In Like Flint (1967)
Totally didn’t appreciate this movie when I first saw it. I’m not saying it was classic spy cinema except that’s exactly what I’m saying.
Want to know the impact this movie had on the world’s subconscious? It earned $5 million dollars in RENTALS just in North America in the year it was released. It was released in March. A couple months to make it out of theaters and into the rental means this movie made $5 million in 6 months in rentals alone. That’s $35 million in 2013, in rentals, in pants-less rental movie watching. The population of the US was 198,712,056 in 1967. Assuming a household size of 3-4 back then, there were around 66 million homes. I’m not sure about the price of a rental, let’s assume 50 cents. This means 10 million rentals of the move in 6 months across 66 million homes means about 15% of the entire US population was exposed to this movie at home. 30-40 million people watched it at home! 8.8 million also watched it in theaters for $1.25. By the end of 1967, 1/4 of the US population had seen “In Like Flint”.
It had script issues and the limitations of the 60’s. Was anyone watching it because they had a deep abiding love for spy movies and fine movie-making? No. They were watching it to see the ladies and pick up tricks from James Coburn. Or they were watching it because they were sick of the men in their life and wanted to dream of being in charge of it all. James Coburn looks and talks like the ugly end of a goat but his female supporting cast were easily the prettiest of any movie of this genre to date.
It’s a decent spy-spoof but falls flat at times.
So go watch it because it is an infamously famous spy movie comedy. Maybe not one of the best spy movies of all time but it was certainly influential.