Film: Our Man Flint

aka: In Like Flint

A lighthearted 1966 parody of James Bond movies, starring James Coburn as super-mega-omnicool (ex-)Z.O.W.I.E. agent Derek Flint, along with Lee J. Cobb as his harried former boss, Lloyd Cramden. Flint is forced out of retirement to battle Galaxy, an organization led by a trio of Utopian Mad Scientists out to take over the world via their weather-control machine. His investigation leads him across Europe to Galaxy agents Gila and Rodney, and eventually Galaxy's secret headquarters. You can guess what happens then.

Easily one of the best of the slew of 1960s Bond imitations. A year later a sequel came out, In Like Flint, which was a fairly lackluster rehash. This, plus Coburn's reported desire to avoid being typecast in the role, put an end to any thought of an ongoing franchise, though many years later an in-name-only "sequel" was made for TV starring Ray Danton as Flint.

A major influence on the Austin Powers movies, to the point the sequel was explicitly referred to as being the title character's favorite movie.

Our Man Flint contains examples of:

  • The Ace: Derek Flint is a ludicrously competent Captain Ersatz of James Bond, with all of the latter's traits turned Up to Eleven. The Government tries to give him a code book? No need, he's designed a better one. They try to give him a gadget? He already has a better one. Training? He's a master fencer, martial artist, and dancer. He can meditate so deeply that it passes for death, and wake up with no ill effects. He can speak Italian so fluently that it fools natives. He does complicated surgery with a letter opener. He can tell you what city a Bouillabaisse was made in just from tasting it once. The whole movie is like this. And somehow James Coburn makes it awesome instead of annoying.
  • Affectionate Parody: Both films are parodies of the James Bond series films, particularly Flint's savoir faire and knowledge of esoteric subject areas.
  • Bald of Evil: Hans Gruber is a Galaxy agent who Flint kills in a bathroom. He's as bald as an egg.
  • Bar Brawl: A faked version between Flint and 0008 (Triple O 8).
  • Beyond the Impossible: Noted in-universe. Both movies feature a scene where, when the authorities learn Flint has survived, someone remarks, "That's impossible!" Kramden answers, "Of course it's impossible! That's why he's Flint!"
  • Big Electric Switch: Flint throws several of these in the Galaxy communications room in an attempt to mess up their operations and throws one to start the shutdown of the their Weather-Control Machine.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Flint's live-in playmates.
  • Brainwashed: The Galaxy organization uses hypnosis to turn women into "Pleasure Units" to provide sexual services for their male agents.
  • The Can Kicked Him: The unlamented Hans Gruber.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Flint's watch and its alarm feature.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Flint's suspended animation and fencing abilities.
  • Check Please: Flint's comment when he realizes that he's at the wrong restaurant.
  • Collapsing Lair: Derek Flint's sabotage of the machinery in Galaxy's Island Base causes it to blows up and destroy the base.
  • CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): After shocking a guard's heart back into beating, Flint does some mild chest compression on him.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Galaxy uses the electro-fragmentizer device to execute prisoners by causing them to disappear in a flash of light.
  • Disney Villain Death: Two Galaxy security guards, while fighting Flint on a catwalk.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: The villain organization Galaxy is reluctant to use guns to kill their opponents. The Galaxy leaders even point out that their Island Base is free of guns in an attempt to persuade the Hero Derek Flint to join them.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Galaxy's broadcast to the world of their plans and demands.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Flint does it twice while infiltrating Galaxy island.
  • Drive-In Theater: A fake one, used for sex-fantasy play.
  • Evil Brit: Malcolm Rodney is an important agent of the Galaxy organization. He constantly tries to undercut his boss Gila and repeatedly advises killing Derek Flint. He's portrayed as sleazy and completely untrustworthy.
  • Face Nod Action: The main Galaxy agents do this twice.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Zonal Organization for World Intelligence and Espionage. Atypically, "Galaxy" is not an example of this.
  • Gadget Watches: Flint has one which combines a sleep alarm and microscope. His lighter acts as a bomb detector and radio (with 80+ other functions).
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Gila is dressed in a bikini, then put in the brainwashing machine.
  • Groin Attack: Flint does it to Rodney in Galaxy headquarters.
  • Hand Signals: Both Rodney and Gila use them to command their Galaxy minions.
  • Harem Seeker: Flint starts the film with a four-woman harem and ends it with a five-woman harem. He may just add his "Bond Girls" as he acquires them on adventures.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Derek Flint and Lloyd Cramden use an electrical socket and their own bodies as an impromptu defibrillator. They're both fine afterwards.
  • High Heel-Face Turn: After having sex with Derek Flint, Galaxy agent Gila eventually succumbs to his charms and joins him.
  • He's Dead, Jim: Flint can tell whether a man is dead just by holding and looking at his face briefly.
  • Holding the Floor: The U.S. President is on television and about to surrender to the Galaxy organization. Derek Flint contacts his boss Lloyd Cramden and gives him the location of Galaxy Island, which will allow the U.S. to launch a counterattack. Cramden contacts the President:
    Cramden: Are you there, sir? Sir, stall! Stall, dammit! Flint is alive!
    President: Uh, no, uh, no great decision...
  • Hot Line: Lloyd Cramden, head of the agency Z.O.W.I.E. (Zonal Organization for World Intelligence and Espionage) has a red phone that he uses to communicate with the President of the United States.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: Galaxy does this to Gila to turn her into a pleasure slave.
  • Instrument of Murder: Gila uses her commandeered harp to fire a Poison Dart at Derek Flint in an assassination attempt.
  • Island Base: Galaxy Island is the headquarters of the Galaxy organization. Features include brainwashed women, a Weather-Control Machine and an anti-American eagle.
  • It Was Here, I Swear: A taxi driver takes Flint to the offices of Exotica. Galaxy operatives later cause the building to sink into the ground and set up a cafe in its place. When the taxi driver brings the authorities to look for Flint, he appears to have gone crazy when he claims there was a building there.
  • Kill and Replace: Just before Flint leaves on his mission he discovers that three ZOWIE guards have been killed and replaced by Galaxy agents who have been changed to look like the victims by plastic surgery.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Gila does this to signal to Flint that she's in the mood for love.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Derek Flint manages to revive a man from near-death by using an unorthodox defibrillation procedure. He has one man stick his finger in an light socket, then uses a human chain to apply the electricity and shock the victim's heart back into working.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: The Galaxy organization is able to use plastic surgery to turn several of its agents into perfect duplicates of ZOWIE guards. The work is so effective that it fools even their boss Lloyd Kramden - but not Derek Flint.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Z.O.W.I.E. chief Cramden must convince his reluctant old military subordinate Derek Flint to join up and save the day.
  • Mind-Control Device: A rotating wheel device is used to hypnotize women and turn them into pleasure slaves for men.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Flint kills a security guard on Galaxy Island (by crushing him with a forklift) in order to steal his uniform.
  • Only Mostly Dead: The guard that Flint brings back to life.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Both Poison Darts - Gila's harp-propelled needle and Flint's curare-tipped fly-killing blowgun dart.
  • Pressure Point: Flint, to several Galaxy personnel.
  • Railing Kill: Subverted twice. Flint fights two Mooks on an industrial catwalk, only one side has a railing, the Mooks go off the side that doesn't. Later, Evil Brit villain Malcolm Rodney goes over a stairway railing, but survives the fall.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: When Flint goes to Marseilles to find out which restaurant in the city serves bouillabaisse with a specific recipe, at one point he gives his order to a waiter in French.
  • Refusal of the Call: Superspy Flint is called on repeatedly by his erstwhile boss Kramden to save the world, but brushes him off disinterestedly. It's only when Kramden is hit in an assassination attempt meant for him that he figures he's in whether he likes it or not (and saves Kramden, naturally.)
  • Safe Cracking: When Flint opens the Exotica Beauty company safe.
  • Shoe Phone: Derek Flint turns down a briefcase full of spy weapons in favor of his cigarette lighter - which had 82 different functions. "83, if you want to light a cigarette."
  • Shout Out: After the three Galaxy leaders try to convince him to let them rule the world for its own good Flint says "All I have to do is take a bite of your apple?", a reference to Eve and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden.
  • Sleight of Tongue: Gila commits to her High Heel-Face Turn by using this method to slip Flint his cigarette lighter while kissing him.
  • Spotting the Thread: Flint sees through the otherwise perfect disguise of the fake guards with one glance at their uniform ribbons, seeing that one of the ribbons is made from a real - but unofficial - medal. Only ribbons corresponding to official medals are allowed to be worn on a uniform.
  • Spy Versus Spy: The movie featured a clash between Z.O.W.I.E. (Zonal Organization for World Intelligence and Espionage) vs. Galaxy (a parody of SPECTRE).
  • Stealth Parody: The movie rarely cracks wise and mostly plays everything straight, just very, very exaggerated.
  • Styrofoam Rocks: In the climax, one of Flint's fleeing girlfriends is hit by a styrofoam "boulder" and it bounces right off.
  • Superpower Lottery: Did we mention that Flint is super-mega-omnicool? The DVD commentary lists Flint's accomplishments, as noted in an early version of the script. Basically, Flint is the most amazing mortal man ever.
  • Tempting Fate: Lloyd Cramden is sure they have the enemy cornered...
  • Trojan Horse: After Galaxy traps Flint inside an air-tight chamber, he places himself in suspended animation (and appears to be dead) so Galaxy will takes his body to its Island Base.
  • Up to Eleven: the method of parodying James Bond: Anything Bond does, Flint does better.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Galaxy orders the nations of the worlds to destroy their armaments and threatens to wipe out humanity with its control of weather, earthquakes and volcanoes if they don't comply. If their demands are agreed to they promise a perfect world under their control.
  • Weather-Control Machine: Galaxy possesses a weather control device that can somehow also cause earthquakes and volcanic erutions.
  • Well Intentioned Extremist: The leaders of the Galaxy organization threaten to destroy civilization with their Weather-Control Machine unless the nations of the world disarm. They promise to make the world a paradise if they are obeyed.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Rodney, for about ten seconds before the roof caves in on him.

In Like Flint features:

  • Ashes to Crashes: Flint escapes after falling onto a conveyor belt leading to a document incinerator during a fight scene. It helps that the villains thought they had finished him off. In a possibly deliberate homage to this scene, Diamonds Are Forever has James Bond being left for dead in an incinerator only to escape a fiery end.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Flint's ability to speak dolphin comes in handy during an infiltration.
  • Clock Discrepancy: Cramden discovers the plot to replace the President with an Evil Twin when he times the President's golf swing and his watch says it took 3 minutes.
  • Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: Derek Flint falls onto a conveyor belt and is almost carried to his doom inside a document furnace. Later, a man falls from a height onto the belt and suffers that fate.
  • Disguised in Drag: By Cramden of all people.
  • Empty Quiver: The nukes that Gen. Carter takes control of on the space platform.
  • Face Nod Action: A "chain of nods" occurs when the female commandos from Fabulous Face nod at each other before beginning "Operation Smooch".
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball: When Derek Flint was on an Aeroflot plane going to Cuba, he started a sing-along in Russian and a red star (symbol of the Soviet Union) bounced on the subtitled words (also in Russian) as they were sung.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Lloyd Cramden is electrocuted by a malfunctioning electronic bugging device with no aftereffects.
  • Harmless Freezing: Flint's girlfriends and the cryogenic freezers.
  • Improbable Taxonomy Skills: From microscopic traces Derek Flint is able to identify the residue of exotic flowers and herbs (styrax, ylang, mimosa, hyacinth, cannabis and Macedonian brawley).
  • Insane Troll Logic: At one point Flint breaks into Z.O.W.I.E's headquarters to investigate two people. The only information he manages to find on them is their heart rate measures, and he then declares the following: "80 heartbeats per minute. Must be Russian cosmonauts!" Then he realizes that they're female Russian cosmonauts.
  • Kill It with Fire: Narrowly avoided with the document incinerator scene. See Ashes to Crashes.
  • Kiss of Distraction: The women agents from Fabulous Face perform "Operation Smooch" to distract and disarm the men guarding the missile base.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Z.O.W.I.E. chief Cramden must convince his reluctant old military subordinate Derek Flint to join up and save the day.
  • Murder by Cremation: In a government document-disposal complex, Flint (actually the guy he was fighting) is put into the incinerator and reduced to a pile of fine ash, riding there on a Conveyor Belt-O-Doom.
  • Put on a Bus: Flint's harem from the first movie, all of whom have been replaced.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Flint teaches ballet.
  • Reflective Eyes: Flint hypnotizes Lloyd Cramden with a watch that blinks in a circular pattern. The dots appear on Cramden's eyes as he's looking at it.
  • Space Is Noisy: Since space is an airless vacuum one should not be able to use sound waves to propel oneself through it...unless you're Derek Flint.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Flint is compiling a dolphin dictionary. Considering how well trained his dogs are it's conceivable he can talk to them as well.
  • Stand-In Portrait: Derek Flint dresses up as a Z.O.W.I.E. officer and stands in front of a recruiting poster before infiltrating a Top Secret Z.O.W.I.E. complex.
  • Straw Feminist: the villains are essentially four women in the fashion and beauty industries who decide to take over the world because they believe women are superior to men in everything. As the movie came out before Second Wave Feminism took off, they are missing some of the more usual traits for this trope. They are also almost immediately betrayed by their male co-conspirators as soon as they reveal their plan to Flint
  • Sword of Damocles: The nuclear-armed space platorm (a.k.a. "Project Damocles") that Gen. Carter takes control of.

Alternative Title(s):

In Like Flint