In Like Flint (1967)

This film, along with Caprice, marks the end of an era. They were the final movies to be CinemaScope, as Fox would move on to Panavision.

1967 was the end of many eras. And this film reflects it, as instead of men continuing to run the world, In Like Flint features an international feminist matriarchy that conspires to destroy the American ruling class.

Ah, the Flint films. James Coburn and Lee J. Cobb are back and this time, any semblance of reality has been thrown out the window. What a magical time to be alive and spying.

Z.O.W.I.E. (Zonal Organization for World Intelligence and Espionage) Chief Lloyd C. Cramden (Cobb) and President Trent (Andrew Duggan, who is in many of Larry Cohen’s movies like BoneIt’s Alive and The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover, where he’d play LBJ) are outsmarted by the Fabulous Face organization. The President is replaced with a surgically altered actor, the nuclear space platform is taken over and Cramden is soon discredited.

That means that Derek Flint (Coburn) is back on the job. And thanks to Fabulous Face taking his three girlfriends — he’s downsized somewhat — hostage, he has a personal stake in the game.

While not as amazing as the original film, that one didn’t have Flint swimming and talking with dolphins, nor did it have a cigarette lighter with 82 different gadgets inside it. Or a Flint ballet dancing with Yvonne Craig. Or him showing up in Cuba, where just about everyone looks like Castro.

Jean Hale (who was in Roger Corman’s The St. Valentine Day’s Massacre) plays Lisa, a Fabulous Face operative. Also on hand is Anna “The British Bombshell” Lee, who was the goddaughter of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. She was Mrs. Bates in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and appeared on General Hospital from 1977 to 2003.

The villainous Carter is played by Steve Ihnat, who would go on to direct Coburn in the movie The Honkers. Sadly, he would die before that film was released into theaters at the young age of 37. He’s probably best known for playing Fleet Captain Garth of Izar in the original Star Trek episode “Whom Gods Destroy.”

Who else is in this? Helena is played by Hanna Landry, who was Grace Cardiff in Rosemary’s Baby. Jan is Diane Bond, who was Liza in the Vincent Price-starring House of 1000 Dolls. She’d become a feminist artist years after making this. And  the Russian Premier is played by Herb Edelman, who would go on to be Bea Arthur’s ex-husband Stanley on The Golden Girls.

In Like Flint was rushed into production after the success of the original film. By the time it was made, the studio — and director Gordon Douglas (Them!Viva Knievel!) — had no interest in the movie. Coburn and stunt arranger Buzz Henry ended up directing most of the movie. After this, the star would turn down the opportunity to make a third Flint film.

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