The Accidental Spy
Unemployed writer Nicholas Whistler (Dirk Bogarde - The Servant) is less than impressed when he is told he has to go for an interview at a glass company but when they offer him £2,000 a year he can't resist despite knowing nothing about the business. Immediately he is sent to Prague to do some industrial espionage on a competitor but what Nicholas doesn't know is the company he works for is a front for a British spy organization and that he is in fact a spy sent there to pick up secret information from agents to return to Britain. And whilst Nicholas may not know he is a spy the Czech Secret Police certainly do and Police Chief Simoneva (Leo McKern - Doctor in Distress) has his daughter Vlasta (Sylva Koscina) try to get up close and personal with Nicholas to find out what his mission is.
A man walks into a building and hands over a bunch of passports and a pair of shoes to a man behind the desk to place in a locker; the locker belonged to "007" who as we learn is deceased. It is one of the more inspired scenes in spy spoof "Hot Enough for June" which sees Dirk Bogarde cast as an unemployed writer who unknowingly ends up as a British spy. But whilst entertaining in an amiable 60s sort of way "Hot Enough for June" more often than not feels like a wasted opportunity to really have fun with the spy genre and instead relies on the popularity of Dirk Bogarde to carry the movie.
So as already mentioned "Hot Enough for June" starts of quite brilliantly with the "007 is dead" scene and the following scene where Nicholas is less than impressed when is told he has to go for a job interview. But it is a case that whilst we have several funny ideas and some genuinely enjoyable scenes the rest of the movie seems quite dull and ordinary. Basically it can't deliver consistent laughs and so you get something amusing such as Nicholas trying to find his contact with a secret phrases followed by a lot of nothingness, normal scenes which are in need of humour to liven them up.
As such the actual story of Nicholas not realising he is a spy and then having to try and escape when he learns that he is a spy whilst enjoyable could have been so much more. It basically becomes quite typical as Nicholas ends up doing the innocent man on the run routine as he tries to escape agents and get to the British Embassy in Prague. There are some inspired scenes, an amusing outfit change at a swimming pool brings a smile to your face, but there is a lot of peaking around pillars which end up feeling like padding.
What this really means is that whilst "Hot Enough for June" has some fun ideas and scenes it becomes a movie which relies on its star to keep you interested and that means if you like Dirk Bogarde you are going to enjoy this. In many ways Bogarde is like the actual movie because there are times when he is funny but all too often he just seems to be delivering Dirk Bogarde rather than a character. In the end the more enjoyable performances come from the supporting cast with a scene between Robert Morley and Leo McKern being one of the movies funniest as they chat like old friends knowing each other are enemy spy masters but keeping up the whole pretence of lies.
What this all boils down to is that "Hot Enough for June" is an amusing spy spoof with some nice ideas but it all too often ends up feeling remarkably ordinary. It is a movie which simply relies heavily on the appeal of Dirk Bogarde and as such if you are a Dirk Bogarde fan you will enjoy him as the accidental, naive spy.