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April 12, 2013

Movie Review: In Like Flint (Blu-ray)

The spy movie boom of the 60's was in full gear by the time Gordon Douglas' In Like Flint hit the screens. Our Man Flint had very good success amongst critics, with a solid box office take that made a follow-up to Our Man Flint, starring the incomparable James Coburn (Major Dundee, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid). Twilight Time tackled the limited Blu-ray release of the first film with very impressive results - could they do it with the In Like Flint as well?

Our Man Flint director Daniel Mann doesn’t return to helm the sequel here, this time around it’s in the very capable hands of Gordon Douglas (Stagecoach, Them!) to direct the follow-up. Lee J. Cobb reprises his role as Cramden, head of ZOWIE. It seems that Cramden has lost a few minutes of his memory during which the President (who he’s golfing with at the time) has been abducted. This leads to yet another phone call from Cramden to his retired super-spy agent Derek Flint (Coburn).

Flint helps save the world again but somehow this time around it's not as much fun. Don't get me wrong, In Like Flint is an enjoyable entry into the spy sub-genre, it's just that it's way too goofy at times. Some quality laughs are to be had though with one of the biggest being Flint's ability to converse with dolphins. It's so incredibly stupid I couldn't to this wilder brand of humor The action is solid, again with Coburn showing off his excellent martial arts skills. I even noticed a sequence that could very well have been lifted for, get this, the Bond film Moonraker.

The extra features are pretty fantastic and well worth the time of fans of this short series. Several different featurettes delving into just about every aspect of the production (writing, actors and even Coburn's stuntman) are all covered.

An audio commentary has also been included featuring spy film historians Lee Pfeiffer and Eddy Friedfeld. As with their commentary on Our Man Flint, you get a ton of information on the movie and quite a bit about spy movie lore. They bring up one of In Like Flint's biggest flaws - lack of a strong villain. This I couldn't agree more with, as it's one of the big reasons story doesn't work as well as its predecessor.

Twilight Time has done a great job at restoring the film. In Like Flint has some gorgeous colors throughout and it's no doubt brought to the forefront by a fantastic restoration. I was pleased with the look and sound overall and the fact we do get an isolated score added to the package.

In Like Flint may not live up to Our Man Flint but it still stands out among the better 60's spy films. The Blu-ray is very nice, as are the extras, so it's worth a pick up.

Pick up the limited edition (3000 units) of Twilight Times Blu-ray release of In Like Flint directly from Screen Archives while supplies last.

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