Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"The Silencers" Keeps Girls Running

Cleveland Press 1966

It was lady's day at the Hipp yesterday and I thought the dear things might be shocked. After the first showing of "The Silencers" I observed one kindly looking matron emerge from the theater and approach the box office.

"I think you've got a winner in there," she said in the best show biz manner.

So who am I to say?

"THE SILENCERS" is another bosoms and bullets epic, this time with Dean Martin doing the Sean Connery - James Bond bit as Matt Helm, an American espionage agent.

Compared with "The Silencers" the Bond films have class.

And as for its preoccupation with sex the Bond movies seem almost mid-Victorian by comparison.

Martin ambles through the role of Helm, drinking, ogling the girls, shooting, smooching, fighting and loving. He croons, too, but that's only on the soundtrack, with lyrics of well known songs altered to fit the occasion.

But mostly he just leers And there's plenty to leer at with shapely gals shedding their clothes all over the place. It is established early in the film that Helm has an eye for the girls and that he is a very virile guy, but fully half of movie continues along this single track.

When it gets down to a plot it seems that a sinister group is about to divert the flight of a missile so that it hits an underground atomic testing center thereby flooding the country with fallout.

THE ONLY MAN who can save the country is Dean Martin which is a pretty frightening prospect in itself.

The gadgets include coat buttons that turn into hand grenades a gun that fires backwards, laser beams that melt rocks and a telephone that explodes

Best bit of action is a good old-fashion chase along a mountain road with a couple of autos driven by enemy agents trying to crush Martin's car between them.

Dahliah Lavi is gorgeous but mannered as a special agent and Stella Steven scores in a comedy role.

The script strains at humor. The girls have the best lines, but none of them is spoken.

The total effect is overblown sensationalism on the tawdry side.