Dick Smart 2.007 (1967)

Director: Franco Prosperi
Starring: Richard Wyler, Margaret Lee, Rosana Tapajós, Ambrosio Fregolente
Music: Mario Nascimbene

Dick Smart 2.007 is an ‘out-there’ Eurospy production. It features Richard Wyler as swinging sixties dilettante, womaniser, and sometimes spy, Dick Smart. Dick Smart is hired by the CIA, for a fee of one million dollars, after five atomic scientists go missing from around the world. It appears that someone is using the men to put together an atomic bomb; but who? It’s Smart’s job to find out.

The first half hour of the film is nonsensical. There is no investigation on Smart’s behalf and the story doesn’t really make sense. But it isn’t boring. It’s fast paced and there a few gags about ‘bottoms’. And a film isn’t hard to watch, when the ‘bottoms’ are the shapely female kind, the type found in bikinis on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Who cares about plot?

Thankfully the film does settle down, and a more typical spy story starts to evolve. The films other main characters are Lady Lorraine Lister, played by the beautiful Margaret Lee. Apart from being the ‘beauty’ she is also the ‘brains’ behind the atomic mystery. In fact she isn’t building a bomb at all. She is building a device that converts carbon (chunks of coal) in diamonds using an atomic radiation device.

Lady Lister has a partner called McDiamond (although that could be Black Diamond), played by Ambrosio Fregolente. McDiamond is kind of creepy. He speaks through an electronic device fastened to his throat (his voice sounds very similar to the computerised voice in Jean Luc Goddard’s Alphaville but I couldn’t say if it is a homage or not?) Partnerships in spy films don’t tend to last too long, and this one is no exception. McDiamond has the time of his life torturing Lady Lister in the second half of the film. Not that I condone torture, but I like the sequence where McDiamond ties Lady Lister to the bow of his boat.

The other major character is Jeanine Stafford, played by Rosana Tapajós. She is a fellow CIA agent who tries to help Smart along the way. Needles to say, she is more of a hindrance than a help, but on the odd occasion she does come through with the goods and saves Smart’s bacon. The character seems to be derived from the goofy Stella Stevens character in The Silencers. But by that same logic it’s interesting to compare Tapajós’ CIA character with Sharon Tate’s ICE character in The Wrecking Crew which was made two years later in 1969.

The film features some wonderfully silly gadgets. There’s a chess playing computer with a mechanical voice. Strangely it is easier to understand it’s speech, than it’s opponent McDiamond. And then there’s my favourite gadget, the ‘LBW’…the Locator of Beautiful Women. It’s small hand held device that beeps and flashes whenever a beautiful woman is in the vicinity. And finally there is an amazing gyro-copter / scooter / submarine type thing. It get’s quite a workout in this movie, and I am sure it would give James Bond’s Little Nellie a run for it’s money.

Dick Smart 2.007

The Gyrocopter from Dick Smart 2.007

Also worth a mention is Mario Nascimbene’s score. It is very good (although slightly repetitive), and the hook will get stuck in your head. You will find yourself humming the theme after you’ve finished watching the film. As the film is primarily set in South America, the soundtrack features a lot of Bossa Nova inspired lounge grooves.

At the end of the day, Dick Smart 2.007 is not one of the great Eurospy films, but it is a pretty good one, once it starts moving forward. And the film is aided considerably by a major role for Margaret Lee. Lee appeared in a lot of Eurospy productions (including From the Orient With Fury, New York Calling Superdragon and Our Agent Tiger) but generally she was window dressing. But in this film, she shares the billing and the screen time with Wyler. And you don’t have to guess which of the two, I’d prefer to see on the screen. If you are a fan of sixties Eurospy films, this is one to check out, but for others, this may be a little bit too silly.

DVD Review.
Generally I don’t review particular DVDs because with many of the obscure films that I tend to review, it’s often a matter of finding ‘any’ copy, rather than a ‘particular’ copy. But quite a lot of effort has been put into this release, so I thought it was worth mentioning. The Kommissar Eurospy edition of this DVD is an English language reconstruction of Dick Smart 2.007. The image has been taken from an out-of-print Italian version (Titanus / Creazioni Home Video), and combined with the English soundtrack from a Greek version that has been hovering around on the Grey market for some time.

Combining two versions isn’t as easy as it sounds. Firstly, NTSC and PAL have different frame rates. And DVD and Video run at different speeds. The differences are subtle, but none-the-less, you cannot just lay the soundtrack next to the image and hope that it fits. The soundtrack must be edited the fit the image. This can be a long and painstaking process. And all this is done, to bring you a B-grade film that you’ve probably never heard of. But I for one, am extremely glad that somebody is taking the time to do this. If it isn’t done, these obscure Eurospy films could disappear altogether.

The film features both English and Italian soundtracks; has mini biographies of the stars, Richard Wyler, Margaret Lee, Ambrosio Fregolente, and Rosana Tapajos; portions of Mario Nascimbene’s score; a poster gallery; and a still gallery with over 150 images.

The copy is admittedly far from perfect, but until somebody digs up an original widescreen print or camera negative, to work from, this is currently the best version available.

No Comments Posted in Film and Cinema
Tagged , ,

Leave a Reply

Using Gravatars in the comments - get your own and be recognized!

XHTML: These are some of the tags you can use: <a href=""> <b> <blockquote> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>