Thursday, June 28, 2007

Movie: Fathom (1967)

I kept catching the same scene from this tongue-in-cheek spy film on the Fox Movie Channel, and it seemed goofy enough to warrant taking in the whole thing.

Raquel Welch stars as La Jolla dental assistant/competitive skydiver Fathom Harvill, and already I’m wondering why this movie never appeared on either version of that AFI list. She’s touring Europe with her parachutist pals when she gets roped into a caper at the behest of an intelligence agency known as H.A.D.E.S. Soon she’s tangling with an international man of mystery who talks like Timothy Leary (Tony Franciosa), his Mongolian consort, and an oversexed Russian with a core body temperature of 88.6 degrees. Did I mention that none of this is meant to be taken seriously? The movie’s most preposterous conceit is that Raquel could put on a helmet over all that hair.

The action is directed with more verve than is strictly necessary by TV veteran Leslie Martinson and written by Lorenzo Semple, Jr., a man who knows his way around serious spy fare having worked on Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View. But who are we kidding? The movie is simply an excuse to take in some lovely Spanish scenery and the equally lovely Raquel in a procession of skimpy outfits.

An enterprising Fathom fan has uploaded all the bikini scenes to YouTube, which is essentially half the movie. But I’ve chosen to offer you the title sequence, by Maurice Binder of James Bond fame. Featuring all the erotic magic of Raquel packing a parachute.

Works for me.