The Spy Who Confused Me: “Superseven chiama Cairo” (1965)



BATHING, BUBBLES, TOIL AND TROUBLES: Just how would a spy rushing to save the Free World operate efficiently without a beauty (in this case, the delectable Rosalba Neri) emerging from a bath? Fortunately, in Umberto Lenzi’s James Bond knock-off “Superseven chiama Cairo” such an unthinkable scenario is ignored in the interest of the furtherance of presenting nonsense as popular escapist entertainment.

    “Superseven chiama Cairo”  (1965)

    If imitation were genuinely the sincerest form of flattery, then Ian Fleming’s most popular creation would have merited the author the Nobel Prize for Literature. As it stands, what is entertaining in an original incarnation tends to lose its vitality through the lack of necessity of bringing the fullest creative juices to bear when the task is merely slavish reproduction. As a paper tracing of Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe might have a shadowy resemblance to the original but without the finished artistry of the oil on canvas, so too does this imitation James Bond adventure aspire to anything more than a counterfeit reminder of the genuine article.

   Umberto Lenzi’s  “Superseven chiama Cairo”, which introduces his secret agent Martin Stevens, aka Superseven, finds its obvious inspiration in the commercial success of the 007 series, and to a point it is faithful in including those elements which are easily replicated without the necessary style or craftsmanship to which the Bond franchise, up to that point, had become recognized: the global location hopping to picturesque backdrops; the constant supply of beddable shapely women, at least one of whom is an agent working for the forces of wrongdoing; and an archvillian whose modus operandi is to openly blab his plans to the hero while failing to dispatch him, necessitating a prolonged series of chases, recaptures and incidents of increasingly absurd endangerment. 

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in books, crime, espionage, Eurospy movies, Italian cinema, Movies, Mystery, Romance, Rosalba Neri, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Spy Who Confused Me: “Superseven chiama Cairo” (1965)

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  2. beetleypete says:

    A ‘Spaghetti Bond’? I never knew. Perhaps I never needed to know.I can only imagine the appalling dubbing.
    And I am surprised it never resulted in legal action from the Bond franchise producers.
    Best wishes, Cubby Broccoli.

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