|Elke Sommer and Richard Johnson|
"You are -- unnatural!"
Trying to tap into the spy craze of the sixties, Deadlier Than the Male took the old character of "Bulldog" Drummond and resuscitated him as insurance agent Hugh Drummond (Richard Johnson), who investigates a number of murders connected to a large and controversial policy. We see in the very first scene that the murderers are two beautiful and sociopathic hit women named Irma (Elke Sommer) and Penelope (Sylva Koscina), who go about their deadly business with earnest professionalism and not the slightest trace of pity. Drummond has a girl-happy nephew named Robert (Steve Carlson), who in one of the more interesting scenes is put in naked bondage by the sexy ladies and then left alone with a ticking time bomb! Despite all the grimness, the movie is light-hearted and quite entertaining. Johnson is fine as the hero, Carlson is handsome and efficient, and the two ladies are delightfully sinister. Nigel Green [Let's Kill Uncle] plays Carl Petersen, who is also involved in the case. A giant mechanical chess set figures in the finale, and the ending is very satisfying. Drummond returned in Some Girls Do.
Verdict: Not exactly a Bond movie but fun. ***.