Years back, when I worked in P.R. at Universal Studios, we released a film that starred Roger Moore -- who passed away today at the age of 89 -- which was a huge flop and remains little-known in his portfolio. But it was great fun and one of my favorite of his works. It was an adventure film with the terrible title, ffolkes (which was the characters last name, down to the lower case spelling).
What made the move so fun is not so much the story (which is fine, but flawed), but that although it was an action-adventure, with Moore playing an expert called in to resolve a hostage situation on an oil drilling platform in the North Sea, and came right in the middle of his run as James Bond, it was a role that called for him to play against type. The character was an action hero, but one with a scraggly beard who was reticent, almost a recluse in his family castle, who was stiff, stilted, an overt and non-apologetic misogynist, and great lover of cats, who had assembled and trained his own team. And Moore seemed to revel in the role.
It had a pretty nice cast, with Anthony Perkins as a bad guy, and James Mason. The film wasn't great, but an enjoyable popcorn film. But above all, it was worth having been made if only because it gave rise to one of my favorite lines in our department after the opening weekend box office figures came in and we had our Monday Morning meeting. The head of the department gave the dismal reckoning and then added, "Well...I guess all that's left to be said is -- That's all, ff-ff-ffolkes."
When it later got released on TV, the name was changed to, I think, North Sea Hijack, so if you ever see that playing, it's actually ffolkes.
Here's the trailer. It's lousy and doesn't give much a sense of the humor and adventure, and the video quality is poor. (And this description has the spelling wrong. It's lower case "f", for goodness sake!) But here it is --
Oh, okay. As long as I'm writing about ffolkes, and you have a slight idea of the film, I might as well post two other videos that are far-better quality and give a better sense of the movie, thought would have made little sense out of context.
This first comes early on and has the character explaining his misogyny. And what he does love.
And this is the very end of the film. If you don't want anything given away -- on the off-chance that you may see this one day (highly unlikely) -- don't watch. But if you're watching the movie and can't figure out how the end basically gets resolved, you're not trying very hard.
A couple of notes. The title used below -- "Esther, Ruth and Jennifer" -- are the code-names of the oil drilling platform and two rigs he's been sent to rescue, or something close to that, if I recall correctly.
And the woman you see below is one of the the team who helps ffolkes, much against his wishes (in one of the funnier scenes of the movie), and yet she earns his admiration for her great work during the mission.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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