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Our Man Flint (1965)
Exotica Beauty Products aren't the only thing they're making on Galaxy Island. Doctors Schneider, Krupov, and Wu are also churning out bevies of brainwashed babes. These pliant women, or Pleasure Units, give them the 60s trifecta of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. This is what our man, Derek Flint (James Coburn), discovers when he reluctantly agrees to help the international spy agency, Z.O.W.I.E. (Zonal Organization for World Intelligence and Espionage), track down whoever's responsible for tampering with the weather and issuing ultimatums to the world. The evil doctors think they can lure Flint, the super suave ladies man, over to their side, considering what they have to offer. As one of them says, they have the power to create a perfect world. But Flint coldly answer that this is not his idea of perfection. Flint, who is a cultured and spiritual being, versed in Eastern religions and martial arts, rejects the alluring but empty offer of science, of a world of mere sensation.
And right there it hits you: this may be the most conservative film made in the 1960s--we're talkin' Robert Bork, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, conservative. It's easy enough to identify the libertarian strain that animates the early part of the story, what with Flint's repeated refusal to join the government agency, his insistence on working alone, and Z.O.W.I.E.'s reliance on a lone American individualist to save the world. But it's once they get to the island that the rest becomes clear. If Flint's rejection of the various pathologies of the 60s aren't obvious enough, consider the scene where he's attacked by a raptor:
-Why did that eagle attack me?
-He's been trained to recognize and attack Americans.
-An anti-American eagle. It's diabolical.
The very symbol of American freedom has been turned against her people.
And note that when Flint finally destroys the island the eagle soars free,
escaping the false utopia of lax morals. Who would have thought such
a hipster flick could turn out to be so square?
Recommended James Coburn films: