Special Mission Lady Chaplin: with the weather finally improving where I live, it’s time to break out some old spy movies and enjoy the scenery. Everyone knows the man named Bond, but there were plenty of other espionage agents running around the beaches of Europe in the 1960’s. And in 1966 there was no femme fatale more beautiful than Lady Chaplin.
Ken Clark plays secret agent Dick Malloy, who’s called into action when the government suspects someone of trafficking in stolen nukes. Lady Arabella Chaplin (Dianela Bianchi, a former Bond girl) is the fashion designer/ ruthless killer/ trader in state secrets who may or may not be brokering the deal with the nukes. The final corner of the triangle is Kobe Zoltan (Jacques Bergerac), a shipping magnate who wants those nukes.
The finest entry into the 077 secret agent series, this movie defines the Euro-Spy genre which flourished at the same time Euro-Westerns were popular. The direction by “Terence Hathaway” is tight. There’s a superb title song by Bobby Solo designed to keep you in the Drive-In parking lot in case you were thinking about ditching out after the main feature. The film was produced by Spain, France, and Italy.
Dianela Bianchi made very few films after this one. She would later marry one of her fans (who owned a shipping company!) and retire from the acting business. Which is our loss since Signora Bianchi showed real talent in Lacy Chaplin. Not only does she change from a shy nun into a machine gun-wielding assassin, but Lady Chaplin knows how to uncouple a moving train.
This is the first of the great Euro-Spy movies from the 60’s I plan to cover in the near future. They’ve been ignored too long. You can find many of them in DVD format on the Dorado Films website.
Glad you’re back, Tim. We’ve missed you. I guess I missed that one back then, as I don’t recognize it. But in 1966 I was still in France, and we didn’t get many current films at the time. Or maybe I just didn’t know it was showing at the Post theater at the time.
It’s the best of the 60’s Euro-Spy movies. You can’t go wrong with this movie, it has all the intrigue, glamor, and gadgetry of the Bond films. The opening scene where Dianela Bianchi (Rowwwr!) changes from a killer nun to a swim suit model and trashes a getaway car sold me!