Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Ambushers, The (1967)

Ambushers, The (1967)

This hokey espionage spoof featuring Dean Martin‘s secret agent, Matt Helm, is the third in the franchise which made a pot of money for Columbia Pictures, following The Silencers and Murderers Row.

In The Ambushers, Helm contends with a fight sequence inside a giant vat of beer, a pistol-packed bra and a script that is more interested in all the innuendo and in-jokes (in the first five minutes of the film, there are enough breast jokes for 10 movies) than it is in the plot.

This time, Matt Helm has to locate a missing experimental American spaceship equipped to control the world. Along the way, he must also cure his brainwashed colleague (Janice Rule) who, inconveniently, believes she is Mrs Helm.

Their quest takes them to Mexico, where there’s lots of rugged scenery that doesn’t at all match up with the studio sets and, of course, a couple of arch fiends. Albert Salmi plays the head villain, Ortega, while Kurt Kasznar is the comic cut-out henchman, Quintana.

Enemy agent Francesca (Senta Berger) is the object of Helm’s main romantic dalliance and a dozen slay-girls pop up at various awkward moments to make his life ‘difficult’ in two ways.

Holding down the fort back home are Helm regulars Beverly Adams as the one and only Lovey Kravezit, and ICE boss James Gregory.

The film is a mixture of James Bond-style gadgets, Martin’s gimlet-eyed quips, gaudy studio sets and back-projected scenery, and the result is a very jaded movie indeed.


Matt Helm
Dean Martin
Francesca Madeiros
Senta Berger
Sheila Sommers
Janice Rule
James Gregory
Jose Ortega
Albert Salmi
Kurt Kasznar
Lovey Kravezit
Beverly Adams
David Mauro
Roy Jenson

Henry Levin