After the commercial success of DEADLY WEAPONS (1972), filmmaker Doris Wishman and star Chesty Morgan decided to make another movie together. No one who has seen DEADLY WEAPONS will be able to believe this, but DOUBLE AGENT 73 is worse--much worse. What, you may ask, could be worse than a
film about a homely woman who uses her 73-inch bosom to kill people? How about the same woman as a top American spy with a camera implanted in her left breast to be used to take photographs of her victims?
Government agent Jane Genet (Chesty Morgan) is ordered to cut her Florida vacation short and return to New York. She is filled in on efforts to locate Ivan Toplar, the mobster behind a powerful drug ring. Jane's mission is to stalk Toplar's men and get incriminating documentary evidence. A camera
is implanted in her left breast. This is to be used to photograph both documents and any of Toplar's henchmen she may have to kill; because all that is known about Toplar is that his face is scarred, the photos will be used to determine if any of the dead are Toplar. She is ordered to be back no
later than 10 P.M. on a specified date.
Interrupted in the apartment of Toplar henchman Mark Chiaro while photographing the contents of his desk, Jane beats him with her breast and escapes. After a car chase, he captures her and is about to shoot her when she gets him first with an explosive lipstick. Toplar gets wind of her efforts and
sends assassin Dimitri to kill her; he mistakenly murders a friend who is visiting Jane. Jane meets Tim, a fellow agent who has been assigned to keep an eye on her. Back at her apartment, she kills Dimitri when he returns for her. Tim takes her out on a date and the two fall in love. Jane
continues her mission. She is captured and tortured by Russians Igor and Greta. Igor is surprised when Toplar calls and tells him to release her, and even more surprised when Jane (who has freed herself while he was on the phone) kills him and Greta with a broken bottle that she found on the
floor. Jane gets back to her office minutes before a bomb implanted with the camera would have killed her. She's operated on, and the camera is removed. She and her superior officer look at the photos, and he is surprised to see that Tim (whom she accidentally photographed) has a scar--he is
Toplar. Jane confronts Tim, who admits what he did for money and asks her to marry him. Jane shoots him to death and leaves on her next assignment to Istanbul.
Like Ed Wood's GLEN OR GLENDA (1953) and a very few other films, DOUBLE AGENT 73 is a movie to set jaws to dropping and tongues to wagging. DEADLY WEAPONS is idiotic, but at least it's plausible. Not this one. (Wishman's films got worse rather than better over her 20-year filmmaking career; while
her early nudist camp films were blandly functional, her later films descended until they hit the nadir of A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER (1979), a film so bad that one almost wishes she had stayed in the business just to see how her work could possibly have gotten any worse.) Here, Wishman devises the
framework of a preposterous plot and then treats it with indifference, as if it were simply a hindrance in her relentless efforts to present her star's gargantuan (but otherwise highly unphotogenic) breasts. It wouldn't have taken too much fine tuning to come up with a better excuse for putting a
camera in "Agent 73's breast than that her superiors need to see if any of her victims has a scar--as a "top agent," surely she could notice that herself. And what sense does it make to install a time bomb in your heroine and neglect to tell the audience until it's time to take it out? In the face
of such inanities like that, relatively minor glitches, like getting Jane from her office to a hospital operating room in three minutes, pale by comparison. So indifferent is Wishman to her own story that anytime Morgan is in a scene, the camera inevitably drifts toward her breasts; she's not so
much displaying them as rubbing our noses in them.
DOUBLE AGENT 73 is perfect for bad movie parties because barely a minute goes by without some howler. Morgan alone is the stuff of legend, and not just for her grotesque body (her only film appearance after this, appropriately enough, was in a Fellini film, 1976's CASANOVA). She so completely
lacks any element of screen appeal that you are ironically unable to take your eyes off her: her only expression a vacant stare, dressed in clothing garish even by 1970s standards (check out the platform shoes), and with all of her dialogue redubbed by another actress, she's a walking black hole.
Add to that the usual Wishman antistyle--editing that seems determined to use a bit of every piece of film shot, whether or not they match; harsh lighting and intrusive shadows; endless shots of bad actors pretending to listen so as to make it easier to post-dub the dialogue; a random mise en
scene in which ashtrays and shoes are the equivalents of actors faces--and you have a film which must be seen to be believed. Wishman's THE IMMORAL THREE (1975) is a sequel of sorts, minus Morgan, in which Jane's three grown daughters conspire to avenge her death. (Violence, nudity, sexualsituations, substance abuse, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1974
- Rating: NR
- Review: After the commercial success of DEADLY WEAPONS (1972), filmmaker Doris Wishman and star Chesty Morgan decided to make another movie together. No one who has seen DEADLY WEAPONS will be able to believe this, but DOUBLE AGENT 73 is worse--much worse. What, y… (more)