Viscount Clint de la Roche, a playboy insurance detective vacationing in Spain with his assistant, Billette, is called to Paris to investigate a $2 million bank robbery. Also taken in the robbery was a large quantity of opium stored in safe deposit boxes by Ricco Barone, a deported New Jersey gangster. The Viscount discovers that shortly before the robbery the bank president had spent a weekend with a stripteaser, Tania, who has since been murdered. The Viscount visits her roommate, Lili, and confirms his suspicions that the man responsible for the robbery is Tania's lover, international thief Marco Demoigne. Eventually, Barone contacts the Viscount in an attempt to recover the opium. With the cooperation of the American and French narcotics bureaus, the Viscount arranges a meeting between the rival gangs of Barone and Marco. The encounter explodes into violence as the two leaders attempt to double-cross each other, and all the gangsters are either gunned down or arrested. The Viscount collects his reward money and resumes his vacation--this time with Lili.
Pretty standard Eurospy stuff
Kerwin Mathews is Clint de la Roche, le Vicomte (what a name - I'll just refer to him as Clint from now on). Clint is an insurance investigator out to find the loot from a recent robbery. His investigation leads him to Paris where he finds himself caught between two rival gangs. He also finds himself entangled with a Parisian stripper who may or may not have information he needs. You know, your standard Eurospy plot.
The Viscount isn't the best Eurospy I've seen, but it's not a complete waste of time. Mathews is quite good and has a real screen presence. Other cast members that stood out to me include: Sylvia Sorrente (the stripper), Fernando Rey (gangleader) , and Jean Yanne (Cilnt's "assistant"). The film features plenty of reasonably entertaining fight scenes, chases, and gunplay - again, pretty standard Eurospy stuff. The robbery at the beginning of the film is especially nice. It's well planned and expertly carried out. It's a real highlight of the film. I was going to write about some confusing elements of the plot, but, instead, I've decided to blame the issues I have with the plot on my lack of foreign language skills. (The copy I watched had some scenes that were not dubbed - and the subtitles made things even worse.) The film's ending was something of a letdown. The final scenes are, unfortunately, set at night and it's about impossible to tell what's going on. Overall, a fairly average film that I can honestly rate no higher than a 5/10.
Oh, one last thing - I forgot to mention the incredibly entertaining 60s vibe found in The Viscount. The music, locations, costumes - it really pulls you into the time period. Very nice.
Bond with Kerwin Mathews
Let's start with what it has best: the music, specially that strong bass guitar rhythm, in all the songs. The script is not great but the actors are somehow OK, specially Sylvia Sorrente. Fernando Rey, great in Luis Bunuel's films and in "The French Connection"(1971) is trying his best, like also Franco Fabrizi, Jean Yanne and Folco Lulli. Kerwin Mathews is trying hard to copy Sean Connery but he is not Sean Connery. Much ado about almost nothing!
Average Eurospy with an above-average cast
The dependable Kerwin Mathews stars as the Viscount of the title; he is also an insurance investigator, a fierce vigilante, an irresistible Casanova....he is the man who men want to be and women want to be with. He gets caught in the crossfire between two rival gangsters (Fernando Rey and Folco Lulli), and simultaneously endangers and saves a beautiful Parisian stripper (Sylvia Sorrente). Claude Chabrol regular Jean Yanne plays the Viscount's trusty sidekick. The film has some energetic, exciting fight scenes, but setting the climactic shootout in the middle of the night was a mistake; you can hardly tell who's shooting at who! Mostly a run-of-the-mill entry, but cast and locations keep it going. ** out of 4.
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