Our Man Flint is 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 C. 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 (Gila Golan and Edward Mulhare), and eventually Galaxy's secret island 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 features Coburn and Cobb reprising their roles in 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. Bond has a Bond Girl? Flint has a harem. 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. Flint is also a Parody Sue.
- Affectionate Parody: Both films are parodies of the James Bond series films, particularly Flint's savoir faire and knowledge of esoteric subject areas.
- Always Someone Better: Flint is this to James Bond. See The Ace, above.
- American Eagle: Inverted. The Galaxy organization has an anti-American eagle guarding its headquarters: it's trained to detect and attack Americans. After Flint destroys the Island Base, the last scene in the movie is the eagle soaring over it.
- 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).
- Bathroom Brawl: While in a restaurant bathroom, Derek Flint has a fight with Hans Gruber and ends up stabbing him to death.
- 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 their Weather-Control Machine.
- Blatant Lies: Hans Gruber is a much nicer person now!
- 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.
- Cave Behind the Falls: There is a waterfall that falls into the ocean on the side of the Galaxy Island volcano. The waterfall itself comes out of a cave in the side of the volcano, and at the base of the waterfall (i.e. at sea level) there is a cave behind the waterfall into which Galaxy submarines may pass.
- Chekhov's Gun: Flint's watch and its alarm feature.
- Chekhov's Skill
- Flint is shown putting himself in suspended animation and later waking himself up when his watch alarm goes off. He later uses this ability to put himself in suspended animation and appear to be dead so Galaxy will take him to its Island Base.
- Flint is shown fencing with several men and defeating them. Late in the movie he fences with Rodney.
- 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 blow 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.
- Disintegration Chamber: Galaxy uses the electro-fragmentizer device (a large machine in its own room, into which things—or people—can be thrown and/or fall into) 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.
- Fictional United Nations: Z.O.W.I.E. - The Zonal Organization (for) World Intelligence (and) Espianage.
- Forklift Fu: While on Galaxy Island, Flint kills a guard by crushing him against a wall with a fork lift.
- 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.
- GPS Evidence: Flint is able to track Galaxy to Marseilles through trace quantities of garlic, saffron and paprika left on a dart used by a Galaxy agent in a ratio that he somehow knows is only used in bouillabaisse - and only in restaurants in Marseilles.
- Groin Attack: After Malcolm Rodney throws a drink in Flint's face, Flint knees Rodney in the groin.
- 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.
- He's Dead, Jim
- Flint can tell whether a man is dead just by holding and looking at his face briefly. When the bodies of the two Z.O.W.I.E. guards are found, Flint briefly examines one of them and says "This one's gone."
- After Flint appears to have asphyxiated in the sealed vault, Rodney briefly checks his body and decides that he's dead. It turns out that Flint is actually in suspended animation and is still alive.
- High-Heel–Face Turn: After getting constantly talked down by Rodney in front of Galaxy's leaders — to the point where she is about to be enslaved as a "Pleasure Unit" — Gila turns on Galaxy.
- 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...
- Hotline: 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 Captive: Galaxy hypnotizes Gila to turn her into a pleasure slave.
- Impeded Communication: After the GALAXY organization delivers its Do Not Adjust Your Set disarmament ultimatum to the nations of the world, they jam worldwide airwave communication (such as radio).
- Instrument of Murder: Gila uses her commandeered harp to fire a Poisoned Weapons at Derek Flint in an assassination attempt.
- Insufferable Genius: Flint is a true badass with enough skills and his own personally-made arsenal of gadgets that every candidate Z.O.W.I.E.'s computer generated with him. However, Z.O.W.I.E.'s leader Crampden hates Flint because of his Awesome Ego and continuously points out Flint's lack of discipline.
- 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 male Galaxy mooks.
- Mood Whiplash: Our Man Flint is intended to be a light-hearted spoof of Bond, but it's also a very violent movie, with Flint's murder of a mook in a nightclub bathroom not only treated in dead-serious fashion, it's more violent (with the implication that Flint disables the man and then proceeds to deliberately slit his throat, covering his hands in blood in the process) than anything seen in the 1960s (or 70s, 80s, or 90s) Bond films.note
- Mouthing the Profanity: Gila tries to kill Flint by firing a drug-tipped dart at him using the strings of a harp. When she misses and hits Lloyd Cramden instead, she mouths the word "shit" and escapes.
- Mugged for Disguise: Flint kills a security guard on Galaxy Island (by crushing him with a forklift) in order to steal his uniform.
- Natural Disaster Cascade: The villainous organization uses a Weather-Control Machine to create earthquakes, volcanoes, storms and other natural disasters, using the threat of unleashing more to force the world's nations to give up weapons and nuclear energy.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Flint only decides to accept the mission after Galaxy sends Gila to kill him. Hans Gruber and Gila trying again leads Flint to the false front company. Trapping Flint and bringing him to the Island Base lets him infiltrate it. Rodney's constant abuse of Gila and her impending enslavement leads to a Heel–Face Turn that is instrumental in saving Flint and Galaxy being "put into orbit".
- Noodle Incident: Flint contemptuously comments that members of Rodney's family always choose the wrong side.
- Nude-Colored Clothes: Some of Galaxy's Pleasure Units can be briefly glimpsed wearing flesh-colored leotards.
- Only Mostly Dead: The guard that Flint brings back to life.
- Open Secret: Galaxy knows Flint is coming for them even before he does. In fact, it is only after they try to kill him, that he finally accepts the assignment.
- Poisoned Weapons: Both Poison Darts - Gila's harp-propelled needle and Flint's curare-tipped fly-killing blowgun dart.
- Pressure Point: Flint applies pressure to the necks of several Galaxy personnel on Galaxy Island so can sabotage the machinery.
- Railing Kill: Subverted twice. Flint fights two Galaxy 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.
- While talking with the Italian cab driver in Rome, some of the comments by Flint and the driver aren't translated.
- 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.)
- Renaissance Man: Superspy Derek Flint is an expert in a variety of fields, including martial arts, fencing, building scientific devices (e.g. a lighter with 83 functions), ballet dancing, speaking multiple languages (including at least French and Italian), paramedic training (poisons and resuscitation) and identifying chemical substances (including cold cream and which city and which restaurant a bouillabaisse came from).
- Safe Cracking: When Flint opens the Exotica Beauty company safe.
- Sex Slave: The Pleasure Units.
- 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.
- Spies Are Lecherous: Exaggerated; Derek Flint makes Bond himself look like a Casanova Wannabe. He starts the film with four female lovers, then later seduces the villain's love slave and adds her to his harem.
- 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...
- Threatening Mediator: Galaxy's leaders play a pretty excessive version of this as their Evil Plan: total world peace (with them leading the world, as well) or The End of the World as We Know It.
- 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.
- Unified Naming System: Z.O.W.I.E. (Zonal Organization World Intelligence Espionage) vs. GALAXY. (Or rather, evidently, just "Galaxy".)
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Galaxy orders the nations of the worlds to destroy their nuclear 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.
- Villainous Breakdown: Rodney, for about ten seconds before the roof caves in on him.
- Weather-Control Machine: Galaxy possesses a weather control device that can somehow also cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
- 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 their nuclear weapons. They promise to make the world a paradise if they are obeyed.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Near the end of the film, hundreds of Galaxy personnel (many of them being innocent, brainwashed Pleasure Units rather than willing conspirators) are shown desperately trying to flee the impending eruption of the Galaxy Island volcano. At the end of the film the volcano starts to erupt and the island explodes. There is no mention of their being rescued before this occurs, so their fate is unknown.
In Like Flint features:
- Air-Vent Passageway: While in Moscow, Flint escapes from Russian agents, opens an air vent cover and goes inside. He then crawls down the tunnel and spies upon the Prime Minister (presumably they meant the Premier).
- 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.
- Aside Glance: At the end, the three leaders of the feminist conspiracy assure the President that they accept that the world is better in male hands. They then turn to the audience and give knowing looks, indicating that they have no intention of giving up on their plans of world domination.
- Chekhov's Skill: Flint's ability to speak dolphin comes in handy during the aquatic infiltration of the Fabulous Face resort.
- The Chew Toy: Cramden gets drugged, hypnotized, electrocuted and frozen.
- 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 places 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 is on an Aeroflot plane going to Cuba, he starts a sing-along in Russian and a red star (symbol of the Soviet Union) bounces on the subtitled words (also in Russian) as they are sung.
- Harmless Electrocution: Lloyd Cramden is electrocuted by a malfunctioning electronic bugging device with no aftereffects.
- Harmless Freezing: Flint's girlfriends are put in cryogenic freezers with no preparation. After he defrosts them, they're completely O.K.
- 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).
- Improvised Zip Line: While on a mission in Moscow, Flint is pursued by Soviet agents. He jumps onto the top of a tower and fires a line to the top of another building using his multi-function lighter. He then slides down the line to the top of the building and safety.
- 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.
- Karma Houdini: The original masterminds of the plot get off with just a scolding from the President after General Carter usurps their plot and is then thwarted by Flint.
- 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.
- Parental Bonus: The title is a reference to the risque phrase "In like Flynn".
- Put on a Bus: Flint's harem from the first movie, all of whom have been replaced; Flint says they are all married now.
- Reality Has No Subtitles
- When Flint is on a Russian plane to Cuba, he speaks Spanish to the stewardess and both Spanish and Russian to the pilots, all without translation.
- At the end of the movie Flint is on a space platform in orbit with two female cosmonauts. He speaks to them in Russian.
- 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.
- Renaissance Man: Superspy Derek Flint is an expert in a variety of fields, including martial arts, sonics, desert survival, hypnotism, identifying chemical substances (such as a psychotropic drug), astronaut training and speaking multiple languages (including at least Russian, Spanish and dolphin).
- 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. He twice talks to dolphins in their own language.
- A Spy at the Spa: The Fabulous Face beauty spa uses special hairdryers to brainwash their female clients into becoming ardent feminists. It then uses them as spies for the organization.
- 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.
- Storming the Castle: Flint storms the Z.O.W.I.E. missile base with an army of scantily-clad women. Their plan: "Operation Smooch". They overcome the male guards by seducing them with sexual flirtation, when that doesn't work, beating them up.
- 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 turns a civilian research station into and takes control of.
- Tainted Tobacco: Norton drugs Cramden using cigarettes treated with a soporific substance and stages a compromising scene with a prostitute at a hotel.
- Zero-G Spot: Flint ends the movie on the space platform, making out with two lady cosmonauts.