica bridge.  They also wrote Wild Way Of Living later for the film and things go down hill from there.  Jack E. Leonard is the title character and is in two roles, joined by Phyllis Diller, Brian Donlevy, Johnny Tillotson, Jordan Christopher, Linda Harrison, and Jayne Mansfield.


The 1.33 X 1 full frame image sometimes has fine color, though the quality of detail is degraded and has micro-noise throughout.  The film-like color helps to compensate for this, something we do not see on DVD enough, though the grain suggests the possibility that this is from a 16mm print.  The print quality varies, but is better than expected.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is passable, surprisingly so for such an old film, but most of the later songs are no worth your time unless you need a good laugh.  There are no extras, but it is an odd cult piece and those interested cannot go wrong for the price.  Unbelievably, the only extra is dubbed “Featured Biography” and it is only one paragraph on Mansfield!



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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