A final look at Matt Helm titles: The Wrecking Crew

We wrap up our look at the titles of Matt Helm movies with a brief discussion of the series finale, The Wrecking Crew.

To be honest, it’s a mixed bag. The visuals are much stronger than the series previous entry, The Ambushers. They’re at least based on something in the movie, a bank of monitors used by the villain to watch his plans unfold. Wayne Fitzgerald designed the titles and used a combination of animation and clips from the movie. There’s a few subtle touches. Actor Nigel Green’s monitor is colored, well, green.

Accompanying the visuals is a weird song, The House of Seven Joys, which is also referenced in the movie. Producer Irving Allen, Cubby Broccoli’s ex-partner, hired Mack David to do the lyrics, a task David also did for the first Helm movie, The Silencers. Composer Frank DeVol does the music, but only for the song. Hugo Montenegro, returned as the film’s composer but got frozen out of the title song. In any event, The House of Seven Joys is far from politically correct (“Ah so, very, very nice!”).

We can only wonder what Helm creator Donald Hamilton thought (besides making sure all the checks cleared). You can take a look by clicking RIGHT HERE. Embedding was disabled.

EXTRA BONUS: A few years later, Hamilton got some more checks when a short-lived Matt Helm TV series aired on ABC. Instead of Dean Martin, we got Tony Franciosa. Instead of a spy, Helm was a private detective. This was 1975 and in the post-Watergate world, spies seemed unseemingly. Here’s the titles to one episode, The music is by Morton Stevens, who also composed the theme to Hawaii Five-O.

3 Responses

  1. I wonder if I will live long enough for the soundtracks to all 4 Helm films to be released on cd. I like this song.

    As for what Don Hamilton thought, I asked him during the ’90s when I corresponded with him. He liked The Silencers, wasn’t crazy about the rest, and absolutely hated the Franciosa tv series.

  2. Frank DeVol is the direct descendant of the Mayflower. Remember the year: SIXTEEN TWENTY.

  3. Frank DeVol was the cousin of the hero “Uncle” Alan Burton Hall! This is due to both sharing the Brewster ancestor!

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