Saturday, May 22, 2010
Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers' Row (1966)
In his second adventure, he travels to Monte Carlo to find out what happened to a Doctor Solaris, who has created this destructive helio beam that bad guy Julian Wall (a gung ho Karl Malden) wants to use to destroy Washington, DC. In Monte Carlo, Matt befriends Solaris daughter Suzie (Ann-Margret) and together they team up to find her missing dad. Matt also has to deal with a henchman who has a steel plate on his head (very Bondian) and a beguiling femme fatale named Coco (the fetching Camilla Sparv).
Murderers' Row is a lightweight caper, on par with the lesser Bond films. You could almost label it a comedy with some action scenes because there is an abundance of humor, mostly supplied by Martin, who is definitely the center of the movie. Ann-Margret gets several high energy dance scenes that you can tell the directors told her to go and just have fun. The age difference between Martin and Ann does make their relationship a tad creepy. Dean was 48 and Ann was 24. But they still make quite the team. It's strange seeing Malden as the villian but he is effective. His assistant Coco is a striking presence in the film. Every time she appears it seems the camera follows her around like a puppy in love. Sparv probably gives the best performance out of all the actors present here. And let me not forget Matt's assistant Lovey Kravezit (great name and played by Beverly Adams). She is like the 60's version of Iron Man's assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).
This film is not be taken seriously, a film to be seen to have some laughs with and view a good representation of the 60's. Dean croons the energetic I'm Not The Marrying Kind which plays out several times during the film. And I'm not the one to point out fashion in film, but Ann-Margret wears this killer black and white top with pants that is to die for.
Check out the pic to your right. You know your clothes are awesome when the villianess says "I must say the girl
has great taste in clothes". Classic.