Bullet Points: Operation Kid Brother
There is a long history in Hollywood of younger brothers outshining their older brothers. Sylvester Stallone might have more movies represented on this site, but there is no denying that Frank Stallone is the more talented brother. When you think of the Hemsworths, Liam has a clear advantage over Chris and even Luke. If you had to pick any of the Baldwins, you couldn’t go wrong with Alec, Daniel or William, but the breakout star of that brood is clearly Stephen. Continuing in this tradition, I want to present the 1967 spy film Operation Kid Brother. Neil Connery, younger brother of Sean Connery plays the reluctant doctor cum spy Neil Connery. Yes, he plays a character with his real life name. So if you have ever wanted to see a Sean Connery James Bond type, but with a Van Dyke, join me on a journey to Operation Kid Brother.
- Band of Brothers – Operation Kid Brother is a self aware movie that acknowledges but does not mention by name the fact that Neil Connery’s brother is a spy. Of course that works in real life and for the film. Dr. Connery in the movie is a world renowned plastic surgeon who happens to be an expert in hypnosis, lip reading, and archery. You better flipping believe that he must use all those skills at some point in the movie. When a patient of Dr. Connery’s is kidnapped during a convention in Monte Carlo, the British government not only needs but forces the good doctor to help. Dr. Connery is reluctant to help because he is not a spy like his brother, but he has no choice because of his connection with the crime.
- All in the Family – Neil Connery might have been new to the spy movie game, but Operation Kid Brother is not without its veterans of the James Bond franchise. Adolfo Celi (Thunderball) plays another villain, this time Mr. Thai aka Beta a member of the Spectre like crime syndicate Thanatos. The head of Thanatos is Alpha played by two time Bond villain Anthony Dawson (Dr. No and From Russia With Love.) The lovely Daniela Bianchi plays Maya Rafis, a character very similar to her role as Tatiana in From Russia With Love. The Bond actors are not limited to villains as long time Bond co-workers M (Bernard Lee) and Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) make appearances in very similar roles as Commander Cunningham and Max respectively. Maxwell gets a chance to be part of the action more than just stuck behind a desk as in the Bond series.
- Big Brother – If you enjoy a little action, exotic locales and lovely women in your spy action movies you can do much worse than Operation Kid Brother, especially if you are a fan of archery. After Thanatos sets off their magnetized weapon that disables all sorts of machinery, including guns, there is a major battle with all guns being useless and the archery skills of Dr. Connery shine. Beta happens to be an archery expert also which leads to a final showdown that would make Robin Hood mess his tights. Much of this action takes place all over Europe (which is very exotic to us colonists.) The Monte Carlo scenes specifically stick out along with the German castle action piece. You can’t have a Bond film or Bond spoof film without a gaggle of attractive women. Beta has a yacht that is “manned” by a crew of women in revealing outfits. Of course when they find out that Beta finds them expendable we are treated to an all out boat brawl with these lovely women beating up men.
- Perfect Strangers – In the tradition of the early Bond films, many of the voices in Operation Kid Brother were dubbed. Considering this is an Italian production with many Italian actors (see Celi and Bianchi) who didn’t speak English I can see why it was done. The part I find ridiculous is that the star of the movie Neil Connery is dubbed by another actor! The character Neil is allegedly from Scotland but has an American accent in the film. The first time I saw the movie I was looking forward to find if Neil had a familiar Scottish brogue like his brother Sean. If Sean’s accent is related to talent and machismo then Neil and Sean probably don’t sound alike.
Operation Kid Brother has a very enjoyable mix of late 60s Bond action and beautiful women. Neil Connery shines in a role that would never work for older brother Sean Connery. I cannot see and would never want to see Sean playing a reluctant spy unwilling to help Queen and country. There are hundreds of Bond clone and spoof films out there and to have one with the brother of one the most famous James Bond actors is a real bonus. Do you know what is coming next? Did I telegraph it well enough for you? Bonus Bullet Points!!!!
- Operation Kid Brother is also known as O.K. Connery which makes sense because the character and actor are both named Connery. It also works with the theme song O.K. Connery by legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone that plays throughout the film
- You might also find Operation Kid Brother titled as Operation Double 007. Is that supposed to be 007007 or 014?
- Thanatos is the name of the evil organization in Operation Kid Brother and later became the name of a satellite pivotal to the plots of Diamonds Are Forever and Stealth Fighter (which was just the same footage borrowed from Diamonds Are Forever.)
- For you Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans, Operation Kid Brother has its very own episode. I have never seen it because I thought MST3K was only for bad movies.