Matt Helm Lounge (The Silencers/ Murderers Row/The Ambushers/The Wrecking Crew)
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Product Description

Dean Martin stars as the original swinger agent, Matt Helm, in this four-disc set including: THE SILENCERS, MURDERERS ROW, THE WRECKING CREW, and THE AMBUSHERS.

THE SILENCERS: The first of the series of Matt Helm films, the big cheese of Big O, an organization that wants to sabotage the American atomic missile system. It's up to secret agent Helm to save the day.

MURDERER'S ROW: The handsome top agent Matt dies a tragic death in his bathtub - the women mourn about the loss. However it's just faked for his latest top-secret mission: He shall find Dr. Solaris, inventor of the Helium laser beam, powerful enough to destroy a whole continent. It seems Dr. Solaris has been kidnapped by a criminal organization. The trace leads to the Cote D'Azur.

THE AMBUSHERS: A government space saucer is hijacked mid-flight by a powerful laser beam under the control of Jose Ortega, who then proceeds to rape the female pilot, Sheila Sommars. ICE sends agent Matt Helm to Acapulco with Sheila to recover the saucer, under the guise of Matt taking fashion photographs of beautiful models. Matt is temporarily sidetracked, falling prey to the seductive charms of enemy agent Franceca Madeiros.

THE WRECKING CREW: The count has stolen enough gold to cause a financial crisis in the world markets so I.C.E. sends in ace spy Matt Helm to stop him. As Matt works alone, the British send in Freya to aid Matt, but it seems that Freya causes more problems than she solves.

Customer Reviews:

  • A Note About Packaging
    Finally the boneheads who produce DVD's have comprehended a very conspicuous marketing concept: If product is placed in smaller, more efficient packaging, the consumer can buy more product! More money to be made! This Matt Helm set is a perfect example: four discs in two "slim line" cases, together only slightly thicker than a single regular DVD case! It is great to get so much product in such a small amount of space. Now if they could just re-package the previous several hundred DVD's I've bought which are housed in cases perhaps eight times bigger than necessary. I have had to stop buying DVd's due to space limitations; if everything had come in this type of packaging I'd have plenty of room for hundreds more.

    Look, if you like the 60's, the women, the styles, the music, the overall're going to love these beautiful movies. Lots of Dean Martin here at his most likeable and lots of amazingly beautiful women (from an era when beautiful women were natural entities and not products of surgery and science). My wife and I both liked the fashions and the cars as well. Many exotic locales and elaborate sets. (These are not low budget movies by any means.) There are substantial samplings of Dean's music and lots of playful jabs at Sinatra. Picture quality is excellent. The colors are super vibrant. The sound on the first disc sounded a little muted for a few minutes, but then the rest sounded great.

    These movies are just totally fun. Pour yourself a cocktail and join Deano on one of his hammy adventures. I personally liked these better than the Flint movies and some of the others from the era. We watched these four consecutive nights in a row and I really wished there had been a fifth, sixth, and....many more. Happy stuff, great fun....more info
  • FINALLY!!!
    I am so happy to finally see this series on DVD. My first Matt Helm film was "The Wrecking Crew" but I will make it a point to read the book series before watching any other Matt Helm film to get a better feel for the series.

    For now, I can only speak of my experience watching "The Wrecking Crew" and, although a somewhat cheesy spy spoof, I enjoyed the comedy contained within. (Friendly tidbit: "The Wrecking Crew" was not Sharon Tate's final film. That was "The 13 Chairs" {a/k/a "12+1"} which co-starred Vittorio Gassman with a cameo by Orson Welles, released posthumously).

    In any case, I will treasure this series. - Donna Di Giacomo...more info
  • This product (not the movies themselves) deserves 0 stars!
    This is a review of the DVDs and not the movies. I like all four movies and I am a big Dino fan. However, I am greatly disappointed in the current presentation of these movies. None of the formats are in widescreen and they have all been edited for television. This is ridiculous and unacceptable. With the world moving to high definition, these formatted to fit your tv DVDs will soon be outdated. You know that once this occurs the DVD company will re-issue this box set in widescreen format and charge us more money !!! Booo !!! As for the editing, I am calling it censorship. If you want to edit your product for whatever reason, then let us (the buyer) know somewhere on the package. I bought these movies under the false pretense that I was getting the full version of each picture. I don't care what is edited out or the reason why, but the DVD producer should inform us that these are edited versions and let us determine whether we want to buy them. Don't waste your money on something that will be replaced in a few years and for which you will eventually have to shell out more money !!!!!...more info
  • Matt Helm,the Original Swinging Secret Agent of the 60's
    Before Austin Powers there was Matt Helm, played to the coolest by Dean Martin. Dean was fun though the stories were not as complex or thrilling as Bond. The gorgeous giggly girls were fun. Based on Donald Hamilton's MATT HELM books. This was Columbia attempt to cash in on the 60's spy genre. These films follow the basic BOND recipe: hedonistic agent, luscious ladies, gadgets, goons, and world shattering dilemmas.

    Previous to ordering this collection I had seen all these films in my youth since I suffer from terminal BONDage. They are interesting fare with loads of fun moments, girls, and goofy gadgets. The films are carried by Dean with his laid-back delivery and boozing and womanizing ways.

    This set of four films is precisely what I expected! Good old-fashion fun with Deano. Great for any movie collection. I do not like the Austin Powers movies, I find them absurd and vulgar.
    I recommend these to any former spy movie junkie along with The Ultimate Flint Collection, lots more fun than cable....more info
  • Even as Spoofs, Could Have Been Better
    Hollywood producer Irving Allen must rank as second only to the executive at Decca records who turned down The Beatles as one of the entertainment industry's great heroic failures. In 1958, while in partnership with Harry Saltzman, he turned down a chance to buy the screen rights to James Bond, informing Ian Fleming his novels would not make good films. Saltzman later teamed with Albert R. Broccolli, re approached Fleming and the rest is history, while Mr. Allen undoubtedly gritted his teeth at the success he so misguidedly let slip by.

    Determined to grab a consolation prize, Allen subsequently obtained the rights to Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm novels with a view to a film franchise to rival that of 007. Hamilton's books are gritty cynical thrillers about a CIA operative turned private detective, far removed from the colourful world of the Bond films. Allen wanted an American James Bond with glamour, gadgets and women, with a greater emphasis on spoof/comedy thrills to compete with Bond's more sophisticated tongue in cheek humour. Matt Helm was made over accordingly.

    The Silencers (1966) borrowed the title and little else from the Hamilton novel (as would be the case with the later films) though material from another Helm novel , Death of a Citizen, was also utilised. Rather than cast a serious actor in the lead, Allen turned to crooner turned movie star, Dean Martin to fill the criteria of super suave agent. A former second banana to Jerry Lewis, Dino was very much nearing the end of his movie career and appears to daydream through most of the film, usually to one of his own songs of the soundtrack. The CIA became the fictional ICE, while Helm is initially a semi retired agent turned photographer. Helm reluctantly returns to ICE after the enemy organisation, BIGO, attempts to kill him. Victor Buono played the main villain as a Doctor No type complete with Asian makeover. The main gadget of the film is a gun that fires backwards - no kidding!

    Murder's Row followed in 1967, retaining the main premise of the novel (kidnapped scientist) and moving the action from Chesapeake Bay to Monte Carlo. It featured a steel headed villain who Helm eventually defeats with a giant industrial magnet ... just as 007 would do with Jaws ten years later. Well he is entitled to borrow from his imitators once in a while.

    The Ambushers (1968) was clearly modelled on You Only Live Twice from the year before with a plot involving hijacked spacecraft and Helm faking his own assassination. The resultant film is probably the worst of the bunch with dull, plodding direction and the weakest visual gags including a cigarette that produces laughing gas!

    The Wrecking Crew (1969) is the last and least remembered of the four, which is a pity in some ways as the series seemed to be getting its act into some sort of order. The tighter paced script took itself a little more seriously and boasted a classier villain in Nigel Greene, almost reprising his role from Deadlier Than The Male. Confident, perhaps, that they were finally getting it right, Allen had the closing titles proclaim Helm's impending return in The Ravagers. It proved a misplaced confidence. Dean Martin decided to quit the role and while actors James Franciscus and Adam West (TV's Batman) were briefly considered as replacements, the backing studio, Columbia, felt that the super spy bubble had now burst. The latest 007, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, was just scraping in a profit and being perceived as a failure. Of course, this situation would quickly turn around.

    Six years later, Allen attempted reviving his Matt Helm franchise as a possible TV series with Tony Francisco. A pilot, simply titled Matt Helm, relocated the character back into a more realistic crime thriller as a former CIA agent turned private eye. With a low budget and the other usual restrictions on 1970s TV films, it proved an unmemorable comeback and no more were made.

    For the record, Warner Bros have been talking about resurrecting Matt Helm to follow the success of the Bourne films. So far, it remains just talk....more info
  • If you like Matt Helm, like I do, you'll love this set.
    Matt Helm movies are not up to James Bond standards. But fun none the less. This set is a very nice set of fine movies. The Matt Helm movies are nothing like the Matt Helm books. Dean Martin does not do a good job of portraying Matt Helm. Dean does a good playing Dean Martin as a spy. Which is OK with me....more info
  • Ooops ! It's been a long time !
    If you like Austin Powers a bit, and wish it could be smarter and cooler, Take a look at these movies !

    Dean Martin has the Mojo.
    He's always funny, and never vulgar.

    By the way, watch the old films with him and Jerry Lewis.

    Enjoy !...more info
  • Matt Helm Lounge
    I watched this when I was young and really missed seeing and hearing Dean.. A comedy, musical spoof of James Bond...more info
  • Matt Helm Lounge Entertaining
    I'd last seen these movies back in the 70's on television. Was just as entertaining this time around from DVD collection. Dean Martin as the suave Matt Helm is a character that can only be topped by Martin's western genre characters. I've seen all of his westerns except for "Something Big" which was not yet released on VHS or DVD. His westerns are all enjoyable. Back to Helm . . . . these are very colorful spy spoofs filled with gorgeous ladies and Dean's wisecracking antics. I think anyone with a sense of humor would enjoy these films. I see them as pure gems from the 60's. Glad to have the DVD set....more info
  • Bad parody
    If my memory serves me right, I seem to remember seeing bits and pieces of these films on television as I was growing up. By the time, though, that I finally saw enough of one to really understand, I had made the wonderful discovery of Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm novels. After reading only two of Hamilton's tough, spare writing style about the cynical counterintelligence agent pulled back reluctantly back into service when things get too close to his family, I could never again watch these movies without wincing in pain every moment.

    I guess Irwin Allen thought he couldn't create an American counterpart to Fleming's James Bond, so he decided to spoof him. Even as a parody it's painful. (Humorist P.J. O'Rourke, explains parody this way: "Good parody is where pull something a part completely, and then reassemble it backwards and it still works.)

    And yet even in the books Hamilton displays a self-awareness of the comparisons to Bond and the films. This is especially evdident in the Ravagers, with a very dry, tongue-in-cheek humor that runs all through the story, and yet never overwhelms the grit and danger that were Hamilton's hallmark.

    If you can completely turn off your brain, maybe these movies will be funny, but even for most intelligent people, it's too tough to suspend that much disbelief. ...more info
  • Wacky Spy Shenanigans
    Overall, 4 stars. Great value and great campy entertainment.

    It is common knowledge to film geeks that Matt Helm was the number one inspiration for Austin Powers. Why is the boozy, greasy, aging Dean Martin a chick magnet? Why doesn't he appear to do anything but bumble around looking for chicks and drinky's yet somehow always manage to save the world? Why are the film's sexist attitudes so wonderfully abomidable?

    The productions for the films range from pretty darn good to nearly inept, but that doesn't stop them from being mighty entertaining. These are pure, beautiful cheese. Sometimes the makers know it, and sometimes they don't.

    1. The Silencers. 3 stars The first one. Worst(best?) villain of the lot, care of Victor Buono (King Tut from the 1960's Batman series). Buono plays Tung Tze, apparently a blond, blue eyed chinese fella with a full beard who drinks canned egg foo young.

    2. Murderers Row. 3 stars. Pretty good followup...this time Matt goes to europe and gets involved in dames, murder and the destruction of the planet. It's good to see the great Karl Malden get work, but he's a terrible villain. There's a brain-meltingly screechy laser beam at the end that melts rock but moves at a snails pace. I must go back in time and KILL that foley artist.

    3. The Ambushers. 5 STARS!!! Wha--? Are you kidding me, reviewers? This is definately the best of the bunch! Dean finally feels really comfortable in the part and the production team knows exactly what they're doing. James Gregory's last gravely appearance as McDonald. As the villian, Albert Salmi is easily the best in the series...the only one who actually conveys a sense of danger. The score is the best, too - twangy-surf-spy throughout, courtesy of early Hugo Montenegro..and Dean only sings once. There's a breezy sense of fun and campiness througout that seems to have reached its apex in this third movie.

    I said 5 stars, dammit!

    Check it:
    ---Woman powered UFO's!
    ---UFO railway chase!
    ---the Fez wearing inspiration for Will Ferrell's Mustafa character in Austin Powers! this character also rides in a suped-up rice machine stingray!
    ---Mexico! Jungles!
    ---Bitchin' Safari desert mobile! With a huge inflatable tent that has an inflatable bed, lamps and table!
    ---Beer Factory!
    ---In the beer factory, there's the inspiration for the power lifter's from Aliens...I'm not kidding!
    ---antigravity wires all over the damn place.
    ---getting outta a firing squad using doobie power!
    ---belt-into-sword fu!
    ---hippie girl fashions!
    ---mariachi death squad!

    4. The Wrecking Crew. TWO STARS. Just watched this last night, the capper on the wonderful world of Matt Helm. Unfortunately, the thrill is gone in the last of series. The script and overall production is the weakest of the bunch (yeah - tricky how they manage that). Dean sleep walks through the picture even more than can tell he just wanted the cameras to stop rolling and get the hell outta there. After only a few years since the last one, Dean has visiably aged and visibly slowed. Montenegro's score is terrible and's the saccharine "bah bah bah bah" chorus era of pop music and it's frequently a feeble mismatch for the action on screen. Nigel Green is not a particularly great villain either. However, the film IS notable for the co-stars: Sharon Tate, Nancy Kwan, Chuck Norris (one of the henchmen at the restaurant)...and fight choreography by Bruce Lee. As one of the reviewers noted above, it's hardly something Bruce would like included on his resume, since the fighting is just inept. Watching Dean (and his co-stars) try to high kick is either very funny or just embarrassing...possibly the worst fight scenes I've ever seen in a major motion picture.

    Scenes of interest:
    ---I liked the revolving Chinese restaurant booth. Wonderfully pointless and silly.

    ---Best part: where Dean puts together the complicated portable helicopter in about 30 seconds. He IS amazing!

    ---I liked that whenever an explosion goes off inside, a tangle of smoky grey rubble falls down all over the place. Brilliant.

    ---no attempt whatsoever in trying to make the rear projection train chase realistic.

    ---most use of gratuitous Dean singing in the series. Like 6 instances of singing where least appropiate.

    ---no jokes at the expense of Frank Sinatra this time. ...more info
  • Egads how times have changed
    The Mat Helm movies are pretty funny, and of course the girls are pretty - but I imagine the folks from MADD would be horrified to see how much they play up the "Dean as a boozer" angle while he's driving.

    As someone else mentioned, the Station Wagon spy car has a hidden bar with several bottles so Dean doesn't need to worry about running out of ammunition. The joke they missed was calling the hidden bottles of booze his "seat belts".

    In another movie he's got a more sporty car, and in a chase scene you see one of that cars unique gadgets - he picks up a microphone and says "If you can read this, you're too close" and the message scrolls across the tail lights...

    I do see where these movies were an inspiration for the Austin Powers series.

    My guess is these movies will be appreciated most by folks who remember Dean Martin, and I think they wouldn't be a bad choice for kids because while there's some suggestive stuff, it's tame by todays standards - though obviously the "don't drink and drive" message should be discussed. ...more info
  • Matt Helm
    Matt Helm movies have been a favorite of mine since childhood. Just love Dean Martin....more info
  • The Matt Helm series
    One of the best tongue in cheek spy series made with Martin just seeming to be having alot of fun doing the pictures. Seemingly primitive special effects compared to todays offerings but if you just go with the story and pay attention for the subtle humor makes for a very entertaining movie....more info
  • Dean Martin IS Matt Helm
    Although not true to the original book series, Dean Martin personified Cool as Matt Helm. In every scene Martin looks relaxed and natural, and while Bond may have invented the clever quip, the Helm movies honed them to a fine art.

    The box set is a must-have for anyone who remembers these films fondly or wants to complete their collection of 60's spy memorobilia. While I wish there could have been lots of extras and behind the scenes, these films come from an era where Hollywood was not quite as ready to let you glimpse behind the curtain so there is little archival material available, and all of the principle actors are deceased making commentary impossible. They are represented well, however, in these excellent transfers. The clear sound and precise letterbox picture with fantastic color and clarity leave behind any previous broadcast. While The Silencers and Murderer's Row are unquestionably the strongest entries, there are great momements to be found in The Ambushers and particularly the little-scene Wrecking Crew, which was Sharon Tate's last film. Get this collection and dissappear for a few hours into the world of Comic Book spies where everything is in Brilliant Color, the girls are always elegantly coiffed, the cars had chrome and Dean Martin as gadget toting, hard drinking and smoking Matt Helm suavely saves the day. ...more info
  • Lounge-tastic!
    This set is a must-have for all Dean Martin fans! I really enjoy the fact that the Matt Helm character never takes himself too seriously. He plays it for what it is - sheer fun! Great looking babes, groovy outfits, and just-right scripting and acting make this set as smooth as silk! Dean always looks like he just had a cocktail in every scene! Sure, the critics will always make the 007 comparisons. However, I happen to enjoy both Matt Helm and James Bond movies equally, and the "Flint" (James Coburn) installment of films as well! ...more info
  • Edited for TV
    For those of you who are Dean Martin;/Matt Helm fans, this is the set to pass on. The movies have been edited for TV and a lot of content has been removed due to subject matter. There are unedited editions out there and I highly suggest searching for those. The set is very dissappointing for collectors, it isn't even worth a one star rating. ...more info
  • Classic
    What is cooler than 60's spys, hot women and Dean Martin. Not much. Nostalgia and a little camp to celebrate the 60's. Video quality is excellent. ...more info
  • Matt Helm Lounge
    For those of us who like campy SPY spoofs and Dean Martin you can not beat this four of a kind. ...more info
  • "Helm, Matt Helm"
    Brings back wonderful memories of a better and simpler time. Very tongue in cheek. Plots are a little thin as series progress. Good viewing for baby boomer generation. EH...more info
  • Matt Helm--pure fun
    Dean Martin as secret agent Matt Helm is pure fun. Better than 007, Matt Helm of ICE goes about his business with a song in his heatt: "If your sweetheart hides a pistol in your bed / You'd be better off to sleep with Uncle Fred." Goofy gimmicks, glamorous gals, and villainous villains--all just add spice to life in ICE....more info
  • Not high art, but good fun anyway
    The 4 movies in this set all feature excellent performances by Dean Martin and his lovely leading ladies, including Stella Stevens, Ann-Margret, Janice Rule and Sharon Tate. Each movie also features at least one "exotic" villain, played with an excruciatingly bad fake accent. In "The Silencers", it's Victor Buono as Tung-Tze, a total failure of acting, make-up, etc. -- he is meant to be Asian but doesn't look or sound even remotely Asian, and his acting is lousy all round. In "Murderer's Row", it is Karl Malden's turn and he doesn't seem to be quite sure what nationality his character is meant to be. "The Ambushers" has three equally unconvincing foreign villains, an Indian and two Latin Americans. The final movie in the set is "The Wrecking Crew", in which Nigel Green plays an Italian Count with an accent right out of a castle in the south of England. Mind you, the accent aside, his acting is of a much higher standard than that of the others mentioned. The villains also get some very poorly-written dialogue, which makes their poor acting and fake accents seem even worse. Apart from those weaknesses, though, the movies aren't too bad. They are a lot of fun and Dean Martin is always good value, especially when surrounded by beautiful women. I would have liked to have heard more singing from the great crooner, though -- all we get are a few snippets here and there, mostly brief fragments of well-known songs, usually with the words altered to fit the action in the film.

    All in all, the films are good fun and nowhere near as bad as the critics claim....more info
  • Just kill me now.
    If you enjoyed the "Austin Powers" movies, you should really enjoy these movies.
    If you are a fan of Dean Martin, you should enjoy these movies.
    If you enjoy the Matt Helm books, avoid these movies like the plague!
    I have to admit that when I first saw them on TV in the mid-70's, I really enjoyed them (I think I was 13 or 14 at the time), then I read the books they were based on and realized what Hollywood had done to them. I have watched these movie since then and I always wanted to ask Mr. Hamilton why he let the movie industry do that to his character Matt Helm. I have heard that one of the studios has purchased the rights to the books again and I really hope that they don't do this to the series again and ruin it even more for those of that really enjoy the books. Get the books and read them. I find them a lot more enjoyable that listening to "Deano" crooning and boozing his way through a bunch of poorly scripted spoofs of the Bond series. Unfortunately you will probably have to settle for used, since the publishers are no longer printing any of the series that I have found, and Mr Hamilton has passed away.
    PS. What in the world is I.C.E.? Matt works for a agency that has no official name or designation....more info
  • Spy movie spoof
    Being James Bond is not easy just ask Matt why he always has a drink and cigarette in hand. If you want to enjoy a spy movie with a lot of comedy this is it....more info
  • Great Memories...
    This set was great. It brought back so many memories of my days growing up. When originally released, I saw all of these corny films during their first week out. I was in love with all of the ladies and still find them hot today. The acting is bad, the scripts are one step above Get Smart, but I loved them any way. This is a must have for any Matt Helm fan....more info