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LIQUIDATOR (1965)


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In an era when Sean Connery Michael Caine James Coburn Dean Martin Robert Vaughn and more brought varying styles of secret-agent cool to movie screens along came one of the most unusual spies ever to enter the Top Secret realm of hush-hush bang-bang and kiss-kiss. Rod Taylor plays Boysie Oakes Agent L who enjoys the swinging-London lifestyle perks that come with espionage but would rather not engage in the squeamish business of killing so he hires a professional hitman for that part of the job. Of course events soon plunge Oakes into situations that require him to be a hero in spite of himself. Jack Cardiff directs this offbeat caper based on the John Gardner novel reuniting with the star he guided previously in Young Cassidy. The cast includes two beauties who would soon return to sexy subterfuge: Gabrielle Licudi in 1967's spoof Casino Royale and Jill St. John who played Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever.

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Amazon.com: 29 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Taylor Made Bond Spoof Sept. 10 2012
By William Amazzini - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
As soon as you hear the wonderful voice of Shirley Bassey behind the credits, you know you are treading on Bondian territory and unfortunately, Director Jack Cardiff's 'THE LIQUIDATOR'-1966 never got to see its own series due to poor box office. With a screenplay by Peter Yeldham based on a novel by John Gardner who would scribe future James Bond novels in the eighties, actor Rod Taylor plays Boysie Oakes , an average bachelor who gets recruited by British Intelligence represented and played by Trevor Howard to be an assassin eliminating rogue and problem agents. Turns out that Oakes can't stomach the job so he recruits another assassin to do his work. When that guy is killed and Oakes goes AWOL with actress Jill St. John who is drop dead gorgeous and lethal, things get complicated. What ensues is a series of vignettes which veer on the verge of slapstick but never enter into the crude shenanigans that bogged down a number of spy yarns such as Director Val Guest's 'WHERE THE SPIES ARE'- 1965 and Director Henry Levin's 'KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE' -1967 which have yet to see digital releases and culminated in Director David Miller's 'HAMMERHEAD'- 1968. Taylor plays it to the hilt as he sees his life change for better and worse trying to be one step ahead of other spies seeing after his demise. Director Cardiff would go on to direct another great actioner with Taylor, the underrated 'DARK OF THE SUN' a few years later. The associate producer is Harry Fine who would produce the vampire trilogy based on Sheridan LeFanus's Carmilla for Hammer Films scribed by Tudor Gates. Boasting a nice Lalo Schifrin score and a great cast of actors such as Wilfred Hyde White, Akim Tamiroff, David Tomlinson and cameos from gorgeous babes Gabriella Licudi who never got the screen roles she deserved and Jennifer Jayne, Warner Archive presents it in a nice 2.35 transfer with no extras. For fans of cocktail lounge nostalgia and sixties espionage, click the add to cart button and enjoy an underrated spy spoof from London's swinging sixties.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good fun for all April 28 2013
By Dancing Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having seen this movie but once, decades ago; it was so long ago i completely forgot about the beginning wartime episode, none the less, it remained firmly lodged in my memory as great entertainment. Rod Taylor is totally believable as a bumbling sort of hero or liquidator if you please. Trevor Howard is excellent as always as Colonel Mostyn. Jill St. John was good as Iris. Wilfrid Hyde-White who was excellent in "My Fair Lady" was equally so in this production.

The plot, direction and dialogue are well done and the film transfer is very good, no doubt a result of it being filmed in Panavison.

As a teenager when this came out my fondest memory from this film is of the bar in Boysie Oakes flat. I wanted one of those for years.

Other notable roles for Mr. Taylor include, Dark of the Sun, Bearcats (short lived TV series), Fate is the Hunter, Giant and of course the original Time Machine.

When serious spy movies such as the Bond franchise seemed everywhere this move and "The Presidents Analyst" stand out to me as two great spy spoofs. Enjoy
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Great Movie Nov. 13 2012
By Colette Bronstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is such a fun movie to watch & one that any Rod Taylor fan should add to the collection.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
You're Not In Idaho Anymore, Boysie March 7 2013
By David Baldwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's a real stretch to liken "The Liquidator" to James Bond, spoof or otherwise. I'm sure the cloak and dagger aspects of the project didn't hurt its chances to get greenlit. Sure, Shirley Bassey sings the title tune. The script is based on a book by John Gardner who assumed writing the 007 novels after they exhausted all of Ian Flemings' work to be spunoff into screen vehicles. Rod Taylor as Boysie Oaks does project the same everyman aura as Sean Connery. Other than that I don't see the connection. The premise here is Oaks, a low level agent, is recruited by British Intelligence to kill rogue agents who've soldout the Motherland. Now Boysie likes the perks of the job mainly the birds and the booze. It's the killing he can't stomache. So he hires someone to do the killing for him. This works out all fine and good until he's backed into a position where he has to terminate with extreme prejudice or it's his own neck. "The Liquidator" is exciting, adventurous, and full of that cheeky humor the Brits do so well. Aside from Taylor there is a terrific turn by Trevor Howard as Boysie's sarcastic handler. Another great movie you probably never heard of.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A classic! Jan. 15 2014
By tlott01 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Watched this back in the 70's on the CBS Late Movie and it got stuck in my head. A shame they didn't make any sequels because there were several novels written for the main character. All three of the main characters (Rod Taylor, Trevor Howard and Jill St John) are favorites, and Jill is as charming as ever!

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