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Films: P is for...

President’s Analyst, The

Fresh from playing Derek Flint, perhaps the most famous ‘name’ spoof Bond of all, James Coburn is cast as the titular White House shrink in this dayglo swinging conspiracy comedy, summoned to relieve his boss of the trauma of office (and a few state secrets besides) via an omnipresent flashing red alarm. Soon both American and Russian agents are after him, and many violent counterculture related incidents lead Coburn to the real enemy – the all-powerful phone company, headed by the sinisterly smooth Pat Harrington Jr, who imprison him in a phone box and screen their world domination plans in the form of quaint UPA-style cartoons, before a violently festive ‘happy’ twist ending. What with the obligatory censorship controversies (the names ‘CIA’ and ‘FBI’ altered with bad dubbing, apparently at the authorities’ behest), a murderous William ‘KITT’ Daniels, inevitable psychedelic trip scenes, excellent Casino Royale-type sets and a whole Lalo Schifrin goin’ on scorewise, this film gets dangerously close at points to becoming Quality Cinema, but thankfully veers off on yet another wild tangent before anything so boring can happen.

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