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The Shorts: Operation Kid Brother

17th December 2013

Guest writer Neil McNally examines the anatomy of the 'Operation Kid Brother' promotional trailer

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An often-overlooked facet of the franchise is 007's pre-release marketing, epitomised in the form of film trailers. These are undeniably a medium that deserves credit, as they lured cinema-goers to return for the latest and greatest Bond instalment.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But, when it comes to the next film in our Shorts series, some things are better left to interpretation. "Operation Kid Brother", also known as "O.K.Connery", stands as a towering achievement in the annals of James Bond imitators. But, what sets this 1967 film apart isn't its script or subject matter, but its star, a certain Mr. Connery...Neil Connery. For good or bad, Sean's younger brother Neil make his film debut in this 007 knock off to end all knock offs!

Bizarrely, the film's vague general plot involves Neil Connery playing a character called, appropriately enough, Dr. Neil Connery. As the brother of a world famous secret agent, his character is recruited to thwart the villainous THANATOS organization (Any connections or inferences to SPECTRE are greatly exaggerated of course). His skills are many. If you're looking for archery, hypnotism, and suspiciously looking like a goateed version of his brother, you've come to the right place.


Above: Bernard Lee and Adolfo Celi in "O.K.Connery".

If this still doesn't pique your interest, then the fact that the film is oddly littered with actors and actresses from the venerable film franchise's first five years probably will. Bernard Lee (M.), Lois Maxwell (Ms. Moneypenny), Daniela Bianchi ("From Russia with Love"), Adolfo Celi ("Thunderball"), and Anthony Dawson ("Dr. No") all serve their time in this unique Italian cult classic. It's so unique in fact that it was famously lampooned on the mid-1990s television show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and Sean Connery was said to have held something of a grudge against both his brother and his co-stars for their appearances in the flick.

However, all of this is rather inconsequential to the trailer which is never logical, but always hilarious. The wild ride begins with the title card "Neil Connery...IS TOO MUCH," as an imitation Shirley Bassey bellows out a somewhat incoherent title track. In fact, the only lyric that I was able to decipher was something along the lines of "He knows how to make girls fall in love!" But, please don't quote me on that.

With that, the audience is barraged by a myriad of fight sequences. Though myriad is a kind word, as the editing is so random and manic that the viewers are well advised to have a bottle of Ibuprofen close at hand to prevent migraines. Rest assured that fists fly, explosions abound, spears whizz through the air, flame throwers blast, and poison darts meet their targets. All of this, believe it or not, in a quick two minute package.

In the end, this trailer represents a 007 film from another dimension. Things seem somewhat familiar, but then rapidly go very much askew. Never once do you really know what the actual plot is, and ultimately that's fine. It's what makes this entry into the 1960s Europsy spoof craze so gratifying and fun to watch. It's not hard to imagine that if it wasn't for films like this, a certain Mr. Austin Powers may not have had his time to shine!

So turn on your DVD player, crack open a bottle of wine, and pop in that bootleg copy you found on Ebay. For, as the trailer reminds us at the end:

Operation Kid Brother...Is Too Much...For One Mother

About The Author
Neil McNally is a writer and Bond aficionado living in Los Angeles. To read more please visit www.neilmcnallywriter.com

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