Bang! Bang! You’re Dead! (1966)
aka Our Man In Marrakesh
“I think there’s been some foul play.” A prolific line from leading man Tony Randall who finds himself caught up in murder and intrigue while in the company of a group of tourists and business folk in Morocco.
Before the opening credits even roll a man is murdered in the crowded streets of Marrakesh. All under the supervision of Klaus Kinski (sadly dubbed again). A suit and tie killer who we will soon see is in the employ of Herbert Lom. Randall’s time in Morocco is about to take a turn for the worst when the dead man is placed in his hotel room.
But then it’s not his room. It turns out there has been a mix up and it’s the sexy Senta Berger who should have found a body in her closet. Berger doesn’t quite seem to be telling Tony everything about the body in the closet and when she suggest they ditch the body, Tony begins to suspect there is more to the story then she’s telling. The adventure is going to lead the duo into the heart of Herbert Lom’s lair where Lom is going to report the murder and attempt to detain Randall until the police arrive. To no avail as Tony is quick to make a getaway. The problem for Lom is that Tony swiped his brief case with some damning evidence.
And so the chase begins.
The biggest problem Tony and Berger face is just who to trust. They’re not even sure they can trust each other. There is apparently over two million dollars floating around that is to be handed off to Lom by one of Tony’s fellow tourists. Perhaps it’s John Le Mesurier or Wilfrid Hide White. One thing is obvious, it’s going to be a lighthearted romp through the countryside as Berger and Tony let nature take it’s course in matters of the heart. If they could just shake off Kinski who continually chases after them as Lom’s killer for hire.
While this may be a Harry Alan Towers special, it isn’t all that bad and there is one scene that’s a must for fans of the gap toothed Terry-Thomas. When Tony and Berger are swept into his presence he introduces himself as only he can as “El Caid. The oily cad.” Grin and all. For a change Mr. Thomas isn’t out to fleece anyone so you might even say he’s playing against type when he joins in the plot to help our runaways contact the police and defeat Lom and his goons.
Though the ending seems somewhat slapped together as if we are to see a giant cream pie fight minus the flying pies, this proved to be a passable time filler from director Don Sharp. Sharp had already collaborated with producer Towers the previous year on the return of Fu Manchu to cinema’s the world over starring Christopher Lee. “The world has not seen the last of me.”
I love joining the dots in film history so it’s easy to note that Kinski and Lom would turn up together in 1970’s Count Dracula that was produced by Towers as well though Sharp was dropped for the zooming style of Jess Franco. Director Sharp helmed a number of genre titles including Rasputin for Hammer and a Canadian production I recall seeing on the big screen as a kid titled Bear Island.
Towers once again did double duty under his alias, Peter Welbeck. Welbeck was the monacher that Towers assigned himself as writer or story creator on many of his productions including this filmed on location venture.
I’ve seen this turn up on TCM under the Our Man title as well as late night TV years ago under the Bang Bang title sequence. The copy I have is on VHS under the Bang option of the two.
In the end the cast tries hard and that’s good enough for me.