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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Raw Deal (1948) Prison Break, Pyromaniac Mobster, A Threesome & A Theremin!

Raw Deal (1948) anthony mann film noir dennis o'keefe movie poster

Here’s a film noir that hits a whole heap of crazy, yet still manages to keep its feet on the ground. Director Anthony Mann delivers this mile a minute crime drama that whips you into a frenzy with it’s rapid fire action, suspense and thrills and spills. Love triangles, gangsters, hitmen, a twisted firestarter, roadblocks, man hunts, torture, fights, gun battles and inner monologues. This film has it all in it’s 79 minute runtime, sit back and strap yourself in for the ride. Continue reading “Raw Deal (1948) Prison Break, Pyromaniac Mobster, A Threesome & A Theremin!”

Thieves’ Highway (1949) Wages Of Fear With Apples For Nitroglycerine!

Thieves' Highway (1949) poster film movie one sheet film noir jules dassin

You know it’s gonna be a tough trip when even your own truck tries to ground and pound you!

Nick Garcos (Richard Conte) is a war veteran returning to the family home to see his jolly loving folks. Nick’s got gifts, his sweet girlfriend Polly is there and Pops and Mama are singing and smiling. The war had been tough but life is good and the smell of Mama’s cooking fills his heart, everything is perfect? STOP! Pull that needle right across the record…….

Thieves' Highway (1949) Richard Conte pops mama record player film noir jules dassin Continue reading “Thieves’ Highway (1949) Wages Of Fear With Apples For Nitroglycerine!”

The Sniper (1952) The Psychology Of A Serial Killer’s Mind!

The Sniper (1952) arthur franz film noir thriller poster crosshairsThe fascinating achievement of The Sniper is its ability to take the terrifying nature of the serial killer and portray, in equal amounts, his appalling actions of the murders, intertwined with logical thoughts on his illness and the psychological elements of his mind. Watching now, a film from 1952, you would be wrong in thinking that they would hold back on the darkness of the killings addressed within. Normally we would hear that the individual is either mad, insane or demented, yes that maybe the case but here we get thoughts from the other side. Through the eyes of the killer himself and the mind of a psychiatrist.

The Sniper (1952) arthur franz film noir thriller shooter Edward Dmytryk Continue reading “The Sniper (1952) The Psychology Of A Serial Killer’s Mind!”

Strongroom (1962) Low Budget, High Drama British Bank Heist Shenanigans

Strongroom (1962) Vernon Sewell Colin Gordon Derren Nesbitt British Bank Heist

Huddled up inside their little van, three faces observe the bank from across the road. Eager and nervous to get on with the job in hand, they impatiently count out the leaving bank staff before they prepare to go in. Time is running out, two still to leave, come on let’s get this done. The gun is shown, the stockings are pulled down over their faces, ready, the heist begins. Continue reading “Strongroom (1962) Low Budget, High Drama British Bank Heist Shenanigans”

Tunes of Glory (1960) Kilts, Whisky And A John Mills And Alec Guinness Dance Off

Tunes of Glory (1960) Alec Guinness John Mills Whisky Kilts and Bagpipes

Who’d of thought a film about bag piping and dancing could be so completely captivating. Featuring Alec Guinness as the most Scottish man to ever grace the Inner Hebrides, or Outer Hebrides or anywhere in the whole of bonnie Scotland for that fact. With his fiery orange hair and matching mustache, commanding officer Major Jock Sinclair slams back whisky in eager, boisterous fashion. He might ask for a wee nip here and wee dram there but Jock loves his whisky like he loves the sound of the Highland bagpipes. Like air and water, these are the essential life force for our Jock, well you can also add dancing to that list. Continue reading “Tunes of Glory (1960) Kilts, Whisky And A John Mills And Alec Guinness Dance Off”

The Night My Number Came Up (1955) Dreams, Omens & Final Destination

Digital StillCamera

Opening with that distinct, recognisable voice of Paddington BearCommander Lindsay (Michael Hordern) worriedly confronts an air traffic control officer with news that a Dakota airplane has crashed landed at a certain point over Japan.  The control room officer is convinced that no distress warnings have come in or the fact that the Dakota isn’t even on that flight path. “How do you know this?” he asks, “I can’t say but if I did you wouldn’t believe me but please believe me I know something has happened!” replies the Commander. Continue reading “The Night My Number Came Up (1955) Dreams, Omens & Final Destination”

Yesterday’s Enemy (1959) Val Guest, Stanley Baker And Rumpole Of The Bailey

Yesterday's Enemy (1959) val guest world war 2 movie poster stanley baker

Val Guest just impresses every time as I work my way through his varied directed filmography. Enjoying picking around the vast collection of stories he has tackled in his long career. Making sure I hit all the goodies first before I contemplate watching some of the less desirable sounding ones like, well Toomorrow? Also fun fact, can you believe it was Val who started off the cheesy sex comedy series Confessions of a Window Cleaner. Luckily he only made the first one, though he had ventured into saucy land a few years earlier with a slightly naughty one called Au Pair Girls. Continue reading “Yesterday’s Enemy (1959) Val Guest, Stanley Baker And Rumpole Of The Bailey”

Zig Zag (1970) Desperate George Kennedy Plans Stuff!

Zig Zag (1970) poster drama thriller george kennedy ranson mystery

Well he’s known for setting up a betting ring in prison between that man Paul Newman and 50 hard boiled eggs. Whenever a passenger jet is in trouble, he’s first on the call list. He’s simultaneously managed to help out Charlton Heston in the air and with an Earth shattering earthquake.  He’s played the hero, a hitman, a thug and even a few sheriffs and army majors. Even getting to show off his deadpan skills alongside Lt Frank Drebin. He surely is a Jack of all trades, who could this diverse guy be? step forward George Kennedy. Continue reading “Zig Zag (1970) Desperate George Kennedy Plans Stuff!”

The Man in the White Suit (1951) What Obi-Wan Kenobi Got Up To In His Early Years

The Man in the White Suit (1951) Alec Guinness movie poster dvd cover restored artwork

Way before Obi-Wan Kenobi was having a right laugh bothering Jawas and scaring the bejeezus out of Tusken Raiders on Tatooine he’d grown up in an industrial northern town in England, Earth. Going under the name of Sidney Stratton he had been a keen amateur inventor. He was clumsy and socially awkward in his younger years but this didn’t phase his creative mind constantly coming up with scientific ideas. For Sidney’s inventive imagination and intellect had come up with the idea of creating a fabric so unbelievable that it could change the whole world. Continue reading “The Man in the White Suit (1951) What Obi-Wan Kenobi Got Up To In His Early Years”