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The Silencers (1966, Dean Martin, Stella Stevens)



This super-cool James Bondesque adventure stars DEAN MARTIN as ex-secret agent Matt Helm persuaded back into the fold by an attractive former partner for one last hurrah against a formidable foe. Chinese supervillain Tung-Tze (VICTOR BUONO) and his evil Big O organisation plan to sabotage an American missile to ensure its detonation in a New Mexico location, thus spawning widespread devastation and a third world war. Can Matt Helm prevent this disaster?

The first of a quartet of Matt Helm movies, The Silencers boasts all the usual spoof spy elements: a majestic bachelor pad, custom-built weapons and gadgetry, global intrigue and the obligatory bevy of beauties. (The tag line invited the audience to ‘Follow his secret from bedroom to bedlam, with guns, girls and dynamite!’)

Though much of the fun is tongue-in-cheek, there are some genuinely dramatic moments and Martin excels as the laid-back hero. Producer Irving Berlin was once in league with Cubby Broccoli but they fell out and went their separate ways. While Berlin went on to make his Matt Helm series, Broccoli, of course, spawned the hugely successful 007 series of films.

production details
USA | 102 minutes | 1966

Director: Phil Karlson
Writer: Oscar Saul, based on the novels The Silencers and Death of a Citizen by Donald Hamilton

Dean Martin as Matt Helm
Stella Stevens as Gail Hendricks
Daliah Lavi as Tina
Victor Buono as Tung-Tze
Arthur O’Connell as Joe Wigman
Robert Webber as Sam Gunther
James Gregory as MacDonald
Nancy Kovack as Barbara
Cyd Charisse as Sarita
David Bond as Dr. Naldi
John Reach as Traynor
Beverly Adams as Lovey Kravezit
Roger C. Carmel as Andreyev
Richard Devon as Domino
Margie Nelson as Specialty Dancer
Margaret Teele as Slaymate
Larri Thomas as Specialty Dancer
Leoda Richards as Nightclub Patron
Frank Gerstle as Frazer