Hot Enough for June (1964) - Dirk Bogarde as a Spy
The Man Who Knew Too Little meets The Cold War meets 007
The James Bond craze (among other things) sparked many spy films in the 1960s. The suave, sophisticated man of mystery who knew the right thing to do at the right time for national security was often copied. It was also spoofed in films like Casino Royale (1967) with David Niven.
Then there are films like Hot Enough for June (aka Agent 8 3/4) from 1964 which might be best described as a serio-comic spy story.
Nicholas Whistler (Dirk Bogarde) is an unemployed writer who takes a courier job with a glass manufacturer. He must go behind the Iron Curtain to trade industry secrets. It turns out the glass manufacturing business is a front and Nicholas is unknowingly smuggling state secrets to and from British Intelligence agents behind enemy lines.
Once our hapless hero discovers the truth, we have an extended chase sequence that often wildly veers between comedy and terror.
Unlike the more famous, well-kempt agent 007, the only tuxedo we see Nicholas in is borrowed, dirty and ill-fitting. Perfect downplay of the agent lifestyle. Nicholas must also contend with Vlasta (Slyva Koscina), the daughter of the enemy agent who is out to capture him. But Nicholas and Vlasta each have philosophical misgivings about their duties, which is rarely explored in spy films.
Hot Enough for June is an interesting study in the anti-007 type of spy film.
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