La Muerta Silba un Blues (1962)

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The fact that this Jesus Franco spy film was widely released with a title referring to an "Agent 077" while the film itself contains the jokey "Agent 069" is indicative of the confusion surrounding its filming. Several actors who were slated to star (including Franco regular Howard Vernon) left the production, and the plot is an incomprehensible mess concerning Paul Radeck (Georges Rollin), a gun-runner posing as a man named Beckell. Beckell has recently married Lina (Perla Cristal), widow of one Frederico de Castro, whom Radeck killed in 1947. The reason for this elaborate ruse is that Radeck is still hunting for de Castro's associate, Julius Smith (Manuel Alexandre), who got away on the day of the murder and is now playing trumpet in a jazz nightclub. Lina unwittingly leads Radeck to Smith, whom he runs over and kills several days later. Dashing Agent 069 (Conrado San Martin) must solve the case, which now involves a mysterious new singer, Moira Santos (Danick Patisson), at the same nightclub. Bluesy cinematography by Juan Marine gives this film a moody atmosphere atypical of the spy genre, and Franco crafts some good-looking scenes, but the jumbled screenplay makes the film less than satisfying. Maria Silva, Manuel Alexandre, and Gerard Tichy co-star, while Franco makes his obligatory cameo as a saxophone player.

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espionage, impersonation, investigation, murder, weapons-dealer, widow/widower