Considering I am in my 50s, I am not nearly as tech-savvy as many of our readers. However, in case you don’t realize it, YouTube has thousands and thousands of feature-length movies posted on it and you can view them for free. Now I know a few of you are thinking….”I don’t wanna watch a movie on my tiny computer screen”. Well, you don’t have to do this. Most BluRay players and modern videogame systems will stream YouTube on your television. And, there are other options…such as the Amazon Fire player. So there is no reason not to explore the films on YouTube. A few things you should know…you won’t find recent films on YouTube for copyright reasons. And, searching through the YouTube offerings isn’t easy or organized in a coherent fashion. Because of this, I would like to talk to you in a few articles about some of the unusual and interesting stuff just waiting to be discovered on the site.
Back in the 1960s, the James Bond films were huge…so it isn’t surprising that there were a lot of imitations, such as the Dick Malloy spy thrillers from Italy and British offerings like Modesty Blaise (both of which can be found on YouTube). But the ones that have interested me the most are the German films starring George Nader as FBI agent Jerry Cotton. This is because in many ways, Cotton is like Bond…but in others he’s decidedly different. This agent doesn’t use gadgets…mostly his fists. He also is not the serial womanizer Bond is. In stark contrast, the Cotton novels and films seem to follow the mantra ‘murders without all the sex’!
Now I am not saying these films are brilliant entertainment. The production values occasionally are underwhelming (such as how they occasionally use rear projection to make Cotton appear to be in places like New York or LA) and if you want all the gadgets and international locations, you won’t find them. But they are entertaining and the films are dubbed into a variety of languages. And, even more surprising, the quality of the English dubbing is excellent.
Much of the reason I like the films is that George Nader is excellent in the lead. Unfortunately for this actor, he was gay and got outed back in the 1960s and it damaged his career in the States. With his career mostly kaput, he left for Europe to make a variety of movies…including the eight Cotton films in Germany. I appreciate that he does excellent stunt-work, as his fighting looks tough and very realistic. He is no pretty-boy agent but a tough guy who survives because of his quick wits and fists of steel.
The first Cotton film is the Violin Case Murders…so I suggest you start with this one. In total, they made eight of them in the 1960s as well as one new version in 2010 (though the new one is not available on YouTube at this time). Just type in ‘Jerry Cotton’ and YouTube will list a variety of the films. A few will be dubbed or subbed into languages you no doubt won’t understand…but it’s worth looking through them to find the English dubs. Plus, the best part is that you can do this for free and the only cost is your time. Happy viewing and let me know what you think.
And, by the way, the Cotton films spurred on production of seven Kommissar X/Jo Walker films. They, too, were made in Germany and feature a hero who is a private eye and travels the world investigating crimes and ridding it of evil! If you wish to try these glossier films, start with the first, Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill.