#31. Operation Double 007

31. Operation Double 007 (1967) - Season 5, episode 508
"This is beginning to look pretty serious. We'd better call Sean in."

Plot: James Bond is busy, so his younger brother Neil has to step in and save the day. Neil, of course, is played by Sean Connery's actual younger brother, Neil Connery. I shit you not. This was an actual movie.
Famous for:  The opening theme song. Oh, and also... for the fact that Neil Connery plays a character literally named "Neil Connery."

Mr. Connery's brother

My favorite riff:  First off, every time they make a quip about a character needing Sean, or preferring Sean, or asking Neil for Sean's autograph, it kills me. And that's why, for a few years back in the 90s, this was one of my top three or four MST3k episodes. It was because of all the hilarious "I'd rather have Sean" riffs.  

"Oh, he's hardly Sean, I realize, but he comes cheap."

Neil (after fixing a girl's bow): Any reward?
Joel: Uh, yeah, can I get your brother's autograph?

My other favorite part of this episode is the opening theme song.

You see, because this was technically "a James Bond movie", it also needed "a James Bond theme song" at the beginning. So there's this lady (Christy) singing a song called "The Man For Me" over the opening credits. And in the song, our singer waxes nostalgic about this amazing man (Neil Connery), and all these amazing things that this guy can do. It's actually a pretty good song. If you want to hear it on its own, here you go. It probably could have been a real James Bond theme, it's quite catchy.
The song is actually fun enough on its own (I love how the singer likes to randomly hiss and growl). But then Joel and the Bots start throwing in their own lyrics as well, about the amazing things this guy can do that maybe aren't quite that amazing...

And yeah, like I said, at one time this was easily one of my favorite MST3k episodes. That opening credits scene alone is so fun.

Singing lady: Because HEEEEEEE loves me! HEEEEEE holds me!
Joel: HEEEEEEE likes to wear mittens!
Crow: HEEEEEEE prefers stuffing to potatoes!
Tom Servo: HEEEEEEEE sat on his glasses onnnnnnce!

Comments:  I have such mixed feelings about this episode these days.

For starters, it's such a fricking goofy idea for a movie. Hey, let's make a James Bond movie. Only, let's not pay for Sean Connery. Instead, let's take his non-actor brother Neil, and we'll pay him instead, and we'll try to pass him off as James Bond's brother. Oh yeah, and then we'll fill in the rest of the movie with actual actors and actual characters from actual James Bond films. I bet the audience will love it.

The former (and apparently current) Miss Moneypenny

The former (and apparently current) bad guy from Thunderball

This is SUCH a goofy idea for a movie, and on paper, it should be the funniest MST3k episode of them all. I mean, the setup is great. The idea is great. The execution is great. The main character isn't even played by an actor. And on top of that, it also has some of the best riffs of the first five seasons.

"Ex. cuse. me. I'm. Three minutes. Late."

"That's. Okay. We're a. Pretty loose. Group."

"Operation Double Double-O Girl Scout."

This movie has SO much going for it, and the good parts of it are SO good... but the problem is that the movie itself is actually kind of boring.

I mean, I love the IDEA of this movie. But the problem is that James Bond films (especially the old ones) tended to be rather talky, drawn out, and boring. And this movie, which is trying very much to be a James Bond movie, is no exception. So imagine a talky James Bond film from the mid 60s, and then take out all the action scenes, and the big expensive set pieces, and replace them with scenes about lipreading. And voila, you have Operation Double 007. An episode that SHOULD be among the MST3k greats, but sadly, it just falls short.  

And believe me, nobody wants to love this episode more than I do. For YEARS it was one of my favorites. But watching it now, twenty years later, it is SO close to a great episode... but it's just a little too slow.

"Thank you for touching me, sir.  That will keep me going for the entire day."

Operation Double 007 is fun for what it is. I just wish it could have been a little bit more.

"Uh oh. You know when there's four people on a screenplay there's gonna be trouble."

Trivia: Even though MST3k fans know this as Operation Double 007, that's only the name it went under for the MST3k episode. The movie's actual title was either "Operation Kid Brother" or "Ok Connery", depending on which commemorative poster you are looking at. In fact, if you listen to the opening theme song, you can hear the backup singers literally say "Okay Connery" over and over in the background. It took me years to figure out what they were saying, by the way, it's a lot harder to pick out because of their Italian accents.

But anyway, yeah, this movie is only known as Operation Double 007 if you're an MST3k fan. To everyone else in the world, it was Operation Kid Brother.

"Operation Double Double-O Hee Haw."

Other personal favorite things about this episode:  Okay, here's one of my all-time favorite MST3k references.  

You know that famous scene at the end of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? When Indy is about to cut down the rope bridge and kill all the bad guys? And right before he does, he turns to Mola Ram, and he very badassedly says, "Prepare to meet Kali. IN HELL!" Remember that? It's one of my all-time favorite movie one liners.

"Prepare to meet Kali. IN HELL!"

Well the MST3K writers must have loved that line too, because they reference it in two different episodes here in my top fifty. One of them will come later, when I get to The Painted Hills, but Operation Double 007 was the FIRST time they referenced it in one of their episodes. And of course they also threw in a "Hey Neil, aren't you Sean's brother?" reference at the exact same time, as a bonus. Just because they knew how much I would love it.

In any case, here's the line. One of the greatest riffs in MST3k history. It's at the very end of the movie, when the bad guy is about to kill Dr. Neil Connery.

"Prepare to meet Kali's brother."


God, I love this show so much sometimes.  :)

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