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Friday, June 17, 2016

Banco A Bangkok Pour OSS 117 (1964)

A secret agent (Kerwin Mathews) is sent to Thailand to replace an agent (Raoul Billerey) that has been murdered. His mission is to find out who is behind replacing a cholera vaccine with a plague virus thus causing an epidemic. Based on the novel LILA DE CALCUTTA by Jean Bruce which was one of some 250 novels about OSS 117 agent Hubert Bath starting in 1949 written by Bruce, then his wife after he died and then his daughter after mother died. The popularity of the novels didn't reach the U.S. shores but the series was popular enough in Europe to have several films made in France starting in 1957 and popular enough that Michel Hazanavicius (THE ARTIST) did two popular comedic parodies starting in 2006 with Jean Dujardin as agent OSS 117. BANGKOK was the second film in the series and seems to have used DR. NO as a template. Both films start with an airport arrival and chase sequence, there's the sexy secretary (Dominique Wilms) who works for the bad guys and the evil doctor (Robert Hossein) bent on world domination. Raymond Pierre Lemoigne's wide screen cinematography does justice to the lush Thailand landscape which compensates for having to listen to Michel Magne's trite score. Predictable and sluggish. With Pier Angeli as Mathews' love interest.

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