The President’s Analyst (1967)
This was a great spy movie and my favorite Coburn movie of all time.
I’m really just so surprised right now at how much I enjoyed it. The ethics and civil liberties discussion, particularly in telecommunications privacy were decades ahead of their time. Okay, to be honest, this isn’t the first Coburn prophecy. As Flint he scoffed at the idea of an actor as president 15 years before Reagan, as Dr. Schaefer he laughs at the idea of the US government spying on its own citizens (FBI, NSA), particularly a sacrosanct psychiatrist’s office (Dr. Fielding?). Some of it gets lost in hazy late 60’s esthetic and surprisingly funny duo of Godfrey Cambridge and Severn Darden. Seriously, Don Masters and Kropotkin teamed up with Dr. Schaefer made this movie in my mind.
My expectations were so low that I might change my mind later but it was really a lot of fun to watch the first time around. The CEA and FBR are no match for the evils of the TPC. Talk about finding a bad guy that’s believably bad and who everyone will hate. In fact, you can see the TPC throughout the movie if you’re watching for them. If you’re like me, you’ve been trained that service vans are never service vans in these movies.
I do have to wonder though, does every 60’s movie have to cameo some shitty band or have terrible singing in it? And was that seriously an LSD-fueled orgy of hippies and intelligence agents? The best quote? “Every day your country becomes more socialistic, every day mine becomes more capitalistic. Pretty soon we’ll meet in the middle and join hands.”
I’m not very surprised that it didn’t do well commercially. People wanted Bond or Flint or a shitty knockoff spoof, not something new and good. They certainly didn’t want a movie that condemns their CIA and FBI (and every other intelligence agency), portrays a typical American family as violent liberals, or especially shows two KGB/CIA bros working together as friends despite their political and societal differences. So assess what kind of movie you’re looking to see before watching this one.
I’m not sure I understand the ominous ending but I can honestly recommend this movie to any spy film fan.