38
votes

I saw at least some of this movie on television somewhere around 1980 (give or take a couple of years). My personal guess, in hindsight, is that the movie was probably made in the 1960s. English language; main characters had American accents; presumably produced in the USA.

The movie was a comedy, or at least had some very funny moments, but the plot was a cloak-and-dagger type of thing -- nasty foreign spies as the heavies, I think. The co-stars were a young man in a conservative business suit (I don't remember if he worked for a government agency), and a young lady who surprised him by turning out to be a gifted martial artist. (I'm thinking "judo" or something similar -- as in, throwing big men around when they tried to grab her.) I believe she was blond. (But I was watching this on a black-and-white TV, so I can't swear to it.)

I remember one sequence fairly well. It must have been toward the middle of the movie (I think I'd come in late, and missed the first bit, but I'd seen a few scenes before this part happened). Here's how the sequence went:

  1. The leading man, the leading lady, and possibly some other people, are all staying in the same house. The girl is taking a bath -- specifically a bubble bath, so that when the camera shows the interior of the bathroom to us, we don't see too much of her. Just her head and at least one arm poking out from a huge mound of bubbles inside the bathtub, which completely conceals all the rest of her body.

  2. At least one bad guy gets into the house, somehow. I think his goal was to kill the girl, but it may have been something else.

  3. We see the bad guy go quietly into the bathroom where the heroine is having her bubble bath. He sneaks up behind her, so that she doesn't immediately realize she has company. Then we cut away to see what the leading man is doing.

  4. Somehow, the leading man becomes aware that there must be an enemy agent inside the house. (Perhaps he found an unconscious sentry, or some other evidence of recent intrusion? I can't remember what, but he knows he has a problem.) He comes running down a corridor in search of the intruder -- sees the open bathroom door -- and suddenly relaxes and steps back, possibly leaning against a wall and folding his arms, as a way of silently telling the audience that he is not the least bit worried about the heroine's ability to take care of herself; he just wants to stay well away from the doorway until the fuss is over!

  5. About two seconds later, his confidence is justified. There's some noise from inside the bathroom, and then the bad guy comes flying out the door (and probably, though I'm not sure, collides hard with the wall on the far side of the corridor). The implication is that the girl realized she had company, stood up, and used a judo throw or something to expel the intruder. Which, of course, we didn't get to see, because this wasn't the type of movie that would have nude scenes.

If I saw any more of the plot after that, I don't remember it now. I've never run across that movie again. Can anyone help?


Addendum: The Candidates that I've Ruled Out!

After looking at the comments I've been getting in the first 22 hours or so, I'm going to list some of the movies which I have seen recently enough for me to be confident that they are not the one I'm now seeking.

  • Our Man Flint (1966).
  • In Like Flint (1967).

Both starred James Coburn as Derek Flint. I've seen both within the last 10 years.


  • The Silencers (1966).
  • The Ambushers (1967).

These were two of the Matt Helm movies made in the 1960s with Dean Martin as the hero. Wikipedia tells me there were four in the series. I had seen The Ambushers before I posted the query, and I have now (12-14-2016) seen The Silencers as well. Those two definitely are not the one I'm asking about, and I strongly suspect that neither of the other two would qualify as the right answer, either. I don't think the leading man in my movie looked anything like Dean Martin, nor was he supposed to be as charming and as much as "a man of action" (nor such a womanizer) as the movie version of Matt Helm is supposed to be.


  • The Nude Bomb (1980), aka The Return of Maxwell Smart, aka Maxwell Smart and the Nude Bomb.

I saw this one several years ago, and it wasn't the one I described above. Other movies (and a later TV series) based on the original TV show Get Smart all came out long after the timeframe (circa 1980, give or take a bit) in which I vaguely remember seeing the movie I'm asking about in this post.


  • Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965).

  • Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966).

I own both of those Vincent Price comedies on DVD, and they do not contain the sequence I described above. (Nobody had nominated them yet, but I decided I might as well eliminate them right now, in case anybody was trying to remember if there was a scene with one of Dr. Goldfoot's beautiful robot girls taking a bubble bath and dealing harshly with an intruder.)


  • Carry On Spying (1964)

As I type this note (on 4/28/2017), I've recently watched this film. It has a beautiful blond girl who's just been trained as a spy as we first meet her, but she doesn't demonstrate any expertise in hand-to-hand combat in the course of the film, nor does an assassin interrupt her while she's taking a bath.


Second Addendum: Not One of These TV Shows! (added 1/16/2017)

I have said all along, beginning in the opening sentence of the original post, that I was looking for a movie. As in: a full-length feature-film, with a self-contained story about characters who were only created for that single script. I'm sure it wasn't just a formulaic episode featuring a male/female pair of secret agents on their latest weekly assignment. Nonetheless, I have seen suggestions for one old show or another. I've replied in comments to those suggestions, but, for the benefit of those who don't bother to read the accumulated comments before answering a question, I've decided to address the matter here.

  • It could not have been an episode of The Avengers (1961-1969). I've seen every episode which had John Steed working with a female partner. (I have most of them on videotape, and some on DVD.)

    It could not have been an episode of The New Avengers (1976-1977). I have all those on DVD.

    It could not have been an episode of Get Smart (1965-1970). I have all five seasons on DVD.

To reiterate: I feel certain it was not an episode of any other old TV series with a cloak-and-dagger theme, either, but I can swear from personal observation that it was none of the above.

closed as off-topic by JNat Jan 19 '18 at 13:58

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Identification questions are off-topic, because they tend to attract low-quality and low-effort posts. The community has decided to no longer support these questions. Please refer to this meta post for additional details." – JNat
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

locked by Shog9 Jan 19 '18 at 23:10

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. See the help center for guidance on writing a good question.

Read more about locked posts here.

  • 14
    I must say this is one of the most researched ID questions that came here; +1 for your research efforts. – user33741 Dec 5 '16 at 8:33
  • This sounds like one of the Matt Helm or Derek Flint movies. I have them all but can't check now. – Paulie_D Dec 5 '16 at 12:19
  • @MAFIA36790 -- I don't think "researched" is quite the word for "I described from memory, as carefully as I could, the one sequence that I remember pretty well." Searching my own memory doesn't feel like "research." I did try to provide as many details as possible, though, because I knew that if I just said "funny spy movie with a girl who's surprisingly good at beating people up," and left it at that, I'd only have narrowed it down to, let's say, a few hundred possibilities in my readers' minds. :-) – Lorendiac Dec 6 '16 at 1:36
  • Paulie_D -- it definitely was not a Derek Flint movie (I've seen both of them within the last ten years or so), and I doubt it was a Matt Helm movie (although I've only seen one of the four). Very reasonable guesses, though -- after I have dinner, I'll come back and edit the original post to list some of the things it definitely wasn't. – Lorendiac Dec 6 '16 at 1:38
  • 2
    @Gustavo Gabriel -- just to let you know, I got sufficiently interested to pay to stream "The Silencers" from Amazon. It was reasonably entertaining, and it did have some bubble bath stuff, but it did not contain the sequence of events I described from memory in the original post. In a moment, I'll update the "Addendum" in my post to reflect that I am now sure of my ground in rejecting that one. :-) – Lorendiac Dec 14 '16 at 23:43
11
votes
+200

I can say with strong certainty that the film you are referring to is called 'Don't just stand there' (1968). The film stars Robert Wagner and the woman that performs the fighting is the busty, statuesque Barbara Rhoades. However I should point out that Barbara is not in a bathtub when she is attacked. However at some point in the film she does appear in a bathtub so you have a good memory. From my memory of the fight scene Barbara is at a desk recording herself on a dictaphone machine.

The henchman approaches from behind with a piano wire or something similar and tries to choke her. She escapes from the piano wire and briefly performs some judo on the henchmen . Then we see the leading man - Robert Wagner approach and keeps clear of the doorway. In fact, as you said he leans against the doorway knowing that Barbara is a capable fighter and will dispense of the henchman. Barbara also performs some fighting earlier in the film when there is a car crash and she steps out of the car and takes care of some goons. She also briefly fight while in a diner. I hope this was of help...

  • 1
    Any ideas on where I can find a copy so I can check the details against my memory? I just looked on Amazon, and didn't find it for sale as a DVD, a VHS, or even a streaming video option. (They are willing to sell me a movie poster or "lobby card" for that film, however.) – Lorendiac Aug 20 '17 at 21:55
  • Sorry I didn't reply sooner however did not receive any form of notification that you had replied. Anyway I do have the film. I can't remember if it's on DVD or VHS or possibly even just on my hard drive. However I have done a quick search on the net and it seems to be available at the following link - modcinema.com/categories/1-60-s-films/…. I hope that helps – Lunablu Aug 30 '17 at 9:02
  • I was just curious if you've had any luck in finding/verifying this film? – Lunablu Sep 20 '17 at 9:18
  • I've finally watched this movie on DVD (literally just finished a minute ago). It does, in fact, have a scene where the hero (Robert Wagner) sees an assassin go into a lady's bedroom, and then leans against the wall in the corridor and folds his arms, calmly waiting for the inevitable to happen. Aside from that bit, there was only one line of dialogue in the entire film which rang a very faint bell in my memory. But I'm convinced that this was it. As soon as I post this, I'll give you a bonus bounty for finally clearing this up for me. :-) – Lorendiac Dec 11 '17 at 1:42
3
votes

This reminds me of Carry On Spying.

This was a parody of the spy movie genre, James Bond in particular. It was made in 1964 in Black & White, like all Carry On films up to that point. Carry Ons were famously made on incredibly low budgets and were still being made in black & white long after almost every other film was in colour.

The plot has a Kenneth Williams as a bunbling trainee spy. His mission against the evil STENCH involved working with Barbara Windsor, a blonde who was much better at all aspects of spying and fighting than Williams.

I haven't seen the film for years but Your bathroom scene sounds familiar.

  • Interesting! I knew, vaguely, that the "Carry On" movies were comedies produced by the British, way back when. Not sure I've ever actually watched one -- at least, not recently enough to remember the title. (If I ever saw this one, or part of it, that was roughly 37 years ago when I was very young and am lucky to remember even one scene!) I didn't think the movie I wanted had been full of British accents, but this seems to be the most promising suggestion I've gotten, so I think I'll arrange to watch "Carry On Spying" as soon as possible and see if anything strikes me as familiar. – Lorendiac Apr 19 '17 at 22:42
  • 1
    Well, I had high hopes, but they were disappointed. I've now watched the movie. There's a beautiful blond girl who's a newly-trained spy, but her main advantage is a photographic memory. (There are camera-style sound effects whenever she uses it.) She does not demonstrate expertise in unarmed combat, and I didn't notice a scene with her taking a bath just as an assassin sneaks into the bathroom (and then gets clobbered). I'm glad you called the film to my attention, but my quest continues for the one I described in the original post. – Lorendiac Apr 29 '17 at 2:19
0
votes

I wish I could say for sure, but it sounds like Modesty Blaise (1966) with Dirk Bogarte and Monica Vitti.

It has been quite a while since I last saw it and haven't been able to locate a copy. If you find it, it should be worth watching, even if it isn't what you were looking for!

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • 1
    Please try to explain why you think this to be a likely answer. What elements from it remind you of the descriptions given in the question? – Napoleon Wilson Mar 3 '17 at 19:00
  • Someone sent me a link to the movie. I watched all of it, found the bubble bath scene, and it didn't fit the description. Oh-well...,to the other point- how did someone get my EMAIL address! – C.B.Carey Mar 4 '17 at 7:39
  • Oh yeah, did anyone look into 'Honey West' ? Not a movie but just asking... – C.B.Carey Mar 4 '17 at 7:42

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .