The Silencers (1966)

Genres - Action, Spy Film  |   Sub-Genres - Glamorized Spy Film  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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The incredible success of the James Bond films in the 1960s inspired a rash of imitators, most of which -- like The Silencers -- only served to point up the fact that, whatever criticism could be leveled at the Bond films, they still had a certain indefinable "something" that couldn't be copied. The Silencers is not dreadful, as some of the other faux-Bonds are, but that's about the best that can be said for it. Fans of Dean Martin will certainly find things to enjoy, for the Martin "persona" is on full display here. (Fans of the Austin Powers movies should also get a kick out of The Silencers, as the Matt Helm character is in some ways closer to what Austin is riffing on than Bond.) But those simply looking for a good spy flick should keep on looking. The script is ridiculous, and of so many minds about what it's trying to do and when, that it ends up being a mess. Those not enamored of Martin will find his performance here rather annoying, as he's more concerned with being "Dino" than Helm. And even director Phil Karlson's fans will be disappointed to find him working on autopilot here. The girls are certainly attractive, and Cyd Charisse gets to add a little more mature sizzle, but only Stella Stevens gets to make a real impression, by virtue of a comedy performance that's surprisingly good. Otherwise, there's not a lot in The Silencers that's worth commenting on.