A Dandy in Aspic (1968) Clint Eastwood Impersonator Becomes James Bond

A Dandy in Aspic (1968) poster movie one sheet

Think it was mainly the hair, with maybe a dash of the eyes that did it but his stance and face shaped were somewhat uncannily Clint Eastwood at times too. Never noticed it before, well it never crossed my mind when he starred along Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate but here in A Dandy in Aspic I just kept seeing Clint in Laurence Harvey’s performance. Probably just me though?

A Dandy in Aspic (1968) Laurence Harvey as Eberlin double agent spy looks like clint eastwood

Laurence Harvey plays a British counter-espionage agent called Eberlin. A spy with a James Bond esque demeanor. He’s cool, calculating and a real charmer with the ladies. However, where he differs from Bond, is our Eberlin is desperate, could he be concealing a secret?

Tagline – A Double Agent in Double Danger!

A Dandy in Aspic (1968) harry Andrews spies handlers agents britishA Dandy in Aspic (1968) Laurence Harvey as Eberlin double agent spy

Eberlin is assigned a mission to assassinate a KGB agent called Krasnevin who has managed to kill British spies. Looking over Eberlin’s shoulder is the eccentric and ruthless agent Gatiss (Tom Courtenay) who’s kind of like a spy hunter general. One step behind Eberlin, scrutinising his every move, waiting, eager for a mistake to be made. Eberlin will need all his espionage training and wits to stay ahead of this game of cat and mouse. But first things first, he needs to please a few ladies along the way.

A Dandy in Aspic (1968) Laurence Harvey as Eberlin Tom Courtenay Calvin Lockhart

First the love struck “Miss Moneypenny” and then the mysterious photographer Caroline (Mia Farrow) who happens to appear everywhere Eberlin seems to be. She’s friendly and fancy free, sexy but innocent, could there be more to her than meets the eye?

A Dandy in Aspic (1968) Laurence Harvey Mia Farrow as Caroline cold war spyA Dandy in Aspic (1968) Laurence Harvey Mia Farrow as Caroline berlin

The journey takes us from the back streets and high rise flats of London to maneuvers through East and West Berlin. Interesting characters are situated throughout the story from the likes of Charlie’s Angels Lionel Stander who plays Sobakevich, Peter Cook gives a lightheart performance as agent Prentiss and other classic faces from the likes of Norman Bird, Harry Andrews and Calvin Lockhart pop up along the way.

A Dandy in Aspic (1968) Peter Cook Tom Courtenay british agents

To be honest this film ticks every box for me as I’m a sucker for Cold War spy dramas and tales of counter-espionage and double agents.  Panic ridden spies trying to get out of mess which is being created behind them, curious and secretive characters going about their cloak and dagger business. Danger lurking around every single dark corner, the fear of the chase being caught in the eyes of the agents. British and Soviet intelligence officers going about their everyday business of brinkmanship. This film has it all BUT unfortunately A Dandy in Aspic doesn’t quite pull it off, it’s just becomes a bit of a mess.

A Dandy in Aspic (1968) Laurence Harvey hiding in the shadows

The film is directed by legendary Anthony Mann from an adaption of a novel by Derek Marlowe but very sadly Mann suffered a heart attack before the film was finished and directing was passed on to star Laurence Harvey. I wouldn’t know what was finished by whom but the last half hour or so to me is where it all falls apart. Up to then I was really enjoying the film, to me the Berlin scenes hit a bit of a stumbling block. Saying that, it’s still a good film, it has a dark brooding feel which is lighten somewhat by the sixties themes and colours and a few slightly comic performances. It’s very much worth tracking down if you have a love for Cold War dramas, however this could of been so much more. What are you thoughts if you have seen it? Do you have any info to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.

A Dandy in Aspic (1968) puppet opening credit titles scene quincy jones soundtrack

Oh just to add, the opening title sequence featuring a very creative trippy dance between a puppet on a string and the master hand very much in control to the frenzied soundtrack by Quincy Jones is genius.

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, I’ve been in World Cup mode. Hope to be back to normal now with more movies I’ve enjoyed coming soon.  Many thanks for reading… Mikey Wolf.

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Countdown (1967) Robert Altman, James Caan & Robert Duvall Go To The Moon

Countdown (1967) Robert Altman james caan robert duvall nasa poster space moon rocket

I’m always a sucker for a good old space yarn centered around Mankind’s reach for the Stars and the Moon. The story of NASA and the lunar project’s have been a fascination for many, young and old. I’m too young to have seen a man on the Moon, though I was a wee little baby at tender age of one when Eugene Cernan last stepped on the lunar surface.  As I grew, my affection and interest with the space programs grew. The 80’s were a fantastic time for all things space related, you had the Space Shuttle program and the first astronaut jetpack untethered space walk, Russia’s amazing Mir Space Station and then unfortunately that doomed Challenger mission. These were just key moments in this here wide-eyed teenaged wolf but from those years, my obsession with space grew. Continue reading “Countdown (1967) Robert Altman, James Caan & Robert Duvall Go To The Moon”

Spaceways (1953) Hush Hush! Top Secret! Hammer Does Spy Sci-fi

Spaceways (1953) poster sci-fi science fiction howard duff movie rockets
I think the poster might over sell it a bit!

I don’t know if the 1953 film Spaceways was Hammer Film Productions first tip toe into the science fiction genre, although it did come a few years earlier than the start of the awesome Quatermass films. Yet the BBC TV series did come out in the same year, I don’t know if Hammer had the rights then? Continue reading “Spaceways (1953) Hush Hush! Top Secret! Hammer Does Spy Sci-fi”

Panic in Year Zero! (1962) End Of The World, Jazz Jive and Beatnik Baddies

Panic In Year Zero (1962) poster ray milland

Bonkers brilliant B-movie, Cold War, end of the world bonanza with sassy jazz jive and bad boy beatniks. Oh how much did I enjoy this crazy panic in the Year Zero.

Tagline – AN ORGY OF LOOTING AND LUST… “A” – DAY WHEN CIVILIZATION CAME TO AN END!

Continue reading “Panic in Year Zero! (1962) End Of The World, Jazz Jive and Beatnik Baddies”

The Mind Benders (1963) T For Traitor Or Z For Zombie?

The Mind Benders (1963) awesome poster film movie dirk bogarde mary ure 2 mind control cold war

Major Hall (John Clements) follows a man he has been tailing onto a train to Oxford when suddenly the Professor randomly decides to commit suicide. On further investigation he finds a bag filled with cash and reports come in that the Professor had a vacant, lost look upon his face! What was going on? Could he of sold secrets to the Soviets? The Major visits Oxford University to try and unravel the mystery.

Tagline – Out of the Black Pit of the “Hate Machine” Came a Thing – Not a Man!

Continue reading “The Mind Benders (1963) T For Traitor Or Z For Zombie?”

Eastern Condors (1987) Sammo Hung & The Hong Kong Dirty Dozen

Eastern Condors (1987) poster film movie sammo hung dirty dozen vietnam

Any teenager growing up with a local video rental store near them during the 1980’s would of seen the shelves over filled with VHS cassette covers from the likes of Hong Kong promising non-stop action packed high adrenaline filled martial arts. Relentless Kung Fu fighting, crazy acrobatics and a barrel load of slap stick comedy. They never failed in bringing deep joy and wide opened, jaw hitting the floor shock as stunt men flew through the air smashing into all manner of bone crushing solid wall or concrete structure or propelled head first out of a bus window at full speed. These guys were incredible and we just couldn’t get enough of them. Continue reading “Eastern Condors (1987) Sammo Hung & The Hong Kong Dirty Dozen”

Ikarie XB 1 (1963) Voyage to the End of the Universe

Ikarie XB 1 (1963) movie poster science fiction film space galaxy universe

Just as I was about to start this film, in teleported Governor Saroyan.  He appeared in my lair wearing his usual get up, that silly pimped up egg shell thing on his head.  He’s a funny ole fellow, reminds me of that wonderful British actor Roddy McDowall.

Governor Tabor Saroyan Buck Rodgers

Now Governor Saroyan is perfectly charming but has an erratic nature, until that is, he hits the old sauce which calms him right down. The Gov Saro has a big obsession for sweet peach snaps and drinks nothing else, lucky he always brings his own as I won’t touch the evil stuff.  Once he’s half cut and merry, he likes nothing more than telling tall tales and dribbling about some girl called Colonel Wilma Deering he once met. After a while he quiets on down, I reach for the bourbon and start the movie. And what a movie it is…… Continue reading “Ikarie XB 1 (1963) Voyage to the End of the Universe”

Scorpio (1973) Cold War With The Reverend Tom Jones!

Scorpio (1973) movie film poster artwork spies cold war burt lancaster alain delon

Been rinsing the Burt Lancaster films this week with three in a row. First up was Go Tell The Spartans followed by Atlantic City. Now I got the chance to watch the Cold War antics of two hit-men in director Michael Winner’s spies and espionage thriller Scorpio. Continue reading “Scorpio (1973) Cold War With The Reverend Tom Jones!”

Orion’s Belt (1985) Norwegian Cold War

Orion's Belt (1985) Poster film artwork photo dvd movie cinemaMuch like last month’s Ground Zero took a real life story and mixed it with a batch of fiction to amp up the drama.

Orion’s Belt is based on factual happenings in the Svalbard regions of Norway where the games of Cold War were being played out between Russia, America and the UK. Real brinkmanship shenanigans, with Norway, and their scandinavian friends, sat right in the middle like the stars in Orion’s Belt. Continue reading “Orion’s Belt (1985) Norwegian Cold War”

Telefon (1977) – The Russian Manchurian Candidates

Telefon (1977) - Charles Bronson Movie poster artwork film

Donald is gonna think I’m stalking him! This is the third film in a row with the versatile, dependable Mr Pleasence and this time it was purely by chance as I didn’t know he was in it. What a great surprise.  Cul-De-Sac was first then Ground Zero.

Was ticking this one off the list mainly because of Charles Bronson and second being that it’s a Don Siegel movie I knew about but wondered if I had actually seen it. I hadn’t and I can report that it’s a fine piece of 70’s drama. Continue reading “Telefon (1977) – The Russian Manchurian Candidates”