'Kiss The Girls & Make Them Die' ( to give it its American title ) was one of a number of films in the '60's designed to cash in on the success of James Bond. It was made by Dino De Laurentiis, a man who, like Irwin Allen, has attracted more than his fair share of derision over the years, despite having produced some pretty entertaining pictures, of which this is one.
It begins with a curious scene in the Brazilian jungles as eccentric English explorer Lord Aldric ( Terry-Thomas ) comes across a village where no children have been born in years, and despite the best efforts of the women the men appear completely disinterested in sex ( sounds like my home town! ). Aldric makes notes in his diary, only to be shot. The diary then goes missing - having been taken by one of the bearers - and a gang of villains, headed by wealthy industrialist David Ardonian ( Raf Vallone ) set out to recover it.
We then move to Rio De Janeiro. An American is watching a pretty girl and a young man through binoculars. Various thugs close in on him. Taking refuge in a giant statue of Jesus, he is stalked by a sinister bald heavy ( Oliver McGreevy - who also appeared in 'Modesty Blaise' and the first episode of 'The Prisoner' T.V. series ) with a gun. The American, whom we will later learn is called Kelly, is an agent of the C.I.A., and escapes from the killer with the aid of a helicopter.
Kelly is in Rio to investigate the activities of the mysterious Mr.Ardonian, believed to be responsible for the disappearances of beautiful girls. Each has lavish gifts bestowed on them, on the promise that they will remain faithful to him. If any break this vow - and one or two do - then he has them killed. His top henchman is Omar ( Sandro Dori ), a baby-faced blond psychopath whose favourite murder methods involve scorpions and boa constrictors.
To cut the story short, Ardonian plans on cryogenically freezing his girls and thawing them out for breeding purposes when the world's population has died out due to mass sterility - which he intends causing with the aid of a satellite that will blanket the world with radiation. The Chinese have provided him with a rocket, believing he will only sterilise the West. Of course he does not intend honouring this promise.
Joining forces with glamorous British agent Susan Fleming ( Dorothy Provine ) and her ever-so English chauffeur James ( Terry-Thomas again ), Kelly sets out to stop the madman.
The first thing to be said for the movie is that it looks more expensive than your average '60's spy caper. Most of the 007 wannabees lacked the kind of extravagance the Bonds had in abundance, but 'Kiss' was an exception. It boasts fabulous location filming in Rio, impressive sets ( Ardonian's underground lair is cool ), the gadgets are fun, the girls hot, and the hero stylishly played by future 'Mannix' star Mike Connors. Little is known about his character, we do not find out if 'Kelly' is his first name or last, all we really know is that he loves bananas. Unusually, he does not get to sleep around, though he proposes marriage to Susan at the end. Dorothy Provine is very funny, even if her English accent is none too convincing, but in a movie like this reality is unimportant. As 'Ardonian', Raf Vallone is as menacing as he was in 'The Italian Job' when he played the head of the Mafia. Terry-Thomas is a hoot as the karate chopping 'James'. As Chinese spy 'Wilma Soong', Seyna Seyn is devastatingly sexy, though underused.
It is said that the 1979 Bond movie 'Moonraker' is a virtual remake of this picture. I am sure Christopher Wood and Lewis Gilbert would vehemently deny it, but even so the resemblance is uncanny.
One of the film's writers, Jack Pulman, went on to pen the classic B.B.C. series 'I Claudius'. He probably only took this job for the money, but his script is a lot better than many others of the genre, being consistently amusing and inventive. Being English, he may have seen an episode of the 'Thunderbirds' T.V. series, explaining how 'Susan' and 'James' so closely resemble 'Lady Penelope' and 'Parker'.
Henry Levin, the director, keeps the action moving nicely, and it is hard to believe the same man directed two of Dean Martin's 'Matt Helm' pictures - 'Murderers' Row' and 'The Ambushers'.
The only fault I could find was the music, particularly the harmonica solos used during the action which seem to have drifted in from a Western. If ever a film cried out for Jerry Goldsmith it was this one.
'Kiss' never got a sequel. Bearing in mind how quickly the Flint and Matt Helm series deteriorated it is probably just as well. It is tremendous entertainment, a must for genre fans, and deserves a D.V.D. release. Perhaps now that Quentin Tarantino has officially endorsed it it may get one. Not before time either.
Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die
Action / Comedy
Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die
Action / Comedy
Loading video, please wait...
An outlandish science-fiction, comedy-thriller full of tongue-and-cheek action, ingenious gadgets in the James Bond style combining violence and tension with polished villainy and flippant espionage, as the resourceful CIA Mike "Mannix" Connors and British agents, Dorothy Provine and Terry-Thomas (both previously in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World") escape death-traps on land, sea and air.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
May 26, 2022 at 08:56 PM