By Scott Ross
Theodore J. Flicker wrote and directed this absolutely crazy, often wildly funny, satire on spies, psychoanalysis and government secrecy, and it’s blissful. James Coburn gets to show off his sly sense of humor in the titular role, and he’s abetted by a batch of superb comedians: Godfrey Cambridge, Severn Darden, Pat Harrington Jr., Will Geer, William Daniels, and Arte Johnson. It’s one of the great, largely undiscovered, gems of 1960s black humor; the sequence in which the camera reveals one assassin after another has all the surprise and wit of the garden-club sequence in The Manchurian Candidate. When you see this movie, you may wish Flicker had been allowed to make a whole lot more.
Text copyright 2013 by Scott Ross