Monday, April 30, 2018

.....the most ridiculously awesome spy movie series of the 60s: The Matt Helm movies starring Dean Martin.

Hey pallies, likes are all us Dino-holics in for some beau-ti-ful blasts from the past dudes.  Likes recently we swankly stumbled  back 'pon a stellar series of remarkable reviews on the quintessential quartet of Matt Helm Dino-flicks that were  powerfully posted a delightful decade 'go in April in the year of our Dino 2008. While we greatly grooved on these Dino-discussions when they first appeared at the potent pad of the happenin' blog tagged "DR. K'S 100 SUPER SPECTACULAR PAGES 100" and even pattered on 'em at the time, in lookin' back at Dino-grams here, we discovered that we never ever shared 'em with all youse we are goin' to bring 'em to the light of Dino-day here at our humble little Dino-blog....better late then never!

Dr. K is a professor  whose bio tells us that he is "an English professor at a small university in South Carolina, where I teach courses in British literature, film, and detective fiction. I blog about comics, movies, and other pop culture topics. And I like everything that you like."  Likes we loved then, and loves even more now that someone as learned as Dr. K has used his terrific talents to hugely hugely homage of most beloved Dino as swingin' spyster Mr. Matt Helm.

Likes 'cause these ravin' reviews are a decade old, be aware that some of the youtube vid clips shared originally are no longer up at youtube, but Dr. K's potent prose is  as absolutely awesome in deepest of deep delight in our Dino as when first wisely written in April 2008.  Today's first entry is a primo prelude for what is to come as Dr. Kunka has tagged it, "Coming Soon! Matt Helm Week!"  We gotta say that we still concur with Prof K'sDino-observation that "However, I always felt that one of Dean's many talents--and perhaps his most endearing one--was that he never seemed to work harder than he had to."

It's a incredible introduction to the Helms dudes....and, likes of course, Prof K includes that inspirational image of our Dino as Helm sweetly surrounded by a bevy of beauties on his randy round bed!  So let's the Dino-festivities begin!  Hats off to our wisest of wise Dino-holic Dr. K, with our absolute apologies for bein' so so late in sharin' his wonderful work with Dino-devotees every Dino-where!

We Remain,

Yours in Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2008

Coming Soon! Matt Helm Week!

This week on the Spec, I'll be posting a series of entries on the most ridiculously awesome spy movie series of the 60s: The Matt Helm movies starring Dean Martin.

The four films--The SilencersMurderers' RowThe Ambushers, and The Wrecking Crew--were released over the course of three years (1967-69) during the height of the James Bond craze. While they lack much of the quality that many spy movies of the period had, they make up for that by being contagiously fun. Dean Martin functions here in the mode that he followed for his tv series: he clearly isn't trying very hard, and most of the time he's reading his lines off of cue cards, but his personality carries him a long way. And the films do a great job of playing off the hard-partying persona he developed during this period of his career.

In fact, a lot of Dean Martin purists dislike these movies because he seems to be wasting his talents. However, I always felt that one of Dean's many talents--and perhaps his most endearing one--was that he never seemed to work harder than he had to. So, while he certainly could act, as he proved in The Young LionsSome Came RunningRio Bravo, and elsewhere, his talents were such that he could easily coast on his personality alone. Plus, he gets to sing a lot in these movies.

The movies also benefit from having some incredible leading ladies, including Ann-Margret, Sharon Tate, Stella Stevens, Janice Rule, Senta Berger, Camilla Sparv, Elke Sommer, and Daliah Lavi.

Here's the great opening sequence from the first Matt Helm movie, The Silencers. The music is by Elmer Bernstein, who may be slumming a bit here. Cyd Charisse performs the theme song:

This sequence captures the feeling of unbridled hedonism that these movies all celebrate. When the stripper opens her top to reveal the film's title, you know exactly what you're going to get.

And the line, "And she's 38 where it is great to measure 38"--I really don't know what to say about that, except it makes me happy.

The opening credit sequence for the second film, Murderers' Row, features music by Lalo Schifrin. The music may be better here, but the sequence contains less stripping. The design resembles a more generic 60s spy movie style than the earlier movie does, too.
 So, tomorrow we'll start Matt Helm Week off with The Silencers.


Danny G. said...

Strap on your seatbelts, Dino-holics! We is in for a Helmer-ride! Great first review! Let the festivities begin!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Danny-o....the swingin'est of swingin' terrific trippin' by Dino-holic of Dino-holics Dr. Kev! Keeps lovin' 'n sharin' our most most beloved DINO!

blueiscoool said...

A great review and of course video clip as well. I am a bit late getting here DMP but will look through each and every review of the classic Matt Helm series. A great first post and I am sure the rest will be interesting as well DMP. Thank you for your continued hard work my friend. As Danny G. says let the festivities begin!

Have a nice week.


dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Scotty-o greats to once 'gain gets potent patter from youse. Likes our Dino, takes it nice 'n easy and linger lovin'ly over the rest of these remarkable reviews. As a college professor Dr. K has a way with words and, is, of course, a deepest of deep Dino-holic. Keeps lovin' our most most most beloved DINO!