Release date1967 (1967) WriterLeighton J. Peatman, Robert S. Weekley ScreenplayRobert S. Weekley, Leighton J. Peatman CastPaul Mantee (Dick Dagger), Terry Moore (Harper Davis), Jan Murray (Rudolph Koffman / Hans Leitel), Sue Ane Langdon (Ingrid), Eileen O'Neill (Erica), Maureen Arthur (Joy) Similar moviesThe Man from U.N.C.L.E., Back to the Future, Mission: Impossible, 21 Jump Street, Never Say Never Again, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
TaglineThe Sharpest Secret Agent of Them All!
A Man Called Dagger (1968) is a low-budget spy film that was the first collaboration between director Richard Rush, cinematographer László Kovács and stuntman Gary Warner Kent (who also did the film's special effects).
It was filmed in 1966 by Lew Horwitz's Global Screen Associates (GSA) under the title Why Spy? The film was originally intended to have been released by Mike Ripps' Cinema Distributors of America (CDA) in September 1966. When GSA and CDA's partnership collapsed, the film was picked up by MGM and released a year later.
Secret agents Dick Dagger and Harper Davis are on the trail of former SS Colonel Rudolph Koffman, who is using a meat-packing plant as his secret lair.
The wheelchair-bound Koffman's mistress, Ingrid, runs a beauty spa. A massage therapist there, Joy, reveals to Dagger that another employee, Erica, is being held captive in Koffman's secret lair. Erica has been brainwashed and tries to kill Dagger, but does not succeed.
After the madman also kidnaps Harper, it is up to Dagger to stage a daring rescue operation. He is captured and tortured, but escapes thanks to a laser beam in his wristwatch. Koffman tries to kill him with a meat cleaver, but Dagger foils the villain and gets the women.
Paul Mantee as Dick Dagger
Jan Murray as Rudolph Koffman
Terry Moore as Harper Davis
Maureen Arthur as Joy
Richard Kiel as Otto
Eileen O'Neill as Erica
Sue Ane Langdon as Ingrid
Bruno VeSota as Dr. Grulik
Mimi Dillard as Melissa
Leonard Stone as Karl Rainer
Steve Allen composed the film's score with Ronald Stein arranging and conducting it. Maureen Arthur sang Buddy Kaye's lyrics to Allen's title song.
Sue Ane Langdon recalled two scenes that did not make the final print. One featured a West Highland White Terrier whose fur was dyed to match Langdon's hair in the film. When she toured with the dog, people thought the fur colouring was hurting the dog. As a result, the dog's scenes were cut. She also recalled scenes of people hanging on meat hooks that were cut.