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DEREK FLINT

Full Name: Derek Flint
Nationality: American
Organization: ZOWIE
Occupation: Agent

Actual Time Span: 1965-1967
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Derek Flint is an agent for ZOWIE.
       ZOWIE stands for the Zonal Organization World Intelligence Espionage.
       In 1965, 20th Century Fox presented its own version of a master spy to take on MGM's popular James Bond franchise. The first three James Bond movies had already made considerable money for that studio so Fox decided to try for itself.
       Their hero was wholly a celluloid creation, however, not a transfer from a book series. Derek Flint was the creation of Hal Fimberg, whose writing credentials, though sparse, did go back quite a few years.
       Whether it was in keeping with a growing trend to try and 'out-Bond Bond' or, more likely, to spoof the very macho Double-0 agent, Flint was the best at whatever he did and he did a lot.
       The movie, which came out in 1965, did quite well and turned star James Coburn into a leading man. From gruff, simmering ruffian-style characters he had played before, Coburn portrayed an extremely suave, sophisticated man-of-the-world and he did so with the same ease that he had played the coarser roles. This proved quite successfully that Coburn was a highly skilled actor.
       The success of any movie naturally breeds the desire for a sequel and two years later Coburn returned in 'In Like Flint'. This movie did not, apparently, do as well and the franchise stopped at two.
       The abilities and achievements of Derek Flint was far too numerous to list here. Just a few include a Black Belt in Judo, Olympic medals in at least 5 different events, degrees from 17 different universities, highly prized paintings, and the ability to speak fluently in 45 various languages and dialects.
       Flint was also, according to his 'boss', the most undisciplined, insubordinate man he had ever had to deal with. During WWII, this boss, Bruce Cramden, was Flint's senior officer and as such had the unfortunate task of trying to lead the versatile man.
       Now many years later, when a crisis arises that demands someone of Flint's abilities, he has to mend fences and get Derek help to save the world. Luckily, Flint is back in town, having just flown in from Moscow where he was asked to teach ballet.
       What a man!

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1965
Last Appearance:1967

1 Our Man Flint Our Man Flint      written by Jack Pearl     copyright 1965
A dastardly group of scientists have banded together, called their organization GALAXY, and created the technology to control the weather. Using it to drastically change the patterns around the world, they plan to extort from the governments of the world total disarmament to bring about peace and give GALAXY the chance to correctly rule the planet.

2 In Like Flint In Like Flint      written by Bradford Street     copyright 1967
Feminists have decided enough is enough and they are taking back the world. The first step is to replace the male leaders of the major powers with identical replicas, dedicated to their masters. When the President is replaced, Cramden begins to suspect and calls in Derek Flint to solve the problem.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:2
First Appearance:1966
Last Appearance:1967

1. Our Man Flint Our Man Flint (1966)   Director: Daniel Mann   Writer: Hal Fimberg (story and screenplay), Ben Starr (screenplay)
  Starring: James Coburn as Derek Flint, Lee J. Cobb as Cramden, Gila Golan as Gila, Edward Mulhare as Malcolm Rodney, Sigrid Valdis as Anna
Scientists are using their special skills to change the weather, all to bring the world to its knees and cede control to them.

2. In Like Flint In Like Flint (1967)   Director: Gordon Douglas   Writer: Hal Fimberg
  Starring: James Coburn as Derek Flint, Lee J. Cobb as Cramden, Andrew Duggan as President Trent, Jean Hale as Lisa Norton, Anna Lee as Elisabeth
A group of women are using their particular skills and allures to dominate the men in their lives, aiming for dominating the world.

MY COMMENTS

       Somewhere quite above the imaginative Bond films but still quite below the zany Austin Powers movies lies the two terrific Derek Flint movies. I loved Flint as he was the best a man could be and enjoyed all the wonderful rewards of being the best. The movies were campy as heck and did not worry about logic too much as they were intent on having fun. Fun they were.
       The book novelizations are quite respectable jobs of writing, especially the first, but suffer the common malady of the novelization in that the source material is a visual medium. A sly wink on the screen is hard to describe on a page. Still, they are fun reads.

GRADE

My Grade:   C


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