Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 9th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: UK, May 17th, 1967
Alternate Title: Sumuru
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen
Director: Lindsay Shonteff
Writers: Kevin Kavanagh, Harry Alan Towers
Cinematograper: John von Kotze
Composer: John Scott
Cast: Frankie Avalon, George Nader, Shirley Eaton, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Klaus Kinski, Patti Chandler, Salli Sachse, Ursula Rank, Krista Nell, Maria Rohm, Paul Chang
Synopsis: Nick West an American spy while on vacation in Rome gets thrown back into action when he is framed for murder. Sumuru is the leader of an organization of man-hating female assassins whose ultimate goal to take over the world. Sumuru and her angels of death latest target is one of the world’s richest men President Boong. Reluctantly Nick West with the help of his friend Tommy Carter they try to stop Sumuru before she completes her diabolical scheme of world domination.
The Million Eyes of Sumuru is one whacky plot that takes all the spy films most cliched elements and magnifies them tenfold. Besides conquering the world and having all men under her thumb Sumuru also has developed a gun that shots darts which turn their targets to stone. Two things about this film that add humor to the film is how Nick West a CIA agent only cares about his vacation and can’t be persuaded to help save the world until he is framed for murder. Even more silly is how Sumuru and his disciples hate men so much that they become school girls’ ion love when left alone with a man. Despite this melting pot of ideas the film works is an odd sort of way.
A lot of the films appeal is due to director Lindsay Shonteff superb visual eye which beautifully captures the numerous voluptuous women in the film. Other notable films that were also directed by Lindsay Shonteff include Devil Doll, Licensed to Kill (The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World) and Clegg. The film features many moments of suspense and plenty of action including a all out raid on Sumuru’s fortress. Besides action and suspense the film also features quite a bit of comedy. The funniest bits in the film are the moments with Klaus Kinski in the role of President Boong.
Once again this is another very limited and brief role from Klaus Kinski. This doesn’t mean that he just merely shows up and is part of the scenery. Kinski as President Boong is the film’s most memorable role. Also is has been reported by director Lindsay Shonteff that Klaus Kinski wanted to make his character even more outlandish than what appears on the screen. Some of Kinski’s ideas that were never used include sporting a very large tongue while licking women and wanting his character to appear from under a pile of cushions whenever someone enters the room.
In the films two lead male roles are George Nader as Nick West and Frankie Avalon as Tommy Carter. Nadar and Avalon make an odd duo. In the role of the title character Sumuru is Shirley Eaton who most film fans remembered her from the James Bond film Goldfinger. Eaton’s characters’ death in Goldfinger ranks among the most memorable to ever grace the silver screen. Eaton would reprise the role of Sumuru two years later in the films The Girl from Rio. In the role of Sumuru she would get a chance to show that she was something more than just a beautiful face and body. Two other notable performances in The Million Eyes of Sumuru are Wilfrid Hyde-White (My Fair Lady) and Maria Rohm. Ultimately The Million Eyes of Sumuru is an entertaining action/adventure that fan of 1960’s spy cinema will get a kick out of.
Note: The Million Eyes of Sumuru did appear on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the late 1980’s.