Monday, August 01, 2005
How Lucky Can One Guy Be?
Okay, this month is a great one for box sets. The previously mentioned Columbo (season 3), "The Complete Thin Man Collection", an "Astaire/Rogers" collection and now this...
... the complete Dean Martin "Matt Helm" collection. I've previously mentioned how much I love the Frank Sinatra "Tony Rome" two-some of "Tony Rome" (natch) and "Lady In Cement". Well, this was much sillier, campier group of Bond spoofs that Martin did. Dino plays "Matt Helm" a retired super spy for Intelligence and Counter Espionage (or ICE), who works for "Slaygirl" magazine. He is reluctantly pulled back into service by his former boss "Mac" MacDonald (James "Inspector Luger from 'Barney Miller'" Gregory in the first three, John "Father of Billy Mumy in the 'It's A Good Life' episode of 'The Twilight Zone'" Larch) and usually ends up in bed with a klutzy girl who may or may not be a spy, too.
The stuff I like about these is Martin's ambivalence bleeding over into Matt's reluctance to get involved in the case or with the girls. At the end of the first film "The Silencers" when they set up that Martin-as-Matt is coming back in another film (and with even more girls, fellas!) he looks around at all of the Slaygirls on the bed with him and mutters "Ohh, God." I also enjoy the musical voiceovers for his thoughts, which were parodies of popular numbers ala his nightclub act.
Also, he puts down Sinatra a few times in the films, but I'll leave you to figure out where.