Our Man Flint, James Coburn's Bond Spoof: Facts And Trivia

By Jacob Shelton
Poster art for the sequel 'In Like Flint' by Bob Peak. Source: IMPawards

When James Coburn (flanked by groovy beauties) as agent Derek Flint hit screens in Our Man Flint and In Like Flint, he was riding one of the biggest entertainment fads of the '60s. Movies and TV were gripped by a kind of spy and secret agent mania. Thanks to the Cold War and changing sexual norms -- and two decades removed from the blood and guts of WWII -- people flocked to a different kind of action film. War wasn't the answer -- no, it was espionage.

The success of James Bond franchise, beginning with 1962's Dr. No, spawned films and shows that copied the formula or riffed on it: The Silencers, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart, Jonny Quest, and even the Thunderbirds marionettes. Our Man Flint follows the genre tropes of the Bond series to a T while cranking everything up to 11. The action, comedy, and sexuality are all heightened, making Our Man Flint and its follow up In Like Flint more than just parodies of the Bond series, they provide a kind of meta take on the series that exposes all of its ridiculous machinations while celebrating them, essentially doing what Austin Powers did decades before it was released.

As Derek Flint, James Coburn is cool and collected, but he's also incredibly American. The sly bashful nature of Bond is gone, and in its place is the prowess of someone who knows that they've already won. Our Man Flint may be a product of its time, but it's a spectacular look at the spy craze of the 1960s.