Venetian opens with a bang an explosion at the table of a nuclear disarmament summit, and the person to blame is one of the men sitting there: the diplomat repping the United States. Fenner, now replete with sobriety issues, is called back into action in a plot that involves peeping telescopes, fatal gunshots, secret panels, mean Ed Asner, many pigeons and a guy sporting an eyepatch always a red flag in such films, especially in foreign locales.
Its nice to see Boris Karloff, however briefly, in a purely straight role, but the women give Venetian its eye-popping flair: Felicia Farr (aka Mrs. Jack Lemmon) and Elke Sommer, whose love for Fenner is called into question. By the end, Fenners so unsure which way is up that he has a breakdown over a white rat a WTF moment up there in Vaughns filmography, right next to sniffing cocaine off Sybil Dannings breast in an episode of HBOs The Hitchhiker.
The movie looks great, thanks to shooting in actual Venice, but falters in pacing and getting viewers hooked in a story, so its easy to see why this didnt kick off a series. However, the score by Lalo Schifrin no stranger to such works, having penned the Mission: Impossible" theme, among many other indelible musical works is fantastic. Rod Lott