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OSS 117 se Déchâine
OSS 117 Segretissimo / OSS 117

France/Italy 1963
produced by
Paul Cadéac, Cyril Grize for Compagnie Industrielle et Commerciale Cinématographique (= CICC), Films Borderie, P.A.C., Produzioni Cinematografiche Mediterranee (PCM)
directed by André Hunebelle
starring Kerwin Mathews, Nadia Sanders, Roger Dutoit, Albert Dagnant, Daniel Emilfork, Henri-Jacques Huet, Irina Demick, Jacques Harden, André Weber, Michel Jourdan, Henri Attal, Yvan Chiffre, Arielle Coigney, Jean Geoffroy, Gisèle Grimm, Rico López, Marc Mazza, Pierre Moncorbier, Jean-Paul Moulinot
screenplay by Raymond Borel, Pierre Foucaud, André Hunebelle, based on the novel by Jean Bruce, music by Michel Magne

OSS 117

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When Roos (Jacques Harden), American agent and expert diver, dies in  a freak diving accident on Corsica while searching for a secret enemy submarine detection station, the American OSS gets nervous and sends its best agent, Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath alias OSS 117 (Kerwin Matthews) to investigate. OSS 117 soon hooks up with Renotte (Henri-Jacques Huet), the skipper of Roos' last diving trip, and his girlfriend Brigitta (Nadia Sanders), and he tries to convince Renotte, not an enemy agent himself, that he has thrown in with the wrong people ... but all Renotte does is make a getaway eventually, to get away from OSS 117 and the bad buys alike. It doesn't take OSS 117 long to track him down though, nor does it take the baddies any longer ... and eventually, Renotte ends up dead. As mentioned above, Renotte was not a bad guy or enemy agent, he was at best misguided - Brigitta however is in cahoots with the enemy, namely a man named Mayan (Roger Dutoit), a man hell-bent on building a secret submarine detection station on Corsica. OSS 117 has soon figured out that Brigitta is in bed with the enemy, yet he lets her lure him into deathtrap after deathtrap, but since he's prepared he always comes out unscathed and in the end tricks her into leading him to Mayan's secret headquarters. Here he learns the truth about Brigitta, that she was indeed forced into collaborating with Mayan - but that knowledge won't do him much good any more, since it seems this trap has sprung to his disadvantage. It's only when Mayan already celebrates his victory that it turns out that OSS 117 has brought reinforcements in shape of sniper Forestier (Albert Dagnant), who shoots Mayan's men dead one after the other. With everything lost, Mayan blows up his base and himself and his consort (Irina Demick) with it. OSS 117 and Brigitta escape of course ...

 

Espionage movie halfway between Lemmy Caution and James Bond, this one is coming from the more decent end of the Eurospy scale, meaning the plot is rather thought through and plausible, it's free of stupid sci-fi ideas, and the camp factor is kept to a minimum - which can be seen as a good and a bad thing though. On one hand it's a pretty ok if by no means exceptional or even especially memorable action movie, on the other hand while it lacks the silliness of many (mostly later) Eurospy movies, this exact silliness was what made at least some of them so appealing.

That said, the film is, well, ok entertainment, just not something you'll remember all that long.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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