Some Girls Do (1969)
Director: Ralph Thomas
Starring: Richard Johnson, Sydne Rome, Daliah Lavi
Release date: January 23 (UK). Ah, something of a lighter tone to deal with. I thought there was a chance of boob in this one but alas, nay. May contain spies and spoilers…
For what it’s worth… Special Agent Bulldog Drummond wanders to the rescue when calamity befalls a supersonic jet, the SST1. Initially bamboozled by a plethora of mystery personas, he eventually indentifies the likely culprit as Carl Peterson (not a name that screams ‘bad guy’ if you ask me) who stands to rake in a whopping 8 million notes if the jet contract falls through. And to aid Carl in his dastardly plan are a bevy of stunning robot girls. They’re not all mechanical, he’s got a couple of living, breathing hit-ladies on Bulldog’s wagging tail and Drummond will need all of his wits to avert disaster. Well, maybe not all of them; he’ll probably get away with using just the one…
Barely worth a breath, really. I can tell you there is a movie preceding this one entitled Deadlier Than The Male. I haven’t seen it so I couldn’t tell you whether it’s better or worse than Some Girls Do or whether it features recurring characters (other than Drummond). Okay, it’s a Bond parody, but I should say that Bulldog pre-dates James by a good 30 years and Ian Fleming has cited the character of Drummond as an influence on 007. Drummond is smooth and debonair with a chick in every port, or so it seems. He’s also a master of off-the-cuff quipage. Actually, he does very little till the final 10 minutes of the film when he has a bit of a punch-up with a couple of blokes. I was looking forward to him having a punch-up with a bevy of robot girls, y’know, seeing as they are the main thrust of the film, but he doesn’t so that’s rubbish. All right, I’ve just checked, the dastardly Carl Peterson was in Deadlier as well so I guess he must be Bulldog’s nemesis. Some people get Blofeld, some get Hans Gruber and Bully’s Special Prize… is Carl Peterson.
Richard Johnson, as Drummond, doesn’t look entirely comfortable, preoccupied even – probably couldn’t decide which pair of juggs to ogle next. Who can blame him? He spends most of the movie being pursued by Helga (Daliah Lavi) and Pandora (Beba Loncar) who are determined to wipe him out of the picture. At the same time he’s trying to shake the attentions of Flicky (Sydne Rome), a barely concealed double-agent… no, make that triple agent. Along the way he gets saddled with the comedy sidekick, Carruthers (Ronnie Stevens). He’s really funny. When Helga and Pandora finally catch up with Drummond they decide not to kill him after all. He is instead captured and taken to Peterson’s hide-out whereupon the entire plan is laid out for him and he may then take his time to mull over the details and formulate a counter-strike. Austin Powers took this joke and ran with it – although it’s not really a joke in Girls. The plan? Crafty Carl (James Villiers) has invented an ‘infra-sound’ gizmo which he will use to balls up the SST1 aeroplane using ‘subsonic vibrations’, the swine.
Nothing especially noteworthy happens. Robert Morley ambles in for a cameo. He plays a character called ‘Miss Mary’ and runs cookery classes. It’s a front; he’s some kind of undercover agent. He gets a scene with Drummond’s ‘daily’ (heh, geddit, you’re meant to think ‘daily shag’, not housekeeper) – an insignificant role for Adrienne Posta who’s just been in the previous B/Day movie Up The Junction – in which he drops a golf ball and she retrieves it for him, very important later this golf ball. Soon after, we see him teaching folk to crack an egg. Then he announces the next lesson will involve ‘whipping’, at which an effeminate character radiates excitement. Just in case of any confusion, Mary means whipping an egg. It’s very funny. Then Helga and Pandora show up and kill him (off screen). Is Mary necessary in the grand scheme of things? A tiger in a hat can drop a golf ball just as ably, in my opinion. Some Girls Do is rammed with innuendo like the above, or; “She does enjoy a good bang.” Bah-Dum-Tsh! I’ll leave you to fill in the scenario.
Who cares? We want robot girls! One of them near the beginning looked remarkably like Joanna Lumley but her name isn’t in the credits. Sydne Rome (not a robot) is lovely. Most of the girls are (Lavi is a stunner) but Syd in particular with those big blue eyes wins the day. The robot girls behave stupidly here and there – which is dead funny. In fact Syd is generally ditzy but it’s an act. By far my favourite moment is delivered by Lady Manderley (Florence Desmond), another undercover contact of Drummond, who disguises her voice at a party. She is well spoken, but puts on this common-as-muck-doing-posh inflexion which did make me laugh out loud. Villiers is quite good as the despicable Carl Peterson, man of many disguises (none of which will fool you); he’s enjoying himself at least. Johnson though – my name is Bored, James Bored. Ronnie Stevens as Carruthers (also known as ‘Butch’, never explained) irritated me to begin with then became less irritating as the movie progressed. I don’t know if he simply improved or I got desensitised to him being a twat.
I’ve got absolutely rock all else to say about Some Girls Do, I found the whole… hold the phone… Now that’s something you don’t see every day (Wolf’s note – this isn’t live; I was writing a rough draft, free-hand, by the window early on Sunday morning); there’s a ruddy fox sat in the middle of my ruddy lawn! Swear down, I’m not bullshitting. This is a first, never seen a fox in the ‘burbs before, except on a telly documentary. It’s looking at me now, must have seen me shift position in the window. Look, it doesn’t even give a shit, yawning its face off. Feck me, there’s another one! I’ve got 2 foxes in the garden in broad daylight! Whoa, they’re off… aaaa-aaand gone. Up and over the back fence. Incredible – it’s like that Spring Watch show on BBC2! That was ace!
Where was I? Yeh… so, no, I’m completely uninspired by the whole filmic endeavour. If you like colourful, risibly acted spy spoofs you’ll love this. I didn’t.
Music Video: http://tinyurl.com/6ok2rnm
I’m feeling generous; 2 Yawning Fox In A Hats out of 5.
ThereWolf, February 2012