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CHARLES VINE

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Full Name: Charles Vine
Nationality: British
Organization: MI-6
Occupation Agent

Creator: Lindsay Shonteff
Time Span: 1965 - 1968

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Charles Vine is an agent with the British Secret Service.
       This is the same organization which employs James Bond; though his name is never mentioned in full, it is alluded to on more than one occassion. Vine is, according to the fellow in charge, fully qualified and ready for action though not as experienced as his more accomplished colleague.
       Vine is in his late 20s when we first meet him. He had for a time considered a career in academia working in the field of Mathematics but opted for something which paid a lot better. As he explained, while he enjoyed having figures in his head, the figures in his bank account were not very good so another line of wokr was in order. How he made the transition from studying numbers to fighting foreign agents is not known.
       Known, though, are his qualifications and in those he is quite well placed, making the top of his training class in hand-to-hand combat and in weaponry. He shows this several times in his adventures, firing his pistol at bad guys from all sorts of unusual angles and positions. He shows himself to be every bit as cool under pressure whether that means dealing with several nasties shooting at him or dealing with the large number of gorgeous women who find him too attractive to ignore. His "this happens to me every day" responses are quite interesting and entertaining; nothing seems to phase him.
       Vine does have an attractive physique, lean lines which fill his three-piece suits perfectly, short black hair plastered to his scalp such that even when rolling about on the ground shooting his pistol or diving over cars or knocking several blokes around with his fists, his coiffure never alters. The epitome of suave.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:3
First Appearance:1965
Last Appearance:1968

1 Licensed To Kill Licensed To Kill
Also known as aka The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World
Director: Lindsay Shonteff
Writers: Lindsay Shonteff, Howard Griffiths
Actors: Tom Adams as Charles Vine, Karel Stepanek as Henrik Jacobsen
Released: 1965

A Swedish scientist has come up with an anti-gravity machine which lots of people are willing to kill for. The British Secret Service assigns Charles Vine to escort him to London and to take out anyone coming after them.

2 Where The Bullets Fly Where The Bullets Fly
Director: John Gilling
Writer: Michael Pittock
Actors: Tom Adams as Charles Vine, Dawn Addams as Felicity 'Fiz' Moonlight
Released: 1966

Spurium is a light-weight material that allows nuclear powered aircraft to operate. The Royal Air Force is testing it. Bad people want to steal it. Charles Vine is in charge of protecting it.

3 Somebody's Stolen Our Russian Spy Somebody's Stolen Our Russian Spy
Also known as O.K. Yevtushenko
Director: José Luis Madrid
Writers: José Luis Madrid, Michael Pittock
Actors: Tom Adams as Charles Vine, Tim Barrett as Major Kovacs, Maria Silva as Pandora, Barta Barri as Colonel Yevtushenko
Released: 1968

A Russian spy working with the British has apparently been murdered but was in fact kidnapped by Albanians working for the Red Chinese. Charles Vine is sent to learn the truth and to bring back the agent or eliminate him.

MY COMMENTS

       I first heard of these movies near the start of the 70's, a couple of years after the last one came out. I wanted to see them largely because of the gorgeous women in the posters but this was long before the VCR or DVD or streaming so unless I happened to catch one on the late show, which I never did, I was out of luck. Today, of course, they are available but now I have to wonder whether I want to spend $10-$20 for a copy of a movie I would certainly not watch more than once.
       but I persevered and did get to watch the first movie and actually enjoyed it a lot, despite the illogic of much of it. I liked the coolness that the lead actor, Tom Adams, played, well, everything. Nothing seemed to get to him. He wasn't blase about it particularly - things just happened and he went along with it.
       The second movie was a lot sillier and, to me, a lot more fun although I have only seen portions of it. There is a scene in a morgue where Vine heads to get a bar of a very rare metal and ends up in a shoot-out with some fake policemen who are shooting it out with some possibly real policeman, all the while the medical examiner is ducking for cover in his office, nervous but so much he cannot take the time to drop a couple of sugar cubes in his tea. It is very amusing and worth watching.
       I have not seen any of the third adventure and I have tried to several times, not only because I want to say I did but also because it has Diana Lorys and she is worth watching anytime.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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