Guns, Girls and Gadgets: Sixties Spy Films Uncovered (Quoitmedia)

MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent

After working on this project for several years, my sixties spy film book, now called Guns, Girls and Gadgets: Sixties Spy Films Uncovered will eventually see light of day, hopefully being printed in December by Quoit Media.

 The book covers 50 films in detail, (all the movies of the main sixties spy film franchises Bond, U.N.C.L.E., Matt Helm, Harry Palmer, Derek Flint, Bulldog Drummond) including behind the scenes, alternate casting choices, filming locations, production dates, censorship and merchandising.

 Each chapter begins with a teaser of the film’s storyline designed to interest the reader and make them continue reading, but not giving away the ending so readers can still watch and enjoy the movie, even using the book as a guide while watching. The chapter then continues, giving information on the original novel that the picture is based on, or if the production featured an original character and screenplay then how the concept came into being. All the chapters give an overview of chronological events, which continue with an explanation on how the senior production crew came together and how financial backing for the movie was obtained.

 The story of how the picture was assembled continues with writing and rewriting the script and how the project was developed, before progressing into pre-production and casting. From here things continue with location filming (both in the UK and worldwide), behind the scenes and studio-bound interior filming. Going further, tailored effects are highlighted including the hero’s vehicles and firearms that are all name-checked. Attention is also given to censorship issues and in all instances the original UK cinema release dates are given.

 There is also a listing of the credited cast and production crew, plus uncredited cast and crew. This section is then followed by the listing of merchandise associated with the film including spin-off paperback books, 7 inch vinyl singles, soundtracks on both LP record and CD, plus DVD and Blu-ray releases all complete with dates of issue.


01 DR NO (1st James Bond film)

02 FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (2nd James Bond film)


04 TO TRAP A SPY (1st The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film)

05 GOLDFINGER (3rd James Bond film)



08 THE SPY WITH MY FACE (2nd The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film)

09 THE IPCRESS FILE (1st Harry Palmer film)




13 THUNDERBALL (4th James Bond film)

14 OUR MAN FLINT (1st Derek Flint film)




18 THE SILENCERS: (1st Matt Helm film)


20 ONE SPY TOO MANY (3rd The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film)

21 ONE OF OUR SPIES IS MISSING (4th The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film)


23 FUNERAL IN BERLIN (2nd Harry Palmer film)




27 DEADLIER THAN THE MALE (1st Bulldog Drummond film)


29 IN LIKE FLINT (2nd Derek Flint film)


31 YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (5th James Bond film)

32 MURDERERS’ ROW (2nd Matt Helm film)


34 THE SPY IN THE GREEN HAT (5th The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film)



37 BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN (3rd Harry Palmer film)

38 THE KARATE KILLERS (6th The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film)



41 THE AMBUSHERS (3rd Matt Helm film)


43 THE HELICOPTER SPIES (7th The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film)


45 HOW TO STEAL THE WORLD (8th The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film)


47 SOME GIRLS DO: (2nd Bulldog Drummond film)

48 THE WRECKING CREW (4th Matt Helm film)


50 ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE (6th James Bond film)




  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,974MI6 Agent

    This sounds like a really good reference book. will it be available in stores?

    Just that list of 50 films is so useful to see. At least half of those I've never heard of, so that means there's still more 60s SpyMania to look forward to seeing one day

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,309MI6 Agent

    This looks like an insane labour of love. I am very tempted.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,700MI6 Agent
    edited October 2021

    This book sounds like it's just up my street. I'll certainly pick up a copy when it becomes available. I'm happy to see the film version of John Gardner's The Liquidator is included in the 50 films, as well as several other favourites of mine like the Harry Palmer films and The Quiller Memorandum. I too am ashamed to say I've not seen a good few of these either though I do have some of them on DVD. There are even a few I've not heard of before! I love the Bond films too, of course. 😉

    Congratulations on getting it completed, @Mikey. I also have your excellent book on the making of Casino Royale (1967).

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent


    It will probably end up in stores in time, but as Quoit are a small publisher then they will want to sell as many copies as possible from their own website as per the link below, before other options like Amazon are taken up.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent

    chrisno 1

    Yes, a labour of love that took 5 years and then another delay of almost 2 years when Covid arrived and the publishing industry virtually went into shut down.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent

    Silhouette Man

    Yes, The Liquidator is a favourite of mine and it was supposed to be the start of a franchise, but despite a follow-up being planned things did run smoothly and Amber Nine did not get made. I couldn't agree more about the Harry Palmer movies and thank you for the kind words about The Making of Casino Royale (1967).

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,700MI6 Agent
    edited October 2021

    Mine too. I have it on DVD. That's interesting about the plan to film more in the Boysie Oakes series after The Liquidator (1966). As a massive fan of the man and his work I was lucky enough to correspond with John Gardner for a few years before his death. Gardner told me how several of his novels were meant to be filmed besides just The Liquidator (1964) and A Complete State of Death (1969), filmed as The Stone Killer (1973), but that for one reason or another the plans fell through.

    It's frustrating too as many of his spy thrillers would have made for good films if adapted faithfully. I understand that a film version of Gardner's The Dancing Dodo (1978) is, or at least was, in the works though. I'll be especially interested in reading the chapter on the film of The Liquidator but it all sounds fascinating and thanks for putting all the hard work in to writing this book. I imagine there aren't too many books on this area so it's good to know this lacuna will be filled.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,309MI6 Agent

    Sadly I don't use Paypal.

    Mikey, did you write that 2014 Avengers compendium? I've had it tagged on Amazon for a while, but I've never hit buy.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent

    chrisno 1

    If you mean Bowler Hats and KInky Boots: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Avengers, which has day by day production information on the series, then yes it was me. Not only does that book cover The Avengers television series, but also the stage play, The New Avengers, the South African radio series and the feature film starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,974MI6 Agent

    another book about the Avengers? yet another about Casino Royale the "funny" version?

    These all sound like good books! You must hang around and continue talking vintage spymania with us! In another month we'll all be bored of talking bout the depressing new movie and will want to be talking about the old good spy films everybody loves, and obviously you know your stuff and have much to teach us.

    Question: your list begins with Dr No, starting the cycle of 60s spy films with the first Bond film. Any reason for not starting earlier, for example with North by NorthWest? Both the Bond films and the Man from UNCLE took inspiration from Hitchcock's film, and ITV's big three spy/adventure series all started before Dr No came out, so the spy trend was already a thing.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent


    Although I consider North by Northwest to be a brilliant film, it was released in UK cinemas on 20th November 1959, placing it outside my sixties remit, which is why I also omitted The Executioner starring George Peppard that had a release date of 1st May 1970. The forward of the book lays out my criteria for choosing the films I did, which was basically covering the spy and secret agent films I used to watch on TV during the seventies and eighties. With the exception of the Bond films these 60s spy movies appeared less and less frequently on TV and I wanted someone to write a reference book about them so I could read it and learn more. However, after years of waiting and having nothing appear on the market I decided that I would write it myself. As you say spy movies were not entirely new in the sixties, although that decade did inspire film companies and producers to make many examples to presumably cash-in on the cycle started by Bond.

    The arrival of the cinematic James Bond in Dr No and From Russia With Love kick started the sixties spymania craze of films and so I decided that I had to cover all the sixties Bonds and this led to the other franchises, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. feature films, Matt Helm, Harry Palmer, Derek Flint and Bulldog Drummond (although he's never actually called Bulldog in either Deadlier than the Male of Some Girls Do. The order of the films in the book is defined by the actual production dates that I managed to obtain from several different sources. So hopefully you can see how spy movies progressed through the decade and how some pushed the genre in new directions.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,309MI6 Agent

    It's a great list. Of course there are absentees (The Limbo Line, The Satan Bug, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, Our Man in Marrakesh, Torn Curtain, Topaz) but you have to stop somewhere. Also The Secret Ways, but it predates Bond and I get where you're coming from regarding Bond being the originator of the sixties spy craze. There's a few I'm very pleased to see in there (Masquerade, Hot Enough for June, Sumaru) and a few I have never heard of (Otley, Danger Route). It'll certainly make a worthwhile addition to the overloaded shelves.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent

    chrisno 1

    Thanks for taking the time to give the thread another look. The one film that several people say i should have included is Fathom, although I consider it to be more of a crime film then a spy movie. I also considered the three Charles Vine films Licensed to Kill, Where the Bullets Fly and Somebody's Stolen Our Russian Spy aka O.K. Yevtushenko, but I could only find the first two on DVD. Likewise, I also considered The Limbo Line, but again no amount of searching could find me a review copy, although about a year later I was told that it was on YouTube. I would definitely recommend Otley as it pushes the boundaries of what a sixties espionage movie could be. Sumuru was a film that I had only seen clips from and I found the Shaw Brother studios facilities and film making in Hong Kong interesting and after watching it I knew I had to include it.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,309MI6 Agent

    Fathom is definitely at spy film. 😎

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,332MI6 Agent

    This looks really good, I’m not going to be able to get it here but will tell my daughter that my Christmas present is now sorted as she has been hounding me for ages to tell her what I want 😂

    I’ve seen all of the movies except for numbers 17, 30, 46 and 49 so will look out for those.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent

    chrisno 1

    Of course some of the Spanish location filming for Fathom was done at Maro, more of less where footage was also undertaken for Operation Kid Brother (aka O.K. Connery), the Bond film with Bond, but with Sean Connery's brother Neil playing the lead called Dr Connery.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent


    Hope you get the book and get a chance to see the movies you have not seen, they are worth a look.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent

    This should have read 'the Bond film without Bond'

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,974MI6 Agent

    I gave the thread yet another look, cuz that list is so useful for finding something "new" to watch! I think I'll start with Hot Enough for June, which I'd never heard of before


    Mikey said:

    So hopefully you can see how spy movies progressed through the decade and how some pushed the genre in new directions.

    Can you tell us a bit how you see the genre evolving over the decade? I know In broad terms, it gets very silly towards the middle of the decade, then swings the other direction towards paranoid conspiracy thrillers in the early 70s. Was it more complex than that? Do you detect other subgenres within the genre during the decade? Lesser known films that went in a different direction than the broader trend?

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,309MI6 Agent

    My copy of Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots arrived today. It is enormous. Less of a reference book more of a bible. Looking forward to perusing it at leisure.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent


    The silly approach you mention seems to have started with the more family friendly approach of the Derek Flint and Matt Helm films, although this approach was taken further when the Batman television series arrived and it's spoofy format was successful prompting the NBC network to want a similar approach to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. television series. As a result the U.N.C.L.E. films became more comedy based and there was a knock-on effect, especially on the Matt Helm movie The Ambushers. However, this trend burnt itself out quickly and the viewing figures on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. nose-dived and some of the later films like The Wrecking Crew and the second Bulldog Drummond movie Some Girls Do that adopted this approach were not as successful as the earlier films.

    The Bond movies from the same period stand up very well, while in my opinion the Matt Helm films and Modesty Blaise look very dated and obviously are things of their time, the swinging sixties.

    Several films from the later sixties do push the envelope, such as Billion Dollar Brain, Otley, which is a very good comedy as well as being an espionage story, The Chairman that involves an agent fitted with electronic equipment to feed information back to his handlers. Plus, A Dandy in Aspic, where British Intelligence know that there is a Russian double-agent in the department and assign one of their top men Alexander Eberlin to find him, little knowing that he is actually the double-agent.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent


    I hope the bible is proving an interesting read.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,309MI6 Agent

    @Mikey I just watched KISS THE GIRLS... last night. I was really bored and this did not help the boredom. Probably a good thing you didn't include it in your 50 list.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent


    This is a movie that I have not seen... but along with other sixties spy films I at least should give it a look.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent

    I’m pleased to announce that Guns, Girls and Gadgets: Sixties Spy Films Uncovered has now been printed and that ordered copies will be dispatched in the next few days.

    Anyone wishing to obtain a copy just follow the link.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,309MI6 Agent

    @Mikey I ordered a copy and am waiting.

    Regarding Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots, while I have found it an exhaustive read - I am dipping in and out, it's too weighty to consume on an ongoing basis - I am slightly disappointed there are no synopsises for the episodes, not even a brief outline. This assumes prior knowledge on the part of the reader, as if this bible is only for the dedicated fan. While I have watched almost all of seasons 4 - 6 and most of The New Avengers, I don't have recall good enough to remember all the storylines and a memory jogger such as a short description would have been useful. Otherwise, a splendid and very informative reference guide. Do you want me to put something up on Amazon reviews ?

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent


    There are no synopsis in the production schedule of Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots because I did not want to write an episode guide book. However there are brief story outlines in the text, which is split into sections and every episode is sub-titled. Also, the publisher Telos could not print a book with an higher wordcount and so longer synopsis were ruled out.

    Episode guides for both The Avengers and The New Avengers are easily found, both on the net and in various books and I wanted Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots to include things that had not been covered to a great extent anywhere else, rather than make up the wordcount with an episode guide.

    Thanks for the offer of reviewing Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots on Amazon, although it does have quite a number there already. I’d prefer you to give Guns, Girls and Gadgets: Sixties Spy Films Uncovered a review when that becomes available on Amazon.

  • MikeyMikey Posts: 39MI6 Agent


    Just as another thought. Perhaps watch the episode(s) first and then read the appropriate section of the book.

    and just to add Guns, Girls and Gadgets: Sixties Spy Films Uncovered has now been printed and pre-ordered copies started to go out on Saturday 11th December.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,700MI6 Agent

    Thanks for the update on the publication of this great sounding book, @Mikey. I'll be purchasing a copy as soon as my bank account allows it. 😉

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,309MI6 Agent

    @Mikey Thanks for the reply and explanation. Yes, I have seen the plot pointers, but that is all they are as you've buried them in the text. I agree there are plenty of good episode guides available, I was only expressing surprise that such a comprehensive work on each episode seems to omit the context it relates to. It doesn't particularly bother me - although I don't have an Avengers guide at the moment - I did, but that's another story. Interesting about the word count as writing synopsises would increase an already epic bible into something of monolithic proportions, so I guess something had to give. Please don't misunderstand, I admire handsomely this exceptional work 😀😀

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