Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)


Austin Powers is a flirtatious secret agent, cryogenically frozen in the flower-power era and awoken in the mid-90s for another mission. Armed with smutty puns and innuendo, Powers is tasked to track down the ultimate villain: Dr. Evil.

"You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!" - Dr Evil

Vital Statistics
Studio: New Line Cinema
Running Time: 90 minutes
Budget: $16.5 million
Box office: $67.6 million

Directed by: Jay Roach
Produced by: Eric McLeod, Mike Myers, Demi Moore, et al
Written by: Mike Myers
Music by: George S. Clinton

Cast & Characters

Austin Powers / Dr. Evil
Mike Myers

Vanessa Kensington
Elizabeth Hurley

Scott Evil
Seth Green

Will Ferrell

Number Two
Robert Wagner

Mrs. Kensington
Mimi Rogers

London, UK; Las Vegas, NV, USA.


Scenes involving cameos from Evel Knievel and Christian Slater were filmed but never made the final cut.

The title of the film takes its name from the lead character, Austin Powers.

The Bond Connection
The film is a spoof of the 1960s spy-fi genre, inspired by the Peter Sellers/Orson Wells "Casino Royale". The film pokes fun at Bond's chauvinism and use of double entendre. The villain, Dr. Evil, is a larger-than-life Blofeld - complete with white cat - with many other characters bearing similarity to Odd Job, Irma Bunt and Emilio Largo.

Left: Mike Myers and Elizabeth Hurley pose in costume for a publicity still. Powers' costume is a nod to Lazenby in O.H.M.S.S.

Production Notes
Mike Myers conceived of the idea to film a out-of-touch '60s spy-spoof after listening to the Burt Bacharach score for "Casino Royale". The generation gap is emphasized by the fact that neither Dr. Evil nor Powers lived through the 1970s or '80s. Myers also drew on his time sketch-writing for the popular comedy "Saturday Night Live". One particularly memorable one sees a convention of villains complaining about the same secret agent that consistently thwarts their plans.

Screenwriter, producer and star Mike Myers turned to little known director Jay Roach to helm the farce. Roach would later direct the successful "Meet The Parents" and "Meet the Fockers" as well as two sequels to "Austin Powers".

Myers coaxed a string of familiar faces to play cameo roles in the picture - notably Carrie Fisher (of "Star Wars" fame) as a family councilor, 1970s Bond girl Lois Chiles ("Moonraker") and composer Burt Bacharach as himself.

Roach and his crew shot on location in Las Vegas, where much of the film is set, and in Colorado Springs. London was mocked up on the Paramount Studios backlot. The film opened in America on May 2nd and rose to #2 at the box office, collecting $9.5 million in the opening weekend and a comfortable $53.8 million during its time on release.

Capsule Reviews
"Tyro feature director Jay Roach makes a splashy, impressive debut with "Austin Powers." His sense of timing is generally adroit, as evidenced by a fiendishly clever sequence that cleverly hides "the naughty bits'' and a hilarious dinner table sequence with all the principals." - Variety

"The plot -- nuclear warheads, world domination, Las Vegas, robotic female assassins in white eye shadow and see-through teddies, etc. -- is your standard 007 stuff. It allows Myers and director Jay Roach to spoof the conceits of those films: the confrontation at the blackjack table, the underground facility crawling with bad guys in matching jump suits and helmets, the evil chick with the gynecological name, the ridiculously lax standards villains have when trying to dispatch the heroes."  - Washington Post

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