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Thursday, December 28, 2017

OSS 117 Se Dechaine (aka OSS 117 Is Unleashed) (1963)

After an American agent (Jacques Harden) is killed in the Mediterranean, the secret service sends another American agent (Kerwin Mathews) to investigate. Based on the novel by Jean Bruce which is part of the popular (at least in France) OSS 117 books and directed by Andre Hunebelle. The character of Hubert Bath aka OSS 117 made his film debut in 1956. But in the wake of the 1962 success of James Bond and DR. NO, he was resurrected with success and there were four more OSS 117 between 1964 and 1968. Mathews would play the role once more in 1964 before giving way to Frederick Stafford for two films and John Gavin for the final entry. This one is a fairly low key entry in B&W and filmed in the 1.66 aspect ratio. All the others would be in color and in 2.35 scope. It's the standard spy stuff with over ambitious villains (Roger Dutoit) and beautiful girls (Nadia Sanders, Irina Demick). The handsome locations (shot in Corsica and Toulon) would have benefited from being shot in color but cinematographer Raymond Pierre Lemoigne still manages to make them stunning in B&W images. With Henri Jacques Huet and Albert Dagnant. 

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