23 December 2003 | django-1
Spanish-made comic mystery with hilarious Tab Hunter performance
This little-known Spanish comedy, with an outrageous performance by Tab Hunter, was one of the many low-budget films made in Spain in the mid-late 1960s by producer Sidney Pink. These generally tended to be quirky films, much too quirky to be Hollywood products, and featured interesting American stars--Barry Sullivan, Guy Madison, Cesar Romero, Jeff Hunter, Rory Calhoun, and here Tab Hunter. Pink discussed this film in his autobiography, and he made it quite clear that he did not get along with star Tab Hunter. Hunter has always had a flair for comedy, and he is quite funny in this film, which is basically the standard "American overseas who gets caught up unintentionally in some intrigue" plot. Perhaps because he was outside of Hollywood and his Hollywood image while in Spain, Hunter lets himself go here with a performance that rivals his one in THE AROUSERS as his most over-the-top. Many of his gay fans will probably love this film if they can find a copy. The supporting roles--Luis Prendes as an annoying drunk who sticks to Hunter like flypaper, Gustavo Rojo and Fernando Hilbeck as comic impediments to Hunter's progress, Pedro Mari Sanchez as a boy who does chores for Hunter and eventually becomes a friend-- are handled well. Interestingly, the film was directed by Richard Rush, of Psych-Out and Stunt Man fame. How he got involved with this film and what he thought of it must be an interesting story. Unfortunately, the video copy of this that circulated in the budget bin in the 1980s is in black and white AND has cheesy new video titles-- the film was released theatrically in the US in 1967 in color. I hope someone will release this legitimately in color and with the full credits. I would love to have a commentary track by Tab Hunter himself, or director Richard Rush--or maybe they could be recorded separately and we could get both perspectives. Anyway, I won't be expecting a DVD release of this anytime soon. Still, the budget video of this can probably be found used, and it's a worthwhile purchase for Tab Hunter fans (such as me!) or fans of Sid Pink's 60s Spanish body of films. Hunter's autobiography is supposedly coming out next year, although I doubt that this film is significant enough to rate much coverage there. Hunter fans are also advised to check out his fine Italian western SHOTGUN (fine except for an awful musical sequence near the beginning) and his euro-spy film THE LAST CHANCE (and if anyone could help me with finding his other euro-film LEGION OF NO RETURN, please get in touch!). Overall, a fun low-budget comedy with Tab Hunter in fine form.