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Friday, November 30, 2012

The Liquidator (1965)

Under the mistaken assumption that he's a superb marksman, a Colonel (Trevor Howard) in British Intelligence recruits an ex-soldier (Rod Taylor) as an assassin. With the promise of a rich life style and a bevy of beauties, he agrees although he is repelled by the thought of killing. He solves this by hiring a professional hit man (Erick Sykes) to do his killing for him. This satire of the Bond movies sets the tone with a Bond like credit sequence created by Richard Williams (WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT?) and Shirley Bassey belting the title song and for the first 45 minutes or so, it's fairly smart and amusing but it deflates itself in the last hour (the cold blooded killing of an innocent girl was a mistake). As always, the rugged Taylor is eminently likable but no one else has much to do. Directed by Jack Cardiff (SONS AND LOVERS) from the novel by John Gardner, not surprisingly, the hired hand to continue the Bond novels after Ian Fleming's death. The stylish faux Bond score is by Lalo Schifrin. With Jill St. John (struggling with an English accent) in what seems as a dry run for her Bond girl in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, Akim Tamiroff, David Tomlinson (MARY POPPINS), Wilfrid Hyde White, Gabriella Licudi and Suzy Kendall.

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