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OSS 117: Five Film Collection Blu-ray

OSS 117 Is Unleashed (OSS 117 se déchaîne) 1963


Panic in Bangkok (Banco à Bangkok pour OSS 117) 1964


OSS 117: Mission for a Killer (Furia à Bahia pour OSS 117) 1965


OSS 117: Mission to Tokyo (Atout coeur à Tokyo pour O.S.S. 117) 1966


OSS 117: Double Agent (Pas de Roses pour OSS 117) 1968

 

Eurospy films (if produced in Italy "Spaghetti spy" films), specifically imitated or parodied Ian Fleming's James Bond series. The French OSS 117 (Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath) character and his adventurous exploits, as penned by the prolific Jean Bruce, who wrote 88 OSS 117 novels, were actually started before the iconic British secret agent's first literary appearance. OSS 117 has been cited as helping to inspire James Bond's evolution. But with the success of the Sean Connery 007 films, OSS 117 was, likewise, sparked to the big screen with high-tec gadgets and wealthy power-mad villains. While majority in the French language (or partially DUBBED in French) these were known to feature American or British stars as the fearless, jet-setting, playboy protagonist.

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Before James Bond, there was Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, the hero of a long string of French spy novels starting in 1949. The books were such a hit that after the death of their author, Jean Bruce, his wife took over the series. Hubert was an American colonel of French descent who worked for the Office of Strategic Services, the World War II predecessor of the CIA. His code name: OSS 117.

Excerpt from SFGate located HERE

 

Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, alias OSS: 117, first appeared in the 1957 film OSS 117 n'est pas mort (OSS 117 Is Not Dead). After the highly successful 1962 release of Dr. No, the character was brought back into action in the 1963 film OSS 117 se déchaîne (OSS 117 Is Unleashed) starring Kerwin Matthews (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad) as the suave secret agent, the first of the 5 films in this beautifully restored collection and co-starring Irina Demick (The Sicilian Clan). A year later Matthews returned as OSS 117 in the 1964 film Banco à Bangkok pour OSS 117 (OSS 117: Panic in Bangkok) which co-starred Robert Hossein (Cemetery Without Crosses) and Pier Angeli (The Silver Chalice). In 1965 Frederick Stafford, the star of Hitchcock's Topaz, took over the OSS 117 role in the film Furia à Bahia pour OSS 117 (OSS 117: Mission for a Killer) and reprised the role in the 1966 film Atout coeur à Tokyo pour OSS 117 (OSS 117: Mission to Tokyo). After a one-year hiatus OSS 117 returned in the 1968 film Pas de roses pour OSS 117 (OSS 117 - Double Agent) starring John Gavin (Psycho, Spartacus) as the deadly agent with Curt Jurgens (Two Males For Alexa), Margaret Lee (Cold Blooded Beast), Luciana Paluzzi (Thunderball, The Green Slime, A Black Veil For Lisa), George Eastman (Anthropophagous) and Robert Hossein appearing in his second OSS 117 film.

 

Kino  - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

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Many OSS 177 Films, on Region FREE Blu-ray (with English subtitle) found HERE:

Distribution

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Many OSS 177 Films, on Region FREE Blu-ray (with English subtitle) found HERE:

Distribution

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Subtitles

English, None

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Kino

Edition Details:


• Three Trailers on third
Blu-ray

Blu-ray Release Date: September 25th, 2017

Thick Blu-ray case with cardboard sleeve

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Firstly, the five OS 117 films are on three separate Blu-ray discs, so they are essentially single-layered transfers. They are all 1080P with mid-20s bitrates and look consistent. Bond fans will recognize the similarities of plots, settings and sequences. It also appears that Matt Helm and Derek Flint have cross-overs - foreign countries, gadgets, sexy women (occasional as 'femme fatale' villains), hand-hand combat, and, at time, world-threatening, super-rich, baddies or internationally powerful organizations.

Video: These are all competent transfers - visible textures and maintaining the integrity of the original aspect ratios. Mission to Tokyo having some teal-leaning and Double Agent (Pas de Roses pour OSS 117) looking occasionally thin, but generally the presentations are pleasing without digital manipulation. The image is clean - brighter colors with some depth and impressive detail in close-ups. I found no fatal complaints whatsoever with the transferred image quality which is extremely consistent and, notably, superior to SD. I suspect these are the same or very similar to the Gaumont Blu-rays out of France - and these Kino BDs start with that logo.

Kino use DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel tracks (16-bit) - four in French and the last film in English. There are audio effects from cars, and helicopters to man-on-man fighting - with weapons - plus some gunshots. There is depth but it isn't a notable part of the presentations as the aggressive requirements are minimal. The first four films have scores by Michel Magne (Vice and Virtue aka "Le vice et la vertu", Monsieur Gangster, Angélique, Angelique and the Sultan) with the final film composed by Italian composer and jazz musician Piero Piccioni (The Fox with a Velvet Tail, Three Brothers, The 10th Victim, Adua and Her Friends, Hands Over the City, L'assassino, The Moment of Truth) There are optional English subtitles on all films (see samples below.) The Blu-ray discs are all Region 'A'-locked.  

There are only three trailers - OSS 117 Is Unleashed, Panic in Bangkok and Mission for a Killer -, on the last disc, as supplements. I think the Gaumont Blu-rays have extras but I've been told they are not English-friendly.

So what do you get? 5 cracking good spy-adventure flics - imperfect but with a versatile hero. Great leads - we have two features with Kerwin Mathews (The 3 Worlds of Gulliver) as OSS 177, two with Frederick Stafford (Werewolf Woman) and the last with John Gavin (Douglas Sirk's A Time to Love and a Time to Die.) What about the gals? Mylène Demongeot, Nadia Sanders, Irina Demick (The Sicilian Clan), Pier Angeli, Dominique Wilms, Marina Vlady, Jitsuko Yoshimura (recall her from Kaneto Shindô's Onibaba?), Margaret Lee (Slaughter Hotel), one of my favorites; Luciana Paluzzi (Thunderball, The Green Slime, A Black Veil For Lisa) and, of course, Rosalba Neri (Two Males For Alexa). Support from Curd Jürgens (The Enemy Below), George Eastman (Delerium), Robert Hossein (Cemetery Without Crosses) and many others.

I really enjoyed these although it took one full viewing to appreciate the stylish character. I think there is some good value here for fans. Recommended!

Gary W. Tooze


Menus

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

("OSS 117 Is Unleashed")

 

Hunebelle and Mathews’ first spin with the character is too talky but cool. Its black-and-white photography shows off the lovely Corsican scenery to great effect. It was likely influenced by DR. NO, but OSS 117 is less of a Bond type than a ‘50s private eye. The plot appears to have low stakes at first—Hubert is sent to Corsica to investigate the murder of an agent who was shot to death while scuba diving—but eventually evolves into something bigger. But that’s after a lot of chatter between OSS 117; Renotte (Henri-Jacques Huet), the diving instructor who took the victim underwater; and Renotte’s mistress Brigitta (American starlet Nadia Sanders).

Excerpt from LetterBoxd located HERE

 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

       

Also available, individually, on Region FREE Blu-ray (with English subtitles) from Gaumont in France:

Bitrate:

  Kino

Runtime:

1:43:33.207

Disc Size:

45,772,244,122 bytes

Feature Size:

21,153,097,728 bytes

Video Bitrate:

22.99 Mbps

Chapters:

9

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
 

 

 

 

 

 


 

("Panic in Bangkok" or "Shadow of Evil")

 

Secret Agent OSS 117, Colonel Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath (Kerwin Mathews) is sent to Thailand following the murder of OSS agent Christopher Lemmon. Lemmon had been investigating the break out of plague epidemics in India following health workers inoculating the locals to protect them from cholera. Lemmon had discovered that the medicine made in Hogby Laboratories in Bangkok had been switched with plague germs infecting the population with fatal results.


After surviving several assassination attempts, OSS 117 infiltrates the secret lair of Dr. Sinn (Robert Hossein), an Indian hypnotist and psychologist with the help of his sister Lila (Pier Angeli). Dr Sinn is the cape wearing supervillain and mastermind mad scientist of a Malthusian organisation known as the "People Elect". The "People Elect" (inoculated by Dr Sinn for immunity) desire to spread plague around the world to reduce the Earth's population and stop atomic testing that is ruining the planet.

Excerpt from Wikipediat located HERE

 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

   

Also available, individually, on Region FREE Blu-ray (with English subtitles) from Gaumont in France:

Distribution

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Bitrate:

  Kino

Runtime:

1:58:29.477

Disc Size:

45,772,244,122 bytes

Feature Size:

24,551,583,744 bytes

Video Bitrate:

24.55 Mbps

Chapters:

9

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

("OSS 117: Mission for a Killer")

 

Secret Agent OSS 117, Colonel Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath (Frederick Stafford) has his Alpine ski holiday interrupted to receive a briefing on a series of suicide attacks performed by trusted assistants of their targets that they blow up with themselves. Using the cover of a journalist named Hubert Delacroix, de La Bath flies to Brazil to meet his contact Thomas Ellis (Claude Carliez) who believes the killers have been drugged and hypnotised to perform their assassinations.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

       

Also available, individually, on Region FREE Blu-ray (with English subtitles) from Gaumont in France:

Distribution

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Bitrate:

  Kino

Runtime:

1:42:40.988

Disc Size:

41,708,591,540 bytes

Feature Size:

21,210,494,976 bytes

Video Bitrate:

24.46 Mbps

Chapters:

9

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


("OSS 117: Mission to Tokyo")

 

The film begins with a pre-credits sequence of Secret Agent OSS 117, Colonel Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath (Frederick Stafford) chased by two cars containing enemy agents. OSS 117 manages to blow up both of the vehicles and escape by helicopter. He discovers that his unsuccessful assignment was to obtain information from an agent who had been killed providing information about a mysterious criminal organisation called "The Organisation". OSS 117's superior, Mr Smith briefs him that The Organisation has informed the U.S. State Department that they have a missile that can strike its target undetected and demand $100 Million Dollars as extortion to not use the weapon. As undeniable proof on their intentions and capabilities, they have destroyed an American military base somewhere in Asia presumably with a nuclear weapon.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

       

Also available, individually, on Region FREE Blu-ray (with English subtitles) from Gaumont in France:

Bitrate:

  Kino

Runtime:

1:40:21.849

Disc Size:

41,708,591,540 bytes

Feature Size:

20,396,230,656 bytes

Video Bitrate:

24.04 Mbps

Chapters:

8

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

("OSS 117: Double Agent" aka "OSS 117 Murder for Sale")

 

A peek at who would’ve played James Bond in Diamonds are Forever, John Gavin, before being replaced by Sean Connery, is offered in this well-made Eurospy addition that further benefits from the presence of Margaret Lee as well as brief roles from Rosalba Neri and Thunderball,’s Luciana Paluzzi. Gavin is a likable lead, as OSS 117, and a good actor, but he lacks the charisma that is characteristic of most Eurospy leads, and his attempts at smooth comical one-liners usually miss.

Excerpt from ItalianFilmREview located HERE

 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

       

Also available, individually, on Region FREE Blu-ray (with English subtitles) from Gaumont in France:

Bitrate:

  Kino

Runtime:

1:43:58.815 

Disc Size:

23,910,333,173 bytes

Feature Size:

21,586,317,312 bytes

Video Bitrate:

24.60 Mbps

Chapters:

9

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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