Hello Glen Ward, House Dick

This was a film I originally reviewed for the EuroSpy Guide some years back, but then we had to cut it out because we ran out of space (and it’s not really a spy film, to be honest). It’s one of those films that feature a slightly hapless lead getting involved in some kind of international crime shenanigans, a kind of espionage film without the espionage but with dashes of the adventure and giallo genre to make up for it.

Glen Ward (Ray Danton) is a hopeless hotel detective who, sacked from his last job, goes to visit an old friend in Jamaica. When he arrives there, however, he discovers his mate’s body in the bathroom. As he’s the most obvious suspect – in the eyes of the police at any rate – he decides to start investigating for himself, and soon meets with Martinez (Beni Deus), his late chum’s employer, who turns out to be a hotshot mafioso, hanging out prior to testifying against his former associates. Meanwhile, his research has also bought Glen to the attention of a pair of killers who have been hired to assassinate Martinez, and there are several other dubious characters wandering as well…

Directed by Mel Welles (rather than the credited Julio Salvador, who seems to have been a Leon Klimovsky style ‘name for hire’), this is decent fun, if nothing particularly special. It’s all put together professionally enough, and benefits from a winning cast. Ray Danton is particularly good in the lead role… by this stage of his career he was perfectly happy taking the piss out of himself, and he does it with some aplomb (see also Lucky the Inscrutable). There’s good support from English actress Pamela Tudor and Luis Davila as a random FBI man.

Unfortunately, it’s rather obscure. It was released in the US at the time, but the only version I could get hold of was Spanish language and with a print that was far from sparkling. If you’re willing to persevere, though, it’s not an unenjoyable way to spend an hour and a half.

About Matt Blake 890 Articles
The WildEye is a blog dedicated to the wild world of Italian cinema (and, ok, sometimes I digress into discussing films from other countries as well). Peplums, comedies, dramas, spaghetti westerns... they're all covered here.

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