1967: The cheesy titles of The Ambushers

We’ve taken a look at the titles of the first two Matt Helm movies starring Dean Martin. So when you’re on a roll, you might as keep going.

The third Helm movie, The Ambushers, is often cited as the worst in the four-film series (a shame because it’s based on a very good serious Helm novel by Donald Hamilton published in 1963). The main title sequence is certainly the weakest of the bunch.

The titles feature the, eh, “talents” of “The Slaygirls” who also appear throughout the film. Producer Irving Allen, Albert R. Broccoli’s former partner, apparently decided to reward song writers Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart the chance to record the title song. Boyce and Hart and written a Dino, Desi and Billy song used in the previous Helm effort, Murderers’ Row and the pair had also written the title song for The Monkees television series.

Two problems: 1) Boyce and Hart didn’t have the vocal range of the acts they wrote for; they actually recorded The Monkees title song for the pilot, but it’s vastly inferior to the version recorded by Micky, Davy, Mike and Peter. 2) Boyce and Hart wouldn’t get to write the title song for The Ambushers. That task would fall to Hugo Montenegro (the third different composer in as many Helm films) with the movie’s screenwriter, Herbert Baker, also penning the lyrics.

Take a look for yourself by clicking RIGHT HERE. (Embedding was disabled for the video.)

Warning: The film makers did not use a reader-friendly typeface for the credits and they insisted on coloring the titles red, further making them hard to read. The video below has the first 10:55 of the 1967 flick.