In the ying-yang universe of deserved film score karma, Jerry Goldsmith might have ended up with flying with SUPERGIRL instead of SUPERMAN, or battling a SWARM of killer bees as opposed to climbing THE TOWERING INFERNO. But that never meant that Goldsmith didn’t give his musical all to some truly wacky wannabes, especially when it came to putting on a lady killing outfit for America’s Z.O.W.I.E. agent Derek Flint (as opposed to musically tailoring that certain other British spy). But as 60s-jazz as John Barry might have gotten with Her Majesty’s Secret Service, one couldn’t imagine that composer scaling the shagadelic heights like Goldsmith did with aplomb for 1966s OUR MAN FLINT and its subsequent sequel IN LIKE FLINT. Where James Bond inspired all manner of spin-offs for the small and big screens during the 60s spy craze, the Flint films got the biggest studio sanction of all from 20th Century Fox. Given a mood and look just slightly less campy than AUSTIN POWERS would spoof, Goldsmith broke out his Nehru smoking jacket, along with the fuzz guitars, groovy electronic Solovox organ, and swooning saxes and trombones that typified a stylishly ridiculous era, given an extra puff of way-out electronics for the mad weather-controlling scientists of GALAXY in OUR MAN FLINT.
But given Goldsmith, FLINT‘s appeal goes way beyond its kitsch grooviness, as the composer thematically pulls it all together with a dynamically lush orchestra to give the score a relative saneness beyond the Watusi’ing action, his bongo-drumming spy action skills already honed on TV’s MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.” Yet the catchy score for OUR MAN FLINT seems positively square when compared to IN LIKE FINT as Goldsmith teams up his old Flint melody with an even better score-song riff in “Your Zowie Face.” Here Goldsmith helps Derek take on a legion of femme fatales trying to brainwash the world in beauty salons. There’s hep, insane energy to spare in Goldsmith’s delightful grooves, ostinato excitement and confident strings, especially when he roughhouses “Swan Lake”-style with bongo prancing, horn-slurring Russian dance moves. And even given the score’s way-lighter tone, there are also some dynamite two-fisted brass moves that Bond would envy. The effect is like crashing in on Dean Martin’s bachelor pad if Dino was in a particularly hep mood (though Goldsmith might be happy he never got assigned a “Matt Helm” movie). Intrada’s twin re-issue of the FLINT LP scores sounds great, featuring Jeff Bond’s martini dry liner notes and delightfully mod packaging by Joe Sikoryak.
AGREE? DISAGREE? LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD – COMMENT BELOW