In Like Flint (1967)

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Released 29-Oct-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1967
Running Time 110:03
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Gordon Douglas
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring James Coburn
Lee J. Cobb
Jean Hale
Andrew Duggan
Case ?
RPI $31.95 Music Jerry Goldsmith


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.0 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
French
French Titling
Smoking Yes, extensive
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    In Like Flint is the second, and last (as far as I know) Derek Flint film. Derek Flint (James Coburn) was the coolest of the cool secret agents. You can read my review of Our Man Flint to get an idea of his first foray onto our screens.

    I suspect that the reason we didn't see a whole series of Flint movies is that he was so super-competent that there really was nowhere for him to develop. Or maybe it was that Flint wasn't drawing from a large stock of novels, in the way Bond was, although the latest few Bonds have completely exhausted all the novels, and even the short stories, so they are making up their own titles (the title was about the only connection between the movie and the book in the last few, anyway). But I digress.

    Super-cool, super-competent, Derek Flint is the only person to whom Lloyd Cramden (Lee J. Cobb) can turn after he is suspended from his job as head of ZOWIE (Zonal Organisation and World-wide Intelligence Exchange, or something like that) after being caught in bed with a lady of ill repute. He was implicated in this because he was harping on three minutes that disappeared when he was playing golf with the president (Andrew Duggan). During those three minutes, the president was abducted and a phoney substituted, so you can see why the bad guys had to act.

    Meanwhile, something odd is going on at the oh-so-exclusive health and beauty resort Fabulous Face. Flint's involvement causes Lisa (Jean Hale) to invite Flint's latest bevy of beauties (three new ladies - he had to cut down, you know) to the resort while Flint is away teaching a survival course.

    I commented in my review of Our Man Flint that it was a touch sexist (hardly surprising for a film made in 1965). Well, I won't say too much, but this one is both better and worse in that area. Suffice it to say that this movie offers an explanation for the ground-swell of opinion that supported the women's movement in the 1960s, but I find the explanation almost as sexist! You'll see. If you are a card-carrying intolerant radical feminist, perhaps you might want to skip this film.

    Oh, this film probably qualifies as having the single worst simulations of skydiving and of zero gravity (and a fight scene in zero gravity, to boot!) that I have ever seen.

    By the way, Cramden's highly competent assistant, Lieutenant Austin, is played by Buzz Henry, who was also organiser of the big action sequences.

    It's very easy to poke fun at this movie, but I'd rather sit back and enjoy it. It is a nicely made piece of escapist fun, and that's all it ever intended to be.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This film was made in 1967. It celebrates its 35th birthday this year - isn't that exciting? No, I guess not. Considering the age of this film, it looks rather good - it looks like it has been well-preserved, but not restored, or perhaps restored, but not perfectly.

    After the Fox logo we get a large credit for Cinemascope, which implies an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. This transfer is presented in 2.35:1, and is 16x9 enhanced - good stuff.

    The picture is a touch soft, which is good, because it masks aliasing. Shadow detail is not particularly good - light shadows look good, but darker shadows fall off into black far too quickly. There is no low level noise.

    Colour is intense, vivid, and fully saturated, and that's necessary for this film - some of the clothes and furnishings are very bright. There are no colour-related artefacts, except that the opening titles are a tiny bit over-bright, and flaring.

    There are some film artefacts (what a surprise it would be if there weren't any on a 35 year old film!), but they are tiny - there are none worth pointing out. The only film artefact worth mentioning is the occasional bout of telecine wobble - see 21:38 and 23:05, for example.

    There's no significant aliasing, either. There's a touch of moire on a cupboard door, but it's very minor and momentary and there are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are subtitles in French, and captions in English. I only checked the English, but they are adequately accurate, legible, and well-timed.

    The disc is single sided and single layered. That means no layer change. The single layer is ample to hold this movie and the single trailer that is provided as an extra..

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are soundtracks in English and French. I listened to the English, which is in Dolby Digital 5.0 at 448kbps for no readily apparent reason. There is no directional sound, so one wonders why they bothered with a 5.1 track.

    Dialogue is easily understood. There are no audio sync troubles in the movie.

    The score is courtesy of Jerry Goldsmith. It is fairly normal fare for this sort of movie - not exactly clichéd, but nothing new or exciting.

    The surrounds are not given anything significant to do; heck, the fronts don't get anything much - this sounds like a mono soundtrack!

    The sub gets no signal from a 5.0 soundtrack unless your amplifier's bass management sends it bass the centre speaker can't handle, and there's not much low bass in this soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is static and silent.

Theatrical Trailer (0:56)

    This is quite a short trailer, and very scratchy. Look at this and be impressed how much better the film looks!

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version arrived recently. It's almost identical to this one, except that it has more chapter stops (24 instead of 15), and has four trailers instead of one. It has trailers for all four of the movies that were released together: the two Flint movies, Fathom (starring Racquel Welch), and Modesty Blaise (starring Monica Vitti) - just like the previous Flint movie. It's a minute amount sharper, but not enough to make a real difference. Once again, I think you could easily be happy with either version.

Summary

    In Like Flint is an enjoyable James Bond spoof, given an excellent transfer to DVD.

    The video quality is excellent, especially considering the age of the film.

    The audio quality is completely adequate, but far from special.

    The single extra is rudimentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Sunday, October 13, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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