Deadlier Than the Male
is a 1967
featuring the character of Bulldog Drummond
. It is one of the many
produced during the 1960s but based on an established
detective fiction hero
's original preference to play James
) stars as Hugh 'Bulldog'
, updated to a suave Korean War veteran
insurance investigator trailing a pair of sexy assassins
and Sylva Koscina
) who kill for sport
and profit. Drummond's American nephew, Robert Drummond (Steve
Carlson then a Universal Pictures
contract star), becomes involved in the intrigue when he comes to
The title is a reference to the 1911 Rudyard Kipling
poem "The Female of the
Species," which includes the line: "The female of the species must
be deadlier than the male", and also refers to Sapper's earlier
Drummond book "The Female of the Species".
The movie poster is slightly misleading: Only two female assassins
are prominently displayed in the movie. Although three other female
assassins are featured briefly in the finale, the brunette, Kitty
Swan has a less prominent role in the film but is as prominent as
the two leads on the movie poster. Publicity announced the film in
December 1964 but it wasn't filmed until 1966.
The film was followed by a sequel Some
When a top oil executive dies mysteriously aboard his private jet
, the company's board suspects foul
play and hires Drummond to investigate. Attempts on his own life
lead him to believe the two lovely females are "hit men
" for an international crime syndicate
pursues them from foggy London to the sunny
Mediterranean, but finds himself trapped in a deadly game of cat
and mouse with the most diabolical mastermind since Ian Fleming's villain, Dr.
It is revealed that Carl Petersen (Nigel
) is the evil genius
assassinations (masquerading as an executive) & that his own
assassination was faked. Using two female assassins (Irma &
Penelope), Petersen kills a variety of characters who either
attempt to uncover his alter ego or block his attempts at making
The finale of the movie involves Petersen's attempt at killing King
Fedra who refuses to sell his oil fields. Grace, who unknowingly
reveals to Peterson that she is disillusioned about Peterson while
talking to Drummond, is unwittingly used to carry a plastic
explosive onto the King's yacht. While playing against Petersen in
a game of chess that uses giant motorized pieces, Drummond attempts
to escape from Petersen's castle where he is a realistic prisoner.
In the process, Drummond kills Petersen's bodyguard Chang (Milton
Reid) and presumably kills Petersen himself by dropping him down an
exploding hole in the chessboard (a different actor portrays the
character in the 1969 sequel).
Irma & Penelope, forced to be near Grace on King Fedra's yacht
while Drummond tries to find the bomb, escape when one of King
Fedra's guard is distracted by Grace's off-screen nudity while
Drummond is searching her. After a seemingly successful escape,
Irma comments to the other that the bomb was in Grace's hairclip.
Penelope is shocked, for she envied Grace's hairclip & replaced
it with her own (having been envious of other women's belongings
throughout the entire film, using them to the increasing
consternation of others). The two assassins are both killed
instantly when the hairclip explodes, destroying the motorboat that
they escaped in.