O.K. Connery (also known as Operation Kid Brother and Operation Double 007) is a 1967 Italian spy film directed by Alberto De Martino. The plot involves the brother of the British spy James Bond, played by Neil Connery (the actual brother of the official franchise's star Sean) who is obliged to take the lead in foiling a world-domination plot. The film's cast included several actors from the official James Bond film series, Thunderball's Adolfo Celi, From Russia with Love's Daniela Bianchi, Dr. No's Anthony Dawson, and the official M Bernard Lee and Moneypenny Lois Maxwell.
The film received generally negative reviews from the New York Times, Variety and the Monthly Film Bulletin with the latter two reviews noting that the film could leave audiences with unintentional laughter at its ineptitude. The film was featured on the film-mocking television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1993.
When a legendary British Intelligence (SIS) agent is murdered, fellow agent Miss Maxwell (Lois Maxwell) is sent to find the late spy's girlfriend, Miss Yashuko (Yashuko Yama), who is unwittingly in possession of valuable information. Maxwell discovers that Yashuko is in the care of Dr. Neil Connery, a cosmetic surgeon who uses hypnotism in his practice. Yashuko is kidnapped from a medical conference in Monte Carlo by Maya Rafis (Daniela Bianchi), as part of a plot by Mr. Thayer (Adolfo Celi), code name Beta, of the terrorist organization THANATOS. The Secret Service's Commander Cunningham (Bernard Lee) assigns Connery to find Miss Yashuko.
Connery hypnotizes a beautiful girl named Mildred (Agata Flori) to acquire information and discovers that Miss Yashuko is located in a Spanish castle belonging to Lotte Krayendorf (Anne-Marie Noé). Connery rescues Miss Yashuko and obtains critical intelligence. This information leads to the discovery of THANATOS's plan to build a super magnet, powerful enough to turn off all mechanical products from New York to Moscow. The weapon is being assembled in a Moroccan rug factory, where all the employees are blind. Miss Yashuko is murdered by Mildred before revealing any further information. Mildred is then killed by Juan (Franco Giacobini), Connery's aide.
After arriving in Morocco, Connery is invited by Maya Rafis to a party held by Mr. Thayer. During the reception, Connery discovers that Mr. Thayer is planning to assassinate the head of THANATOS, known as Alpha (Anthony Dawson). Connery warns Maya about his discovery as she leads him to the rug factory. Upon entering the factory, Connery realizes that it is actually producing strands of uranium; the employees' blindness prevents them from discovering their dangerous role. Together, Connery and Maya track the uranium shipment to Switzerland, where Mr. Thayer, having failed to assassinate Alpha, has been driving the development of the powerful magnet. Together, with the help of a team of Scottish archers (as firearms are rendered inoperative by the magnet), Connery and Maya almost completely destroy THANATOS. After the completion of the mission, Commander Cunningham comments to Connery, "O.K. Connery! You were almost better than your brother."
Cast & characters
- Neil Connery
- Daniela Bianchi
- Adolfo Celi
- Agata Flori
- Bernard Lee
- Anthony Dawson
- Lois Maxwell
- Yachuco Yama
The film was released in Italy in 1967. The film was released under alternate titles which included Operation Double 007, Secret Agent 00 and Operation Kid Brother. The film was distributed in the United States by United Artists, the year Sean Connery left the James Bond series.
O.K. Connery was featured on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 on September 11, 1993 as "Operation Double 007".
In contemporary reviews, Bosley Crowther writing for The New York Times referred to the film as "a wobbly carbon copy of the James Bond thrillers" Variety described the film as so "unbelievably inept", that "many viewers may find it hilarious fun." The Monthly Film Bulletin stated that O.K. Connery was a "grotesque parody of a parody" noting endless allusions to Neil Connery's brother Sean Connery. The review concluded that "the film as a whole is bad enough to be hysterically funny." The Cleveland Press referred to the film as a "dreary and dismal espionage movie" stating that the film lacked the "flair and skill with which the Bond films are made. The script is labored, the direction slow and the acting is barely adequate."
In Phil Hardy's book Science Fiction (1984), a review noted that "though it's stylishly mounted, the result is a routine Italian spy romp." In an interview in 1996, Lois Maxwell said that Sean Connery, when he learned that she would join the cast, got very angry and started screaming: "You have betrayed me!" and he forgave her when she saved Neil from a fool at the press conference.
- (1968) "O.K. Connery" 35 (408): 78–79. London: British Film Institute.
- O.K. Connery (1967). Archivio del Cinema Italiano On-Line.
- Mavis, Paul (2011). The Espionage Filmography: United States Releases, 1898 through 1999. McFarland. ISBN 0786449152.
- Operation Kid Brother. American Film Institute. Retrieved on September 25, 2015.
- Pavlides, Dan. O.K. Connery. AllMovie. Retrieved on September 25, 2015.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000. TV Guide. Retrieved on September 26, 2015.
- Bosley Crowther (November 23, 1967). Screen: Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Reagan:New Cinema Playhouse Changes Its Fare Picture Makes a Case for the Californian 'Operation Kid Brother'. New York Times. Retrieved on September 25, 2015.
- (1985) Variety's Complete Science Fiction Reviews. Garland Publishing Inc., p.224. ISBN 0-8240-6263-9.
- Mastroianni, Tony (November 18, 1967). "Kid Brother" Is Poor Relation. The Cleveland Press. Retrieved on September 26, 2015.
- (1984) Science Fiction. New York : Morrow, p.266. ISBN 0-688-00842-9.
- Insert magazine of the Italian VHS James Bond 007 Collection edition of Dr. No, published by Fabbri Editori, directed by Giulio Lattanzi.
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