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.


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4 comments:

Mona Buonanotte said...

You DO know I have a major crush on Dean, right? And how now I'm sitting cross-legged wondering how I can sneak downstairs and snag "Rio Bravo" and "Ocean's Eleven" and have myself a little Dean-fest before bed? Sigh....

your fiend, mr. jones said...

Yes, MB, I did and that was a consideration when I published this.

However, I thought, for the greater good, should go ahead and help get the information out there.

Because I care.

Troy DeVolld said...

I presume, sir, that you are aware that the Matt Helm franchise is about to be revived?

your fiend, mr. jones said...

Troy!!!!

Hey do you still have the Vincent Price album??? I think you are the only one in the world who has one intact and therefore need to leave it to me when you die.

There I said it.

I am aware of the revival, but I'm also aware of how mundane the books the films were based on were. They'll either have to make them slavish rip-offs of the Dino films (and, therefore be "Austin Powers") or find some other way of jazzing up the original material.