In Ralph Thomas’ lively 1964 spy comedy thriller, Hot Enough for June, Dirk Bogarde plays an out-of-work author who gets plucked out of the dole cheque and sent behind the Iron Curtain to work as a secret agent based on his the ability to speak Czech. Sylva Koscina is his glamorous chauffeur, Robert Morley is the espionage chief (and master of irony) who sends him on the assignment, and Leo McKern, John Le Mesurier and Roger Delgado are the familiar faces showing off their versatile acting chops.
Bogarde (filling in for Tom Courtenay who pulled out at the last minute) gives his usual polished performance in the James Bond spoof that’s more of a thriller than straight-out comedy, and also gets to share a rather steamy love scene with the sultry Sylva Koscina (who was once in line for the role of Tatiana Romanova in the real Bond adventure, From Russia With Love).
Set in Prague (but with Padua, Italy standing in for the Czech capital), the film is an adaptation of Lionel Davidson’s 1960 debut novel The Night of Wenceslas by screenwriter Lukas Heller, who penned Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? the previous year. This was one of series of back-to-back espionage films directed by Ralph Thomas, who is better known for his classic ‘Doctor’ series of comedies, also starring Bogarde.
THE UK BLU-RAY RELEASE
Hot Enough for June (PG) is out on Blu-ray, as part of Network Distributing’s The British Film collection, and is presented in a High Definition transfer from original film elements, in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio. Special features include original theatrical trailer, image gallery and original promotional material (on pdf).