Italian cinema poster
|Directed by||Alberto De Martino|
|Produced by||Dario Sabatello
|Written by||Paolo Levi
|Music by||Ennio Morricone
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Running time||104 minutes|
O.K. Connery is a 1967 Italian Eurospy spoof of the James Bond series of films. It was retitled Operation Kid Brother in the United States and is also known as Operation Double 007 and Secret Agent 00. The overall plot of the film is that England’s best secret agent is not available, so his younger brother is brought in to defeat the evil crime syndicate THANATOS. O.K. Connery is notable in that a number of actors from the James Bond series appear as similar characters.
When a fellow agent is murdered, secret agent Miss Maxwell (Lois Maxwell) is sent to find the murdered agent's girlfriend, Miss Yashuko (Yashuko Yama), who is in possession of valuable information. Maxwell discovers that Yashuko is in the care of Dr. Neil Connery, a cosmetic surgeon, hypnotist, and the brother of another important agent; Connery then takes Maxwell into custody as well. Yashuko is kidnapped from a medical conference in Monte Carlo by Maya Rafis (Daniela Bianchi), as part of a plot by Mr. Thayer (Adolfo Celi), code name Beta, of the terrorist organization THANATOS. The Secret Service's Commander Cunningham (Bernard Lee) assigns Connery to find Miss Yashuko.
Connery hypnotizes a beautiful girl named Mildred (Agata Flori) to acquire information and discovers that Miss Yashuko is located in a Spanish castle belonging to Lotte Krayendorf (Anne-Marie Noé). Connery rescues Miss Yashuko and obtains critical intelligence. This information leads to the discovery of THANATOS's plan to build a super magnet, powerful enough to turn off all mechanical products from New York to Moscow. The weapon is being assembled in a Moroccan rug factory, where all the employees are blind. Miss Yashuko is murdered by Mildred before revealing any further information. Mildred is then killed by Juan (Franco Giacobini), Connery's aide.
After arriving in Morocco, Connery is invited by Maya Rafis to a party held by Mr. Thayer. During the reception, Connery discovers that Mr. Thayer is planning to assassinate the head of THANATOS, known as Alpha (Anthony Dawson). Connery warns Maya about his discovery as she leads him to the rug factory.
Upon entering the factory, Connery realizes that it is actually producing strands of uranium; the employees' blindness prevents them from discovering their dangerous role. Together, Connery and Maya track the uranium shipment to Switzerland, where Mr. Thayer, having failed to assassinate Alpha, has been driving the development of the powerful magnet. Together, with the help of a team of Scottish archers (as firearms are rendered inoperative by the magnet), Connery and Maya almost completely destroy THANATOS. After the completion of the mission, Commander Cunningham comments to Connery, "O.K. Connery! You were almost better than your brother."
- Neil Connery as Dr. Neil Connery
- Connery is the real-life younger brother of Sean Connery, who was appearing as James Bond at the time this film was made, and strongly resembles Sean, except that in this film he sports a beard. Neil Connery’s voice is dubbed by an actor with an American accent. In an interview in Cinema Retro, Connery said that he was undergoing medical treatment for appendicitis when voice dubbing of the film was in progress, leading another person to voice his lines in the English version. Although the "kid brother" of the title — who is actually referred to by the name Connery in this film — has little in the way of secret agent skills, he is an expert at hypnotism and archery as well as some deadly martial arts.
- Bernard Lee as Commander Cunningham
- Lee played the role of M in eleven Bond films, beginning with Dr. No in 1962 and ending with Moonraker in 1979.
- Lois Maxwell as Miss Maxwell
- Lois Maxwell played the role of Miss Moneypenny in fourteen Bond films beginning with Dr. No in 1962 and ending with A View to a Kill in 1985. Maxwell’s character in this film, though superficially similar to Moneypenny, is more proactive, carrying and using a submachine gun, and at one point abducting another character by force.
- Daniela Bianchi as Maya Rafis
- Bianchi portrayed Tatiana Romanova, the lead Bond girl in the second James Bond film, From Russia with Love.
- Adolfo Celi as Mr. Thayer (Beta), the second in command of the terrorist organisation known as THANATOS.
- Anthony Dawson as Alpha, the first in command of THANATOS.
- Anthony Dawson played two roles in the James Bond films, the first being Professor Dent in Dr. No. He later took on the role of Ernst Stavro Blofeld in both From Russia with Love and Thunderball, but only Dawson’s hands were seen in these films.
- Yachuco Yama as Miss Yashuko
- Agata Flori as Mildred
- Franco Giacobini as Juan
The producer Dario Sabatello read a story of Neil Connery losing his tools during his job as a plasterer in Edinburgh and decided to use him to make one of the many imitation James Bond Eurospy films that flourished in European cinema at the time. Sabatello also hired many actors who had appeared in the Bond series to support Connery, with Lois Maxwell claiming that she and Bernard Lee were paid more for their roles in this film than their respective roles as Miss Moneypenny and M in the James Bond films. Maxwell claimed that Sean Connery was initially upset with her and Lee for allegedly exploiting his brother but later thanked them for supporting Neil. The film also featured Bond girl Daniela Bianchi and Bond villains Adolfo Celi and Anthony Dawson.
The film has been released on VHS, but has never been officially released on DVD. As "Operation Kid Brother", it is available for streaming and purchase on Amazon Instant Video.
The soundtrack by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai was recently released on CD with several cues that were not heard in the film along with two English and one Italian versions of the title song by Italian singer Maria Cristina Brancucci (known as Christy). Plans to release the soundtrack album at the time of release were shelved and only 45 rpm recordings of the title song by Christy were released in Europe.
- Crowther, Bosley (November 23, 1967). "O K Connery (1967) Screen: Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Reagan:New Cinema Playhouse Changes Its Fare Picture Makes a Case for the Californian 'Operation Kid Brother'". The New York Times.
- Neil Connery Interview Cinema Retro #12