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Bond, James Bond.

6. September 2018 08:48
by m
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16mm Hanna-Barbera James Bond Spoof U.S. Army Promotional Film

6. September 2018 08:48 by m | 0 Comments

In the mid 1960s Bond mania was at its peak, so it should come as no surprise that in 1966, when the U.S. Army hired Hanna-Barbera to produce an entertaining cartoon promoting cost reduction, they took their inspiration from James Bond 007. The chief troubleshooter for Army Materiel Command is this gentleman:

Mr Conomy. Sean E. Conomy. 

His secretary is named Pulchritude Plenty (I had to look that up - Pulchritude means beauty) and his nemesis is an eastern block spy named Popov - who sounds a lot like Gru from Despicable Me - along with his henchman, Badjob. At one point the bad guys capture Mr E. Conomy, lock him in a cage suspended by ropes, over a firy pit of burning oil. When the fire burns through the rope the cage will drop, which, even if he could escape from that, is surrounded by "hungry King Cobra's especially chosen for their bad disposition." Of course, the bad guys say goodbye and leave before seeing him die. In a neat twist, they don't show us how he escapes quipping that they don't have to show us every little detail - "it would make the film too long - cost reduction you know!"

Despite the fact that the subject matter really couldn't really be much more boring, the talented folks at Hanna-Barbera did a really good job of making it entertaining - just watch the non animated parts at the end of the film and imagine a full 20 minutes of that instead! I think this film must be pretty rare, and (at least at the time of this writing) it is not mentioned on the Hanna-Barbera Wikipedia Page. Of course it's not very politically correct by today's standards - one of Mr E. Conomy's cost cutting measures is to remove his secretary's chair which encourages her to sit on his lap when she needs to take notes! Not that she minds at all.

The film was scanned as usual by our very own Q-branch, and we did our best to restore as much of the color as possible. While it still looks pretty faded, most noticeably in the non-animated parts at the end, it's important to remember that this print is now over 50 years old and did have Vinegar Syndrome (meaning if we didn't capture it soon this particular print would have dissolved into goo) and that some of the color information just isn't there anymore - the raw scan of the film actually looks like this:

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