Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Irving Allen Production: Money Man of the Dean Martin Matt Helm Films

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Hey pallies, likes here's a bit early Dino-winter-day present for all youse Dino-holics that likes can never ever gets 'nough of our Dino as spyster Matt Helm.  From the swingin' blog, "The Scott Rollins Film and TV Trivia Blog" comes news of the death of Mr. Irving Allen  on December 17th, 1987 at age 82.  We extend our condolences to Allen's  family and friends on his passin'.

The connection between Mr. Allen and the Matt Helm quartet of swingin' spy flicks is that Allen was, as Mr. Rollins suggests in the tag of his post, the money man behind the Matt Helm series of big screen capers....the producer of all four films.   In celebration of Allen's role in bringin' the series to the masses, Scott has put together an absolutely massive essay of prose and pix mostly dedicated to our Dino as Matt Helm.

What a sweet sweet Dino-treat it is indeed dudes to indulge in the remarkable riches that our new pallie Scotty is servin' up as he matches sensational stills from each of the Matt Helm flicks with revelatory remarks to enrich the pixs.  It's like a box of the bestest of best Dino-treats just waitin' to be savored and enjoyed one at a time.

Likes we here at ilovedinomartin are thrilled to be sharin' our pallie Scotty massive massive Dino-devotion with you, and gotta 'fess up that we are intrigued by the fact that the Matt Helm Lounge DVD set as gone out of print (see related article shared here recently) just a few before the death of producer Mr. Irving Allen.

ilovedinomartin salutes Mr. Scotty Rollins for this remarkable review of the Matt Helm Capers...certainly helpin' his readership into a deeper devotion to our Dino.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.  Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP

No, not  Master of Disaster Irwin, but Irving Allen, Master of Matt Helm spoofs. The producer of the late 1960's swinging secret agent film series died on December 17th, 1987 at age 82.

Allen produced all 4 of the retro classic, unfaithful versions of novelist Donald Hamilton's killer counter-agent (much tougher and realistic in the books): THE SILENCERS (probably the best of the bunch), MURDERERS ROW, THE AMBUSHERS (the weakest of the set) and my personal favorite THE WRECKING CREW.

Stella Stevens steals THE SILENCERS from Dean with her deft combination of sex appeal & comic timing as the klutzy Gail Hendricks

Ann-Margret slayed in MURDERERS' ROW

Martin is stuck on Elke Sommer

Allen did the Helm films after his producing partnership with Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli dissolved over whether or not to make Ian Fleming's James Bond books into films.
Broccoli was keen on it and Allen wasn't. 
That ill-advised decision cost Allen millions!

Allen's secret agent films had Martin playing a parody of  Bond (and himself!) with lots of in-jokes, corny acronyms for organizations (I.C.E.  for Intelligence Counter Espionage and  BIG O for Bureau of International Government and Order ) and a bevy of Slaymate beauties.

My faves from the Matt Helm quartet of movies:

The Helm hotties

Daliah Lavi and Stevens are in top form in THE SILENCERS

No one can silence me from saying that Cyd Charisse looked hot even in her ''Riddler from BATMAN crossed with a nightclub stripper'' costume

Dino had his hands full with Camilla Sparv & A-M in MURDERERS' ROW

Sexy Senta Berger tries to blend in with bushes in THE AMBUSHERS

There's a method to Janice Rule's madness in evil Albert Salmi's death scene
I'm guessing they're the only 2 method actors to appear in a Matt Helm flick

Elke Sommer and Sharon Tate wrecked Dino in 
The comely duo played roles very similar to Daliah Lavi & Stella Stevens in

Nancy Kwan as bad babe
Yu Rang in CREW

The memorable fight between Tate & Kwan in WRECKING 
was staged by...

...the legendary Bruce Lee

Tina Lousie, as gypsy dancer Lola Medina, goes out with a bang in 

Let's not forget recurring honey Beverly Adams, as the aptly named Lovey Kravezit,
who popped up in the first 3 Helm films

The only thing Dino's Helm craved more than Lovey was booze...

...and his Slaymates of course

The Helm Arch-Villains

Victor Buono (!) as Tung-Tze in THE SILENCERS

The half Italian Buono as an Asian?
Odd, but he does a wonderful hammy job

Karl Malden (!) as the accent-changing Julian Wall in MURDERERS' ROW

The Serbian/Czech Malden as a...damn, I'm not sure what nationality Wall was-
Malden spoke in a different accent for each scene!
Odd, but he does a wonderful hammy job

Albert Salmi (!) as Jose Ortega

The Finnish Salmi as a Central American?
Odd, but he does a wonderful hammy job

Nigel ''Schedule'' Green (!) as Count Massimo Contini in THE WRECKING CREW
The British Green as an Italian!
Odd, but I'd watch Green do anything with that great voice of his (Why didn't they make him a Lord? Lord Henry Wythe-Smoot?)

The Helm Henchman

Robert Webber as Sam Gunther in THE SILENCERS

My fave, Tom Reese as Ironhead in MURDERERS' ROW

Will Ferrell in THE AMBUSHERS

Just Kidding!

Chuck Norris as Man in The House of Seven Joys in THE WRECKING CREW
Not kidding, that's Walker:
Texas Ranger

MacDonald, Matt Helm's Boss

2 great character lugs played the gruff I.C.E. honcho who was always pestering photographer Helm to come out of retirement and save the world.

James BARNEY MILLER Gregory did the first 3 instalments with aplomb and John DIRTY HARRY Larch filled in admirably in the final Helm entry.

Gregory and Dino

Larch with Martin and Sharon Tate


THE SILENCERS opening credits




Spoiler Alert! Tina Louise's death scene in THE WRECKING CREW



Wonder Woman on TV's MATT HELM

Allen Quotes:

''I make films to appeal to the lowest common denominator. ''

''You can't afford to be a rat in a rat race.''

''I wouldn't see my own films. I've got more taste than that. Does Barbara Hutton by her jewelry at Woolworths?''


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you for this onslaught of Dino movies. Love all of them although I may have missed some action.

Merry X'mas and a Happy New 2014. Thank you for being a great friend and supporter all these years.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Andy man, thanks for enjoyin' the Matt Helm fest with our Dino at the Helm! And, ilovedinomartin thanks you for your kindest of kind words and wishes....may you have a very special Dino-winter-day remembrance! And, likes, above all, keeps lovin' our most beloved Dino!