Argoman the Fantastic Superman – Italy, 1967 – overview and reviews

 

Argoman the Fantastic Superman is a 1967 Italian fantasy feature film about an amoral superhero who comes up against a female criminal plotting to steal the Crown Jewels. The original title is Come rubare la corona d’Inghilterra [‘How to Steal the Crown of England’] and it was also released as The Incredible Paris Incident.

Directed by Sergio Grieco (Beast with a Gun; Violence for Kicks; Mission Bloody Mary) [as Terence Hathaway] from a screenplay written by Dino Verde and Vincenzo Mannino [as Vincenzo Flamini], the movie Fida Cinematrografica production stars Roger Browne (Emanuelle in America; The Spy Who Loved Flowers), Dominique Boschero (Who Saw Her Die?; The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire, All the Colours of the Dark), Eduardo Fajardo (Nightmare City; Lisa and the Devil; Django) and Nadia Marlowa. It was produced by Edmondo Amati (The Antichrist; Let Sleeping Corpses Lie; A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin).

The soundtrack score was composed by Piero Umiliani (Baba Yaga; Five Dolls for an August Moon; Witchcraft ’70; Goldface, the Fantastic Superman).

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Jenabell gets major credit here for outfits that progressively get weirder, intricate hats that totally complete her ensembles and for having the most archaic robot I’ve seen in a Eurospy film.” B&S About Movies

” …a somewhat patch superhero, it seems appropriate that the less-than-fantastic Argoman’s symbol is a turd-like red spiral on his forehead.” Hughes, Howard, Cinema Italiano, I. B. Tauris, 2011

Argoman stands apart from most of the pack because of (a) its deliriously absurd plot elements and main characters, (b) its enjoyably cartoonish look and special effects, and (c) Umiliani’s music. If cult-classic ‘60s action films such as Mario Bava’s Danger: Diabolik (1968) and the like hit your sweet spot and you haven’t experienced Argoman, set aside some time and enjoy the ride.” Criminal Element

” …perfectly captures the spirit of 1960s Italian superheroes” by retaining the fumetti neri’s “delightful amorality while squeezing the best from the many Italian James Bond rip-offs in terms of tongue-in-cheek fast-paced action […] one of the funniest Italian superhero films of that period.” Robert Curti, Diabolika: Supercriminals, Superheroes and the Comic Book Universe in Italian Cinema, Midnight Marquee Press, 2016

” …the film presents exactly the kind of fantasy-driven, enclosed reality you hope for with this kind of movie, complete with a psychedelic supervillain lair staffed with robots and costumed goons, a plethora of goofy looking superweapons, and, for the hero, a futuristic bachelor pad that makes the interior of Barbarella’s spaceship look like that of a modest bungalow.” Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill!

Fantastic Argoman is a deliriously entertaining movie, powered by game performances, an enthusiastic effects department and a terrific score by the great Piero Umiliani.” Double O Section

“The movie is on the campy side (it’s full of silly dialogue), but it manages to stay on the side of “fun” campy rather than “cloying” campy. In fact, the whole movie is a light-hearted lark, and Argoman’s costume is not too bad.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“The plot meanders but pulls off some genuine surprises in its third act along with colourful comic book action and delightful pulp moments: e.g. a big clunky robot menacing the scantily-clad sexpot heroine, Samantha distracting Jenebelle’s leather gimp-suited henchman by parading in lingerie or Reginald’s pre-coital archery challenge which Jenebelle deliberately throws because she fancies a shag.” The Spinning Image

Cast and characters:

  • Roger Browne … Sir Reginald Hoover / Argoman
  • Dominique Boschero … Regina Sullivan / Jenabell
  • Eduardo Fajardo … Shandra, butler (as Edoardo Fajardo)
  • Nadia Marlowa … Samantha
  • Nino Dal Fabbro … Inspector Lawrence (as Richard Peters)
  • Edoardo Toniolo … Inspector Martini (as Edward Douglas)
  • Andrea Bosic … Admiral Durand
  • Tom Felleghy … General Headwood (as Tom Fellegy)
  • Frank Richardson … The Minister
  • Lawrence Mills
  • Dario De Grassi … Lawrence’s Assistant
  • Mirella Pamphili … (as Mirella Panfili) (credit only)
  • Mimmo Palmara … Kurt, Main Henchman of Jenabel (as Dick Palmer)
  • Fulvio Mingozzi … Guest at the Party (uncredited)
  • Alberto Plebani … (uncredited)
  • Ferruccio Viotti … General (uncredited)

Filming locations:

The film was shot on location in London and Paris while the interior scenes were shot at Cinecittà Studios in Rome, Italy.

Technical details:

  • 93 minutes
  • Technicolor
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1 Technicscope
  • Audio: Mono

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