Review: ‘The Silencers’

Dean Martin - as Matt Helm, ace of the American counter-espionage agency, ICE - succeeds in a kind of lover-boy way in taking his place up there with such stalwarts as Sean Connery, James Coburn and David Niven.

Dean Martin – as Matt Helm, ace of the American counter-espionage agency, ICE – succeeds in a kind of lover-boy way in taking his place up there with such stalwarts as Sean Connery, James Coburn and David Niven.

Produced by Irving Allen and directed by Phil Karlson, both utilizing shock technique, the fastdriving screenplay is based on two of Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm books, The Silencers and Death of a Citizen.

Plot focuses on a Chinese agent (Victor Buono) who masterminds a ring that plans to divert a US missile so it will destroy Alamogordo, New Mexico, thus creating wide devastation and atomic fallout leading perhaps to global war. All Matt Helm has to do is halt this catastrophe.

Starring with Martin are Stella Stevens and Daliah Lavi. Stevens does herself proud as a mixed-up living doll who can stumble over her own shadow. Lavi is a femme fatale, Martin’s ever-lovin’ spymate who comes up with a big surprise for him. The glamor department is further repped by Cyd Charisse as a dancer killed by the mob as she’s dancing.

The Silencers

Production

Meadway/Claude. Director Phil Karlson; Producer Irving Allen; Screenplay Oscar Saul; Camera Burnett Guffey; Editor Charles Nelson; Music Elmer Bernstein; Art Director Joe Wright

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Dean Martin Stella Stevens Daliah Lavi Victor Buono Arthur O'Connell Cyd Charisse
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