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The Matt Helm Franchise


David Guercio
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I just watched the first Matt Helm movie last night.  The Silencers from Dean Martin’s Birthday tribute not to long ago.  It’s so funny.  I also remember when they all were TCM premires here on TCM when Dean Martin was SOTM a few September’s ago.  In fact.  That was what Ben’s intro was actually from.  They’re all so funny and it’s also great to actually Dean Martin as a Secret Agent in a slapstick comedy role too.  Does anyone remember if there was maybe a box set on sale at the TCM shop then and of course it was a book series.  Then a TV series.  Then this franchise with Dean Martin.  Do you think they actually got the idea for this franchise from the Bond franchise and maybe from the Pink Panther franchise too?

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1 hour ago, David Guercio said:


I just watched the first Matt Helm movie last night.  The Silencers from Dean Martin’s Birthday tribute not to long ago.  It’s so funny.  I also remember when they all were TCM premires here on TCM when Dean Martin was SOTM a few September’s ago.  In fact.  That was what Ben’s intro was actually from.  They’re all so funny and it’s also great to actually Dean Martin as a Secret Agent in a slapstick comedy role too.  Does anyone remember if there was maybe a box set on sale at the TCM shop then and of course it was a book series.  Then a TV series.  Then this franchise with Dean Martin.  Do you think they actually got the idea for this franchise from the Bond franchise and maybe from the Pink Panther franchise too?

I don't know if TCM sells it but there is a box set. I bought one on eBay and had my own Matt Helm festival. 

I'm a huge Matt Helm fan primary because it so closely resembles my everyday life!

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40 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

I don't know if TCM sells it but there is a box set. I bought one on eBay and had my own Matt Helm festival. 

I'm a huge Matt Helm fan primary because it so closely resembles my everyday life!

LOL

And I'M more the Derek Flint fan, and primarily because James Coburn so closely resembles, well...ME!

(...or maybe the other way around, anyway)

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4 minutes ago, Dargo said:

LOL

And I'M more the Derek Flint fan, and primarily because James Coburn so closely resembles ME!

(...or maybe the other way around, anyway)

Well you know what they say . . . James Coburn is the poor man's Lee Marvin.

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Just now, Moe Howard said:

Well you know what they say . . . James Coburn is the poor man's Lee Marvin.

And ya know, I've occasionally had people tell me that I look like Lee Marvin too.

(...especially when my hair is cut short)

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9 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

Well . . .howdy sailor. . . in port for long??? *wink*

LOL

What was that line Bugs Bunny occasionally used in these sorts of situations? Oh, yeah.

(..."I didn't know you CARED?!")

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13 minutes ago, Dargo said:

LOL

What was that line Bugs Bunny occasionally used in these sorts of situations? Oh, yeah.

(..."I didn't know you CARED?!")

My hands are full at the moment, I'll be with you right after. . . 

silencers2-bg-drive.gif?resize=500,274&s

silencers2-cl1-swtr.jpg?resize=664,372&s

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Didn't you recently tell me you once had an old Triumph like Dino's '66 Bonnie here?...

tumblr_lxbetn9HYL1r2wxcjo1_r1_500.png

(...can you make out who the blonde babe is riding pillion?...must have been featured in one of his Helm flicks)

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Didn't you recently tell me you once had an old Triumph like Dino's '66 Bonnie here?...

tumblr_lxbetn9HYL1r2wxcjo1_r1_500.png

(...can you make out who the blonde babe is riding pillion?...must have been featured in one of his Helm flicks)

 

 

Looks like a 650 Bonneville. She might be the one on the left in this pic. . .

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f1/30/11/f1301188b86309ebbb9c1013e823724d.jpg

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20 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

Looks like a 650 Bonneville. She might be the one on the left in this pic. . .

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f1/30/11/f1301188b86309ebbb9c1013e823724d.jpg

Yeah, it could be her. Wonder what her name is/was?

(...and yeah, sure, it's a 650cc Bonneville alright, and like I said up there, a 1966 year model ...I can tell because the '66's were the only year with white gas tanks and with the orange stripes that ran across the top of it...see?!...I know even more about Triumph motorcycles than I do about unicorns!) ;)

LOL

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3 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Yeah, it could be. Wonder what her name is/was?

(...and yeah, sure, it's a 650cc Bonneville alright, and like I said up there, a 1966 year model ...I can tell because the '66's were the only year with white gas tanks and with the orange stripes that ran across the top of it)

The proportions just look so good. On the bike!!!   That big drum brake in front. Lord I hated those things. 

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16 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

The proportions just look so good. On the bike!!!   That big drum brake in front. Lord I hated those things. 

LOL

Oh yeah. Bonnevilles have been considered by many as one of the best looking motorcycles ever made, and with the whole "proportions" thing very often mentioned as a major reason for it.

And yep, those old single-leading shoe front brakes were pretty poor anchors alright. Had the same one of my old 1966 BSA 650cc Lightning back in the day. The later twin-leading shoe front brakes starting with the 1968 year models were a great improvement.

(...gee, I wonder if Dave the OP of this thread might think so TOO???) LOL

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12 hours ago, Dargo said:

(...can you make out who the blonde babe is riding pillion?...must have been featured in one of his Helm flicks)

Sorry, I forgot the bike was from The Ambushers and that's a different set of Slaygirls. She's Linda Foster.

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Over the past couple of years I have read all of the Matt Helm books by Donald Hamilton.  They were reprinted and few years ago and are showing up at places selling reminder books.

They are interesting, but nothing remotely like the Dean Martin movies.  Straight forward spy thriller type books.  No comedy and very few women for that matter.

I also read all the James Bond books when I was in high school.

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1 hour ago, ElCid said:

Straight forward spy thriller type books.  No comedy and very few women for that matter.

According to Wikipedia Paramount was fairly serious about a new series more closely styled after the books. Bradley Cooper was slated to play Helm and he'd be a "Jason Bourne" style character. 

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14 hours ago, Moe Howard said:

I don't know if TCM sells it but there is a box set. I bought one on eBay and had my own Matt Helm festival. 

I'm a huge Matt Helm fan primary because it so closely resembles my everyday life!

*Enjoying (theHECK) Outta Your Reparte', with Dargo, Here.

😂🥂

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18 hours ago, David Guercio said:

 Do you think they actually got the idea for this franchise from the Bond franchise and maybe from the Pink Panther franchise too?

Eurospy was its own genre of films in the mid 60's soon after the Bond franchise began. There's lots of films like this out there.

The craze followed the "sword and sandal" films, and was followed by the "spaghetti westerns"

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18 hours ago, Dargo said:

LOL

And I'M more the Derek Flint fan, and primarily because James Coburn so closely resembles, well...ME!

(...or maybe the other way around, anyway)

I'm watching an episode of The Rifleman, James Coburn is in this one only he's billed as Jim Coburn! I think you're better looking than James, dargo ;)

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1 hour ago, lavenderblue19 said:

I'm watching an episode of The Rifleman, James Coburn is in this one only he's billed as Jim Coburn! I think you're better looking than James, dargo ;)

Thanks, lav!

I also caught him recently in that post-apocalyptic TZ episode titled "The Old Man in the Cave".

(...ya know I'm thinkin' it's about time TCM should honor the guy with at least a SUTS day, don't ya think?)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Before watching The Silencers, I did my pre-screening research and found an interesting item on wikipedia.  "It is notable as being the first film to have a post-credits scene."  I was

disappointed when this scene was not included on TCM.  I couldn't find it on other internet video services.  Is this a lost scene?

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