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O.K. Connery

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O.K. Connery
Italian film poster
Directed byAlberto De Martino
Screenplay by
  • Paolo Levi
  • Frank Walker
  • Stanley Wright
  • Stefano Canzio[1]
Story byPaolo Levi[1]
Produced byDario Sabatello[2]
CinematographyGianni Bergamini[3]
Edited byOtello Colangeli[2]
Music by
Produzione D.S.[2]
Distributed byTitanus[1]
Release dates
  • 20 April 1967 (1967-04-20) (Italy)
  • 22 November 1967 (1967-11-22) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes

O.K. Connery, released in America as Operation Kid Brother, is a 1967 Italian Eurospy comedy film shot in Technicolor and Techniscope and directed by Alberto De Martino. The spy-fi plot involves the brother of the British spy James Bond, played by Neil Connery (the actual brother of Sean Connery, star of the Eon Productions Bond films), who is obliged to take the lead in foiling a world-domination plot. The film's cast included several actors from the Eon-produced James Bond film series: From Russia with Love's Daniela Bianchi, Thunderball's Adolfo Celi, Dr. No's Anthony Dawson, Bernard Lee (M), and Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny), as well as the producer's wife Agata Flori, Gina Lollobrigida's cousin Guido Lollobrigida, and Yasuko Yama (aka Yee-Wah Young[4] and Yee-Wah Yang, then in the publicity spotlight due to her relationship with James Mason;[5][6] she appeared as a bath girl in You Only Live Twice under the name Yee-Wah Yang[7]).

The film received generally negative reviews from the New York Times, Variety and the Monthly Film Bulletin. The film was featured on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1993.


A luxury yacht, with a crew of young women, arrives in Monte Carlo. Meanwhile, British agent Miss Maxwell is at the airfield, awaiting the arrival of Ward Jones, who is bringing an important package for her. Jones lands his light aircraft, which is then destroyed following a collision with a remote controlled full-sized car, operated by the owner of the yacht Thayer. Jones is killed in the explosion, and his package is retrieved by Thayer's henchwoman Maya.

The search concentrates on Jones' girlfriend Yashuko, with Maxwell, Maya and Thayer's henchmen in pursuit. Yashuko is in the care of cosmetic surgeon Dr. Neil Connery, who uses hypnotism in his practice, and is attending a medical conference in Monte Carlo. With Connery's help, Yashuko escapes from Thayer's henchmen but is kidnapped by Maxwell instead. Another of Thayer's henchwomen, Krayendorf, disguised as a nun, then infiltrates the hospital where Yashuko is being held and removes her.

Connery meets Maxwell and her boss Commander Cunningham. They explain that Jones had wanted to sell them the package, and that he had asked them to protect Yashuko, who also had access to relevant information. Connery believes that Jones has transferred the data to Yashuko using hypnosis, and Cunningham demands Connery – an expert in the field – to help retrieve the information. Connery refuses, but is reminded that he killed one of Thayer's henchmen in the fight at the conference. He reluctantly agrees to help in exchange for the police investigation being dropped.

Thayer and Krayendorf are part of the THANATOS organisation, led by Alpha, with Thayer (codename Beta) his second in command. The THANATOS headquarters is in a cave system underneath a shed in the grounds of a Bavarian castle. THANATOS is approaching the climax of Operation Blackmail, intended to extort the world's gold reserves, but they are being delayed by their inability to obtain an "atomic nucleus". Gamma, responsible for this part of the operation, is killed as a result of his failure.

Beta meets Connery at a Monte Carlo archery competition. Two of Thayer's henchwomen, Maya and Mildred, flirt with Connery, but Cunningham dispatches him to Malaga where Yashuko has been spotted. Connery and Maxwell are met by Juan, who has left his wedding early to greet them. Mildred has followed them to Malaga, and Connery uses his hypnotic powers to persuade her to reveal Yashuko's true location, Krayendorf's castle.

Connery fires an arrow which short-circuits the electric fence protecting the castle and destroys its defensive machine gun position. Connery, Maxwell, Juan and their colleagues then attack the castle and defeat Krayendorf's henchmen. Juan kills Krayendorf and Connery rescues Yashuko. Using hypnosis, he accesses most of the critical information but Mildred kills Yashuko before the process is complete. Juan then kills Mildred.

Meanwhile, an "atomic nucleus" is being transported by American military police. Maya and more henchwomen dress up as can can dancers. They lure the MPs from their vehicles, which they disable before stealing the nucleus. Now that THANATOS have the nucleus, they can power their "ultra-high-frequency magnetic waves", which will cause all metal machines to stop working. World leaders will then, according to the plan, give THANATOS their gold.

Following up information revealed by Yashuko, Cunningham persuades Connery to travel to Tétouan, Morocco, where Thayer owns a rug factory staffed exclusively by blind men. Goons try to kill Connery in the street, but he is rescued by Maya. It becomes apparent that Alpha wants Connery dead, but Beta wants to keep him alive. Connery attends a party hosted by Beta. Beta resents Alpha's control of THANATOS and is plotting to replace him with a double, and Connery is required to change the man's face. Beta is also planning to murder his henchwomen, a fact that Connery passes on to Maya.

Connery infiltrates the rug factory, disguised as a blind Moroccan weaver. He soon discovers that the workers are in contact with dangerous radioactive materials and warns one of them. The worker instigates a riot and all the workers storm out of the factory. Connery is recognised and captured by Beta, then taken to his yacht where he is to be forced to transform Beta's henchman Kurt into an Alpha lookalike. Before the operation begins, Connery hypnotises Kurt, causing him to attack Beta, while the female crewmembers rise up against their male counterparts. The women take over the yacht, but Beta escapes in a rubber dinghy.

Alpha blames Beta for his failure and demands that he kill himself. Beta fakes his death and Alpha is killed instead, allowing Beta to take control of THANATOS. Connery and Maya meet Juan in Munich, where they are also joined by the Scottish members of the Monte Carlo archery club. Beta and his henchmen dress in leather uniforms for the next phase of Operation Blackmail. Meanwhile Connery and Maya search for the secret lair in a helicopter using a Geiger counter to detect the radioactive rugs.

Having located the source of the radiation, Connery and Maya land their helicopter. Connery gains access to the secret THANATOS base through the shed, but sends Maya to get reinforcements – she flies back to the village, notifies Cunningham, and organises the archers to form a rescue party. Meanwhile, Beta triggers the magnetic wave, paralysing machinery all over the world. Guns are no longer operational, so bows and arrows are now optimal weapons. Maya, Juan and the archers ride through the snow to the castle and access the base.

While the archers tackle Beta's henchmen, Connery plants an "anti-magnetic explosive" to stop the magnetic wave. He is discovered by Beta and they fight, culminating in an archery duel in which Beta is killed. Connery, Maya and the surviving archers escape from the base, which is then destroyed by an explosion. Cunningham wants to recruit Connery as a permanent agent, but Connery uses his hypnotic powers to dissuade him. Maya and Connery depart on Beta's yacht for a romantic cruise.



Neil Connery was working as a plasterer in Scotland until he was fired for losing his tools.[8] Based on Connery's relation to his brother Sean, the matter received international media attention. When Terence Young heard Connery interviewed with his trade union about the matter on the radio, he mentioned to Italian producer Dario Sabatello that Connery sounded like his brother. Sabatello met Connery at the Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh to recruit him to play the lead role in a Eurospy film. Connery recalled when he did his screen test the crew kept saying "OK, Connery, OK"; that became the title for the film.[9]

Experienced director Alberto De Martino, who had previously filmed Upperseven, the Man to Kill and Special Mission Lady Chaplin (both 1966), recalled his father Romolo de Martino doing Connery's extensive makeup and having problems with Connery's inexperience as an actor. He also recalled Sabatello approaching Sean Connery to do an appearance in the film; he emphatically refused.[10]

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 when voice dubbing of the film was in progress, leading another person to voice his lines in the English version.[11]

Lois Maxwell recalled she earned more money for the film than her combined award wage payments from all her appearances in the Eon Productions 007 films put together.[12]

O.K. Connery was filmed in Tetuán, Morocco, Monaco and Spain.[13]


O.K. Connery was released in Italy in 1967.[13] The film was distributed in the United States by United Artists (at the time also the distributor of the EON Productions Bond films), the year Sean Connery left the James Bond series,[3] under the title Operation Kid Brother. It was one of six Italian films released worldwide by United Artists in 1967.[14]

On video release, the film had alternate titles which included Operation Double 007, Secret Agent 00 and Operation Kid Brother.[15]

O.K. Connery was featured on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 on September 11, 1993, as Operation Double 007.[16]


In contemporary reviews, Bosley Crowther writing for The New York Times referred to the film as "a wobbly carbon copy of the James Bond thrillers"[17] Variety described the film as so "unbelievably inept", that "many viewers may find it hilarious fun."[18] The Monthly Film Bulletin stated that O.K. Connery was a "grotesque parody of a parody" noting endless allusions to Neil Connery's brother Sean Connery.[2] The review concluded that "the film as a whole is bad enough to be hysterically funny."[2] The Cleveland Press referred to the film as a "dreary and dismal espionage movie", stating that the film lacked the "flair and skill with which the Bond films are made. The script is labored, the direction slow and the acting is barely adequate."[19]

In Phil Hardy's book Science Fiction (1984), a review noted that "though it's stylishly mounted, the result is a routine Italian spy romp."[20]

In an interview in 1996, Lois Maxwell said that Sean Connery, when he learned that she would join the cast, got very angry and started screaming: "You have betrayed me!" but he later forgave her.[21]

As a "James Bond rip-off", reaction to the film is mixed. Ben Child from The Guardian called it one of the worst movies made for the genre.[22] In contrast, Andy Roberts from The Daily Telegraph and Tom Cole for Radio Times considered it to be one of the best.[23][24]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "O.K. Connery (1967)". Archivio del Cinema Italiano On-Line.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "O.K. Connery". Monthly Film Bulletin. 35 (408). London: British Film Institute: 78–79. 1968.
  3. ^ a b Mavis 2011, p. 234.
  4. ^ p. 13 Anderson Daily Bulletin from Anderson, Indiana January 11, 1967
  5. ^ p. 31 Sweeney, Kevin James Mason: A Bio-Bibliography Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999
  6. ^ p. 146 Morley, Sheridan James Mason: Odd Man Out Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1 Apr 1989
  7. ^ p. 8 "Oh No, Say Mason and the Bond Girl Yama The Straits Times, 18 December 1966
  8. ^ p, 187 Yule, Andrew Sean Connery: From 007 to Hollywood Icon Kensington Publishing Corporation, 1 Aug 1993
  9. ^ Field, Matthew & Chowdhury, Ajay Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films The History Press, 12 Oct 2015
  10. ^ "Albert De Martino Interview" Nanarland
  11. ^ "Neil Connery Interview" Cinema Retro #12
  12. ^ Brett, Anwar Moneypenny Speaks Film Review Special No 21 1997
  13. ^ a b "Operation Kid Brother". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  14. ^ Hughes, Howard Once Upon A Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoers' Guide to Spaghetti Westerns I.B.Tauris, 31 Mar 2006
  15. ^ Pavlides, Dan. "O.K. Connery". AllMovie. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  16. ^ "Mystery Science Theater 3000". TV Guide. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  17. ^ Crowther, Bosley (November 23, 1967). "Screen: Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Reagan:New Cinema Playhouse Changes Its Fare Picture Makes a Case for the Californian 'Operation Kid Brother'". New York Times. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  18. ^ Willis 1985, p. 224: "Review is of 104 minute version reviewed on October 11, 1967"
  19. ^ Mastroianni, Tony (November 18, 1967). ""Kid Brother" Is Poor Relation". The Cleveland Press. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  20. ^ Hardy 1984, p. 266.
  21. ^ Insert magazine of the Italian VHS James Bond 007 Collection edition of Dr. No, published by Fabbri Editori, directed by Giulio Lattanzi.
  22. ^ Child, Ben (August 17, 2016). "Never make ever again: The 007 worst James Bond rip-offs in history". The Guardian. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  23. ^ Roberts, Andy (October 13, 2015). "Pussy Galore, meet Lotta Muff: the weird world of the Bond rip-off". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  24. ^ Cole, Tom (October 26, 2012). "Shaky, yet stirring: the best James Bond knock-offs of all time". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2018.


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