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Artwork copyright (c) 1966/7 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; review copyright (c) 2004 James Southall



Fun comedy spy scores


Twentieth Century Fox's response to the incredible success of the James Bond franchise in the 1960s was - 30 years before Austin Powers did the same thing - a comedy spoof of it, with James Coburn playing Derek Flint, the larger-than-life Bond figure who, according to the movie's poster, "makes love in 47 languages" as well as being a karate champion, brain surgeon, swordsman and nuclear physicist.  His cigarette lighter contains 82 death-dealing devices ("83 if you wish to light a cigar!") and his 4 luscious playmates live in his "love nest - built for 5."  In many ways, he is extremely similar to me.

There were two Flint films, made in quick succession and released in 1966 and 67.  This album from Varese Sarabande presents the premiere CD presentations of both scores, each by Jerry Goldsmith, making a rare venture into comedy.  Oddly, they're presented the wrong way around, so the sequel score, In Like Flint comes first.  It opens with a full presentation of the main theme in "Where the Bad Guys are Gals" which eagle-eyed listeners will notice is identical to John Debney's theme from Relative Values decades later.  It's notable in that it conjures up images of larger-than-life espionage without making even the slightest attempt to mimic or parody John Barry's Bond music.  "Get Flint" introduces the main theme from the first film (which of course you wouldn't know by this stage of the album!)  There's some nice action music, including the madcap "Odin, Dva, Tri, Kick" which interpolates various Russian pieces including Swan Lake.  There's even an original song, "Your Zowie Face", a bit of light jazz that's most entertaining.

If In Like Flint is fairly straight-faced for the most part, Our Man Flint - the original - is more madcap.  Big, bold and jazzy, it is based around a catchy and memorable main theme which is virtually ever-present.  Goldsmith throws all sorts of spanners into the works, including sections for Thomas organ, electric guitars and lots and lots of percussion.  While his career featured a great deal of variety upto that point, there was probably little of his previous output that would have suggested he would have been so adept at scoring comedy, but for this kind of zany, outlandish fun he was clearly perfect.  There are certainly hints of his television scores for The Man from UNCLE, composed around the same time.

These are hardly the most substantial scores in the world, but they're good fun and show a lighter side to Goldsmith.  Liner notes by Jon Burlingame are typically interesting, if a little on the brief side, and sound quality is crisp and clear.  It's the original film recordings presented here (as opposed to the re-recordings done for the original soundtrack LPs).

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In Like Flint

  1. Where the Bad Guys are Gals (2:41)
  2. The Golf Lesson (1:17)
  3. Get Flint (3:09)
  4. Ahh, Your Father's Bob-lip (2:39)
  5. Uninvited Ghost (1:03)
  6. Mince and Cook Until Tender (2:38)
  7. Ballet Music (1:14)
  8. Odin, Dva, Tri, Kick (4:06)
  9. The Deep Freeze (3:00)
  10. Ladies Will Kindly Remove their Hats (2:22)
  11. Your Zowie Face (2:11)
  12. Westward Ho (5:34)
  13. Lost in Space (2:22)
  14. Flint is Alive (1:20)
  15. End Titles (1:39)


Our Man Flint

  1. Our Man Flint (1:53)
  2. The Quest (2:11)
  3. Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone (2:21)
  4. New York Skyline (4:29)
  5. A Bit of Research (1:40)
  6. Tell Me More about that Volcano (2:28)
  7. Take Some Risks, Mr Flint (1:26)
  8. In Like Flint (1:27)
  9. The Boilermaker (1:04)
  10. Never Mind, You'd Love It (1:30)
  11. You're a Foolish Man, Mr Flint (2:06)
  12. It's Gotta be a World's Record (2:32)
  13. End Titles (1:59)