Saturday, 7 December 2013

Matt Helm

American secret agent Matt Helm was created by author Donald Hamilton (1916-2006), first appearing in the novel 'Death of a Citizen' published in 1960.

27 Matt Helm novels were written -

Death of a Citizen (1960) The Wrecking Crew (1960) The Removers (1961) The Silencers (1962) Murderers' Row (1962) The Ambushers (1963) The Shadowers (1964) The Ravagers (1964) The Devastators (1965) The Betrayers (1966) The Menacers (1968) The Interlopers (1969) The Poisoners (1971) The Intriguers (1972) The Intimidators (1974) The Terminators (1975) The Retaliators (1976) The Terrorizers (1977) The Revengers (1982) The Annihilators (1983) The Infiltrators (1984) The Detonators (1985) The Vanishers (1986) The Demolishers (1987) The Frighteners (1989) The Threateners (1992) The Damagers (1993)

Gail Hendrix: I want some music.
[Turns on car radio, Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" plays]
Matt Helm: Oh, turn him off, he's terrible!
[Changes the station, Dean Martin's "Everybody Loves Somebody" plays]
Matt Helm: Now that's a guy that can sing!

The Silencers (1966) Directed by Phil Karlson. 102mins

Dean Martin - Matt Helm
Stella Stevens - Gail Hendricks
Daliah Lavi - Tina
Victor Buono - Tung-Tze
Arthur O'Connell - Joe Wigman
Robert Webber - Sam Gunther
James Gregory - MacDonald
Nancy Kovack - Barbara
Roger C. Carmel - Andreyev
Cyd Charisse - Sarita
Beverly Adams - Lovey Kravezit

Music by Elmer Bernstein

Matt Helm: This is dancing?
Suzie Solaris: It's called a discotheque. You want to try?
Matt Helm: I don't disc 

Murderer's Row (1966) Directed by Henry Levin. 105mins.

Dean Martin - Matt Helm
Ann-Margret - Suzie Solaris
Karl Malden - Julian Wall
Camilla Sparv - Coco Duquette
James Gregory - MacDonald
Beverly Adams - Lovey Kravezit

Jose Ortega: [toasting] Cheers!
Francesca: [also toasting] Skol!
Matt Helm: Sure it's cold. It's got ice in it.  

The Ambushers (1967) Directed by Henry Levin. 102mins.

Dean Martin - Matt Helm
Senta Berger - Francesca Madeiros
Janice Rule - Sheila Sommers
James Gregory - MacDonald
Albert Salmi - Jose Ortega
Kurt Kasznar - Quintana
Beverly Adams - Lovey Kravezit

Bruce Lee was Martial Arts advisor on The Wrecking Crew, seen here rehearsing a fight scene between Sharon Tate and Nancy Kwan.

Chuck Norris standing next to Elke Sommer, his first film role.

Chuck vs Dean!

Lola Medina: I've heard that you do... drink.
Matt Helm: Just call it a hobby.   

The Wrecking Crew (1968) Directed by Phil Karlson. 105mins.

Dean Martin - Matt Helm
Elke Sommer - Linka Karensky
Sharon Tate - Freya Carlson
Nancy Kwan - Yu-Rang
Tina Louise - Lola Medina
Nigel Green - Count Massimo Contini

A fifth Matt Helm movie - The Ravagers - was planned but abandoned after Dean Martin lost interest in continuing the role.

Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by followers of Charles Manson a few months after The Wrecking Crew was released, she was 26 years old and pregnant at the time.

Anthony Franciosa starred in the TV series 'Matt Helm' in 1975-1976. The series lasted one season and 14 episodes.


  1. I see you are finally giving Sir Michael his First he gets his very own movie poster page and now a Palmer one too. I have seen all of the Palmer movies including the later tv ones. I think you can see why they got Caine to play Austin Powers dad in those movies...although I think the dad part was one part Sean Connery, one part Michael Caine and one part James Coburn(Flint movies).
    I have never seen an entire Dean Martin Matt Helms movie...I have seen bits and pieces of all the Helm they seemed to be on tv all the time when I was younger.....nice addition to the collection

  2. Thanks for commenting Bruce. I thought this was an interesting idea for a Blog, a companion piece to my Historical People in Movies blog. Plenty of movie characters for future topics, including Austin Powers.
    The Matt Helm films were fun and packed with lovely ladies in bikinis and hot pants, what more can you want? :)

  3. Mr. Lensman, totally thrilled with such a through pictorial essay on Dean Martin as Matt Helm, such a profoundly powerful plethora of poses and posters from the quartet of big screen Dino epics. Never was, never will be anyone as cool as the King of Cool...oh, to return to the days when Dino walked the earth. Know that your efforts are being shared this day at ilovedinomartin.

  4. Thank you Dino, your comments are much appreciated. There seem to be a lot of Matt Helm fans out there, only James Bond has had more views on this particular blog.

  5. The pleasure is all mine Steve. Indeed there are tons of pallies who are hooked on our Dino as spyster Matt Helm. Thrilled to know your powerful post is getting the attention it so richly deserves.