Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 30th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Spain / West Germany, 1966
Alternate Titles: Residencia para espías, Golden Horn
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen
Director: Jesús Franco
Writers: Jesús Franco, Michael Loggan
Cinematographer: Antonio Macasoli
Composer: Odón Alonso
Cast: Eddie Constantine, Diana Lorys, Anita Höfer, Mary Paz Pondal, Otto Stern, Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui, Tota Alba, Howard Vernon
Synopsis: The CIA send’s their best agent to Istanbul to uncover the identity of a spy who has been killings undercover agents and stealing top secret documents.
Residence for Spies was the first of Jess Franco’s two forays into the Eurospy film sub-genre. With the other film being Lucky, the Inscrutable. And content wise, Residence for Spies has all the ingredients one would expect in a Eurospy film.
The plot features a suave CIA agent named Dan Leyton and when he is not disposing of henchmen. He is surrounded by beautiful women who are all vying for his time and affection. And when it comes to women, there is never a shortage of them. And while Leyton is staying in Istanbul, he residence is a home for women spies.
Humor plays a large role in this film and nowhere is more evident than when it comes to this film’s absurd premise. With the scenes where Leyton is interacting with women being this film’s most humorous moments. A standout moment related to humor is a scene where Leyton takes a trio of women to have x-rays of their lungs. This moment also others one of this film’s more titillating moments, since the ladies have to take off their clothes when x-rayed.
Performance wise the cast are very enthusiastic in their respective roles. Headlining this cast is Eddie Constantine (Alphaville, Attack of the Robots) in the role of Dan Leyton. This film’s standout performance is Diana Lorys (The Awful Dr. Orlof, Nightmares Come at Night) in the role of Janet Spokane, the promiscuous wife of the Colonel in charge of Leyton’s mission. Other notable cast members include, Howard Vernon (Diabolical Doctor Z, The Blood Rose) and Anita Höfer, in the role of Marion, Leyton’s long suffering girlfriend.
The visuals take full advantage of the Istanbul locations and the female cast members look fantastic throughout this film. And though the visuals do not feature some of Franco’s visuals obsessions, most notable there is a lack of zoom shots. The cinematographer on Residence of Spies was Antonio Macasoli (Grand Slam) and his other collaborations with Franco include, Queen of the Tabarin Club and Attack of the Robots.
Availability: The only DVD release that I know of is a region 2 PAL DVD that was released in Spain and it is now OOP.
Note: The screenshots in this review are for presentation purposes only. This film’s intended aspect ratio is a 1.66:1 aspect ratio.