Upon its theatrical release in 1974, “Spy VS Spy” was heralded as “The most violent film ever made” by the New York Times, a statement utilized in some of the subsequent promotional materials for the film. Pushing the boundaries of what practical special effects were capable of, the film features thirty two deaths by firearm, fifteen deaths by explosion, ten deaths by intricate booby traps and the realistic on-screen decapitation of a priest by a helicopter rotor. During filming of the penultimate showdown scene, the detonation of an entire city block set on a lot at Leavesden Studios caused a raging fire that took nine hours to extinguish. In 1975, the CBS television network developed a “Spy VS Spy” weekly hour long show starring Michael Palin and Robert Urich. The television show was much more of an international cat and mouse thriller that had none of the extreme violence of the feature film and was only broadcast for one season. The feature film has recently been issued on BluRay and includes a “making of” documentary as well as a dozen deleted scenes, such as the scene where Caine and Beatty’s spies must join forces briefly to fight their way out of a warehouse full of samurai sword wielding assassins.
This is another gem from Sean Hartter’s Alternate Universe Movie Poster collection.