Follow TV Tropes


Film / Operation Lovebirds

Go To

Operation Lovebirds (original title Slå Først Frede) is a 1965 Danish James Bond spoof movie, starring Ove Sprogøe, Morten Grunwald and Poul Bundgaard and directed by Erik Balling. The same team would go on to make the hugely popular Olsen-banden movie series, that in many ways can be seen as a Spiritual Successor to Operation Lovebirds.

Frede Hansen (Grunwald) is a happy-go-lucky novelty salesman, who is mistaken for a secret agent by the evil and mysterious Dr. Pax and The Dragon, the murderous Eastern European Kolick (Bundgaard). Real secret agent Schmidt from Danish Intelligence (Sprogøe) recruits Frede, hoping to use him as a decoy to flush out Dr. Pax. The mismatched duo start a race against time to find Dr. Pax and stop him, their only lead being the beautiful Swedish pigeon trainer Sonja (Essy Persson) and her lovebirds.


Operation Lovebirds won the Bodil Award (the most prestigious Danish film award) in 1966 for Best Picture, and Poul Bundgaard won the Bodil for Best Actor in a supporting role for his portrayal of the sinister Kolick, who gradually breaks down because of his constant failure to kill Frede.

Received a sequel in 1966 by the same director and with much of the same central cast, named Relax Freddie (Slap af, Frede!).


This film provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Frede. And how. He kills more mooks by accident that Schmidt does on purpose.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Dr. Pax only has three interests in life: money, power and pigeons.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Frede's pistol, that can fire both forwards and backwards. He can never remember which setting is which.
  • Big Bad: Dr. Pax
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The good agents wear white cottoncoats, Dr. Pax's men wear black leather coats.
  • The Dragon: Kolick
  • Expy: Schmidt is basically Sean Connery's James Bond turned up to eleven.
  • Having a Gay Old Time: Frede calls the gun Schmidt gives him a "bøsse", a Danish term for gun that is today almost exclusively used in its other meaning, a gay man.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sonja.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happens to Schmidt after he discovers that Dr. Pax is really his boss.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • And later:
      Schmidt: Bang ... bang ... bang ... bang..bang..bang..bangbang..bangbangbang..
  • Mood Whiplash: Kolick's first scene, where he stabs a Mook who has displeased Dr. Pax, is very grisly, in contrast to the light-hearted tone of the rest of the film.
  • More Dakka: Kolick's last attempt to eliminate Frede. It doesn't work.
  • No Name Given: Schmidt's superior is only referred to as "Sir".
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Frede, after taking a sip from a drink that Sonja had probably poisoned.
    • Dr. Pax, after realizing that he accidentally put homing pigeons in his pigeon-controlled rockets.
      Dr. Pax: They always come back!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Frede gets very angry, when Schmidt admits that he does not know how to get them out of Kolick's death trap, and gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that reduces Schmidt to despair:
    Frede: What do you mean "You can't"??? Who the Hell do you think you are, you were the one who got me into this bloody mess in the first place! I was just going to go home to Odense and then YOU came along with all your crap about playing Superman and all your bullshit! When all is said and done you're fucking useless ...
  • Red Right Hand: Kolick has a prosthetic right hand with a built-in switchblade.
    Frede: That's very ... handy.
  • Serious Business: A stylish look is very important for a secret agent:
    Schmidt: You will of course receive all necessary equipment. First of all you will need some decent clothes.
    Frede: ("what's wrong with my clothes" look)
    Schmidt: Three sets at least, plus a white tuxedo.
    Frede: A white tuxedo?
    Schmidt: Indispensible!
  • Shout-Out: Frede snorkeling over to Dr. Pax's island base in his white tuxedo is a Shout-Out to the famous opening of Goldfinger where James Bond emerges from the sea and removes his scuba gear to reveal a white tuxedo underneath.
  • Title Drop: The Danish title is dropped by Schmidt, the international by Dr. Pax.
  • Truth in Television: There was an actual WWII project (named, of course, Project Pigeon) that was trying to build a pigeon-guided glide bomb.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: One of the earliest parodies of the genre. See also Serious Business above.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kolick gets several of these, as he tries, and fails to eliminate Frede.