Dick Smart 2.007 (1967)


Directed by Franco Prosperi
Richard Wyler, Margaret Lee, Rosana Tapajós, Ambrosio Fregolente
Music by Mario Nascimbene

Dick Smart 2.007 is an ‘out-there’ Eurospy production. It features Richard Wyler as swinging sixties dilettante, womaniser, and sometimes spy, Dick Smart. Dick Smart is hired by the CIA, for a fee of one million dollars, after five atomic scientists go missing from around the world. It appears that someone is using the men to put together an atomic bomb; but who? It’s Smart’s job to find out.

The first half hour of the film is nonsensical. There is no investigation on Smart’s behalf and the story doesn’t really make sense. But it isn’t boring. It’s fast paced and there a few gags about ‘bottoms’. And a film isn’t hard to watch, when the ‘bottoms’ are the shapely female kind, the type found in bikinis on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Who cares about plot?

Thankfully the film does settle down, and a more typical spy story starts to evolve. The films other main characters are Lady Lorraine Lister, played by the beautiful Margaret Lee. Apart from being the ‘beauty’ she is also the ‘brains’ behind the atomic mystery. In fact she isn’t building a bomb at all. She is building a device that converts carbon (chunks of coal) in diamonds using an atomic radiation device.

Lady Lister has a partner called McDiamond (although that could be Black Diamond), played by Ambrosio Fregolente. McDiamond is kind of creepy. He speaks through an electronic device fastened to his throat (his voice sounds very similar to the computerised voice in Jean Luc Goddard’s Alphaville but I couldn’t say if it is a homage or not?) Partnerships in spy films don’t tend to last too long, and this one is no exception. McDiamond has the time of his life torturing Lady Lister in the second half of the film. Not that I condone torture, but I like the sequence where McDiamond ties Lady Lister to the bow of his boat.

The other major character is Jeanine Stafford, played by Rosana Tapajós. She is a fellow CIA agent who tries to help Smart along the way. Needles to say, she is more of a hindrance than a help, but on the odd occasion she does come through with the goods and saves Smart’s bacon. The character seems to be derived from the goofy Stella Stevens character in The Silencers. But by that same logic it’s interesting to compare Tapajós’ CIA character with Sharon Tate’s ICE character in The Wrecking Crew which was made two years later in 1969.

The film features some wonderfully silly gadgets. There’s a chess playing computer with a mechanical voice. Strangely it is easier to understand it’s speech, than it’s opponent McDiamond. And then there’s my favourite gadget, the ‘LBW’…the Locator of Beautiful Women. It’s small hand held device that beeps and flashes whenever a beautiful woman is in the vicinity. And finally there is an amazing gyro-copter / scooter / submarine type thing. It get’s quite a workout in this movie, and I am sure it woul give James Bond’s Little Nellie a run for it’s money. To see the gadget, cut and paste the following link and scroll down to the second picture:

http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2006/12/santas-high-speed-sled.html

Also worth a mention is Mario Nascimbene’s score. It is very good (although slightly repetitive), and the hook will get stuck in your head. You will find yourself humming the theme after you’ve finished watching the film. As the film is primarily set in South America, the soundtrack features a lot of Bossa Nova inspired lounge grooves.

At the end of the day, Dick Smart 2.007 is not one of the great Eurospy films, but it is a pretty good one, once it starts moving forward. And the film is aided considerably by a major role for Margaret Lee. Lee appeared in a lot of Eurospy productions (including From the Orient With Fury, New York Calling Superdragon and Our Agent Tiger) but generally she was window dressing. But in this film, she shares the billing and the screen time with Wyler. And you don’t have to guess which of the two, I’d prefer to see on the screen. If you are a fan of sixties Eurospy films, this is one to check out, but for others, this may be a little bit too silly.

DVD Review.
Generally I don’t review particular DVDs because with many of the obscure films that I tend to review, it’s often a matter of finding ‘any’ copy, rather than a ‘particular’ copy. But quite a lot of effort has been put into this release, so I thought it was worth mentioning. The Kommissar Eurospy edition of this DVD is an English language reconstruction of Dick Smart 2.007. The image has been taken from an out-of-print Italian version (Titanus / Creazioni Home Video), and combined with the English soundtrack from a Greek version that has been hovering around on the Grey market for some time.

Combining two versions isn’t as easy as it sounds. Firstly, NTSC and PAL have different frame rates. And DVD and Video run at different speeds. The differences are subtle, but none-the-less, you cannot just lay the soundtrack next to the image and hope that it fits. The soundtrack must be edited the fit the image. This can be a long and painstaking process. And all this is done, to bring you a B-grade film that you’ve probably never heard of. But I for one, am extremely glad that somebody is taking the time to do this. If it isn’t done, these obscure Eurospy films could disappear altogether.

The film features both English and Italian soundtracks; has mini biographies of the stars, Richard Wyler, Margaret Lee, Ambrosio Fregolente, and Rosana Tapajos; portions of Mario Nascimbene’s score; a poster gallery; and a still gallery with over 150 images.

The copy is admittedly far from perfect, but until somebody digs up an original widescreen print or camera negative, to work from, this is currently the best version available.

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Dick Smart 2.007 (1967)

4 thoughts on “Dick Smart 2.007 (1967)

  1. Once again I am in complete agreement with your assesment of this film. Silly, fun and fast moving! I would say, in spite of Little Nellie, this film seems to be inspired more by “Our Man Flint” and “The Silencers” than James Bond. Should we also mention that he shares the same last name as a certain Agent 86 of Control? This one is certainly worth it and I am thankful for all the effort KX put into it. – hcc (plotter)

  2. I found the soundtrack to this a few years ago and, based on the looniness contained there in, assumed it to be a fake movie and a soundtrack by a modern band aping an old style (a la the CQ soundtrack or Return of Mr. Mopoji). Now I see it’s all real!

  3. Thanks for your comments Henry and Keith.I have had the Dick Smart soundtrack for a while too. It’s one of the easier Eurospy soundtracks to pick up.Before seeing the movie, I wondered what all the little eletronic sounds were. Being a Eurospy film, one could only guess!The CQ soundtrack is a favourite of mine, and (apart from bootlegs ripped from the movie) it’s probably as close as we’re gonna get to a Danger: Diabolik soundtrack.

  4. Hi David,thanks for the good review! The Dick Smart CD is getting a bit rare (though not on Ebay), as last time I saw a copy for 95 dollars on Amazon (not that anyone would buy it!) It’s still a great, fun soundtrack, though.Despite people’s comments on the Danger Diabolik bootlegs out there, the quality is good and there are many songs that are not featured in the film, which makes me wonder if we aren’t dealing with original recordings. I think these hand-numbered Diabolik soundtrack bootlegs are now also going for steep prices on ebay.I like the CQ soundtrack as well, but feel it’s a different animal altogether – Mellow really piles on the melancholy and space sounds, methinks.cheers,Gustav

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