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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Action > Adventure > Italy > “Assassination In Rome/Espionage In Tangiers” Drive-In Double Feature (Dark Sky Films/DVD-Video)

“Assassination In Rome/Espionage In Tangiers” Drive-In Double Feature (Dark Sky Films/DVD-Video)


Picture: C+/B-     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Films: C+



For years, MGM has been able to gloat about the success of their Midnite Movie double feature DVDs.  Other companies have tried the equal them, but now Dark Sky Films found a way to out roar the lion with their own new Drive-In Double Feature series.  They not only give you two films that fit the bill well, they add the old drive-in promo films for refreshments, coming attractions and cues to start the show!  The first of what we hope will be many such DVDs that we are looking at is a double feature of Italian Spy flicks trying to ride the James Bond wave: Assassination In Rome and Espionage In Tangiers.


Both issued in 1965, Assassination In Rome stars no less than Cyd Charisse as a woman enjoying the famed title city when her husband vanishes.  She does not know the city well, and when there is an American who can help, it is a reporter (Hugh O’Brian) who is a former lover!  Small world.  However, the film is a hoot and Charisse is bale to carry the film when the Silvio Amadio/Giovanni Simonelli screenplay sags.  Amadio directs the film with more melodrama than expected, but that just makes it funnier.


Gregg C. Tallas’ Espionage In Tangiers (aka Marc Mato, Agent 077) has more science fiction and action in it over any drama and is about a disintegration gun being stolen and what needs to be done to get it back.  This is a little better than the other film and starts the DVD after the initial drive-in shorts.  Though there are no name stars, George Lazenby is in this 93-minutes cut somewhere, made tougher by the fact that the lead has a haircut not unlike his Bond.  See if you can find him.


Both images are letterboxed only, with Espionage at 1.85 X 1 with color richness and some good detail, while Rome was shot in the 2.35 frame in Totalscope (an occasionally used Italian scope format (1959 – 1969) that apparently used squeeze lenses) and is a little beaten and color faded.  Either way, they are watchable and have their visual moments, embarrassing most of the action films of late.  Both also have decent English-dubbed Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono tracks.  There are no additional extras, though the trailers cut into the preview films are other titles from Dark Sky, which we expect to see next.  This set is fun and very much recommended, especially to Spy fans.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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