deadlier than the male

Deadlier Than the Male is a 1966 British action film featuring the character of Bulldog Drummond. It is one of the many take-offs of James Bond produced during the 1960s but based on an established detective fiction hero. Richard Johnson (Terence Young’s original preference to play James Bond) stars as Hugh ‘Bulldog’ Drummond, updated to a suave Korean War veteran now an insurance investigator trailing a pair of sexy assassins (Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina) who kill for sport and profit. Drummond’s American nephew, Robert Drummond (Steve Carlson then a Universal Pictures contract star), becomes involved in the intrigue when he comes to visit.

The title is a reference to the 1911 Rudyard Kipling poem “The Female of the Species,” which includes the line: “The female of the species must be deadlier than the male”, and also refers to Sapper’s earlier Drummond book “The Female of the Species”.

The movie poster is slightly misleading: Only two female assassins are prominently displayed in the movie. Although three other female assassins are featured briefly in the finale, the brunette, Kitty Swan has a less prominent role in the film but is as prominent as the two leads on the movie poster. Publicity announced the film in December 1964 but it wasn’t filmed until 1966.

The film was followed by a sequel Some Girls Do in 1969.

Trivia:

  • Sylva Koscina, playing Penelope, was dubbed by Nikki Van der Zyl
  • Virginia North would turn up in the sequel Some Girls Do (1969/I) in a different role.

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