1967 sure was a great year for films. Bonnie and Clyde, Cool Hand Luke, The Dirty Dozen and Fathom.
Settle down, I have no intention of arguing that this film can hold a candle to the other titles. Then again none of those other titles can offer the undeniably gorgeous figure of Raquel Welch.
Fathom offers us a failing attempt at the spy/spoof genre. It shoots for a Flint flavored script but doesn’t really come close. Welch stars as a sky diver who is enlisted by Ronald Fraser to help in the recovery of “Firedragon”. He points her in the direction of Anthony Franciosa’s supposed spy for the forces of evil. Nothing is as it seems.
Clive Revill turns up here doing his best to give off a Peter Sellers vibe. It doesn’t work very well but I must admit by the time the fade out is upon us I have gotten used to his clowning.
Miss Welch is lost by the half way point. She has no idea who is on the level and who to trust. The supposed weapon known as the Firedragon turns out to be a lost treasure and it seems she is in the middle of a murderous group of fortune hunters whose treachery knows no bounds.
The whole film is pretty much a backfire from the outset but lets look for the positives that come out of this 98 minute film from 20th Century Fox.
Raquel looks ravishing in her jump suit. Just ask Anthony Franciosa who has the opportunity to frisk her.
Raquel looks gorgeous in a red dress. At least when she’s in it and not a stuntman with a wig outrunning a bull in the ring.
Raquel’s figure is finely displayed as she goes undercover while pretty much remaining uncovered in a two piece bikini.
Franciosa is a long way from his run of acclaimed dramatic roles in the late fifties but remained busy throughout the sixties and seventies. I for one have always considered it a positive seeing him turn up in any film.
Down the crew list as second unit director is Peter Medak. He would go on to direct a couple of personal favorites. The Changeling with George C. Scott and Gary Oldman’s modern Noir, Romeo Is Bleeding.
So other than the chance to gaze at Miss Welch in all her splendor there isn’t much to recommend here. Then again the producers knew that going in. Check out the trailer and it’s very easy to see the marketing campaign for this scenic title filmed partially in Spain.