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Cinema Junkie Podcast 192: Bond, Not James Bond, Spy Films

Essential viewing list for escaping quarantine doldrums

Photo credit: Twentieth Century Fox

James Coburn starred as the title character in "Our Man Flint," a send up of the James Bond franchise.

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April was to have been the month we got Bond 25, "No Time To Die" but the film has been postponed to November because of the current pandemic. So here's a discussion about the best and most outrageous Bond rip off spy films that provide perfect escapist fare while sheltering at home. To help guide us through this fun terrain ... Read more →

Aired: April 26, 2020 |

Recommended viewing

"Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine" (1965)

“Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die” (1966)

“Our Man Flint” (1966)

“Murderer’s Row” (1966)

“Special Mission Lady Chaplain” (1966)

"Deadlier Than the Male" (1967)

“Lucky The Inscrutable” (1967)

“Top Secret” (1984)

“OSS 117: Cairo – Nest of Spies” (2006)

And for Honor Blackman

"The Avengers" (1962-64)

"Goldfinger" (1964)

"Life at the Top" (1964)

This was the month we were supposed to get Bond 25, "No Time To Die," but the coronavirus pandemic has pushed the opening to November so here are some fun, more tongue-in-cheek spy films for you to seek out while in quarantine.

This was also the month that we lost Honor Blackman, Pussy Galore in "Goldfinger" and Cathy Gale in "The Avengers" TV series. Blackman died just days before "No Time To Die" was scheduled to open. I don’t care if people today frown on the Bond films as misogynistic or chauvinistic because to a five-year-old girl Blackman’s Pussy Galore was empowering— she was smart, sexy, didn’t take crap from anyone, was a pilot, ran her own company, could trade quips with a super villain and could kick Bond’s butt. Blackman was inspiring to that little girl. I’m sad that she’s gone but glad she will remain with us forever in the characters she created.

But since Bond was on my mind and Blackman died, I felt like I needed to dedicate a podcast to spy movies. I also wanted to do a podcast about escapist spy films as a follow up to my earlier podcast about the escapism offered by screwball comedies. With people sheltering at home, binge viewing has become a regular pastime and people seem eager for lists of films to seek out.

To help me pay tribute to the late Honor Blackman and to also guide us through the most ridiculous and just plain fun spy movies is James Patrick, whose obsession with James Bond in particular has led him to create the #Bond_age_Podcast and The James Bond Social Media Project.

Photo credit: American International Pictures

The spy film with the silliest title goes to "Dr. Goldfoot and th Bikini Machine" starring Vincent Price.

But for today, I’m only letting him talk about Bond during our tribute to Honor Blackman, because after that it’s going to be about spy films that are a little more off the beaten path and with tongue sometimes placed more firmly or ridiculously in cheek.

FEATURED PODCAST

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Satisfy your celluloid addiction with the Cinema Junkie podcast, where you can mainline film 24/7. This film and entertainment series is run by KPBS Film Critic Beth Accomando.

So if you need a film fix, want to hear what filmmakers have to say about their work, or just want to know what's worth seeing this weekend, then you've come to the right place

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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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