March 21, 2022
Bang! Bang! You're Dead! (1966)
Grade: 62/100

Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Tony Randall, Senta Berger, Terry-Thomas

What it's about. Ostensible tourists arrive on a bus to Marrakesh. One of them is a courier carrying two million dollars. But which one? Could it be dufus American businessman Tony Randall? Femme fatale Senta Berger? Affable Englishman Wilfrid Hyde-White? Or less affable Englishman John Le Mesurier? Or is it elderly Helen Sanguinetti, who has no lines in her only film role? Or perhaps Francisco Sanchez?

Yes, one of them must be the courier, with the cash destined for Herbert Lom, who is up to no good with henchman Klaus Kinski and hot blonde Margaret Lee. Because it is a movie, Lom murders Keith Peacock and stows his body in Senta Berger's hotel room. His plan is to have Berger arrested for the murder, but he is apparently too busy identifying the courier. This gives time for Berger and the easily manipulated Randall to remove the body from the hotel and hide it in a cemetery. Somehow, it is returned to the hotel, and Berger and Randall must go on the lam, as in any Wrong Man movie.

Because it is a movie, Randall and Berger somehow avoid arrest, and assassination attempts by Lom's heavies. Berger even manages to conscript local truck driver Gregoire Aslan and local plantation owner Terry-Thomas to help then capture the bad guys.

How others will see it. Despite its interesting cast, Bang! Bang! You're Dead! is obscure today. At, it has fewer than 800 user votes, and an underwhelming user rating of 5.7 out of 10. Women over 45 grade it somewhat higher (6.0), while international viewers grade it a bit lower (5.5).

Given the paltry vote total, there are a surprising number of user reviews. They reflect the average-minus user rating. The script is ho-hum, the action is unimpressive, but the cast does make the film watchable. Where else will you find both Tony Randall and Klaus Kinski?

It doesn't help the film that Harry Alan Towers was the producer. He was known for lurid lower budget movies, with titles like The Brides of Fu Manchu, 99 Women, House of 1,000 Dolls, and Five Golden Dragons. He was fond of casting Christopher Lee, who was perhaps too busy making Rasputin: The Mad Monk to appear here. Although Don Sharp directed that film as well.

It also doesn't help that Bang! Bang! You're Dead! has several alternative titles, none of which are amusing. IMDb and the movie posters at Heritage agree on the title used here.

How I felt about it. Some see this as Don Sharp's send-up of two Hitchcock films from the 1950s, The Man Who Knew Too Much and North by Northwest. For me, it is more the latter movie, with Tony Randall as Cary Grant, Senta Berger as Eva Marie Saint, Herbert Lom as James Mason, and Klaus Kinski as Martin Landau. But maybe it just that I like North by Northwest better. After all, it doesn't star Doris Day.

We believe that Tony Randall is a naive businessman tourist for only so long. But it is soon apparent that he will do practically anything that Senta Berger wants him to, as long as he can retain the pleasure of gazing into her pretty blue eyes. This is not normal behavior from a middle-aged adult, but he is not alone. Gregoire Aslan and Terry-Thomas also seem oddly willing to risk their lives and livelihood to help Berger escape the law and defeat the bad guys.

We can believe that Herbert Lom seeks a 2M payday (at least 20M in 2022 dollars) to fix a vote at the United Nations. Many member nations may have corrupt ambassadors, then and now. But it is odd that he doesn't know who is the courier for the money. And it is odd that he murders people and puts their bodies into Berger's hotel room. Just for fun?

We realize this is a comedy. Why else would Tony Randall be the lead, instead of, say, George Peppard? This explains the presence of Terry-Thomas, who usually plays a scoundrel of sorts but here gets to be a hero. But it is Randall who gets the girl, at least for as long as the running time allows.