The Devil Says

See It

(If it happens to be on TV)

This is sexy, mainstream cinema for 1967.  Fathom's all about the libido, but you'll also be comfortable watching it with your not-so-cool grandmother. Nobody climbs on anyone else, the men keep their clothes on,  and the title character strips down only to a swimsuit. Not exactly wild stuff.  With no thrills, not much of a plot, and little in the way of character development, the films rests on the ample but always covered rack of its star, Raquel Welch.  Luckily, her breasts could support the Chrysler building.

For those of you too young to remember the late '60s, Raquel Welch was THE sex symbol.  Bikinis were her thing and she wore them well. It was a busy time for me, so I never dropped by and influenced her to get naked and wild onscreen, thus the best we've got is pin-up type shots.  More would have been nice since she was an incredibly hot babe: a voluptuous body combined with a beautiful face. Raquel Welch

Fathom is about Raquel in a bikini.  There's a plot of sorts but it matters little.  However, I do like to be complete, so: Fathom Harvill, a sky diver that turns the head of every male she meets, is drafted by a pair of spies working for one of those secret organizations so prevalent in films of the time, to drop into a villa and activate a hidden radio transmitter.  It seems that an H-bomb detonator has been stolen, and suave Tony Franciosa is the key.  Well, maybe.  Turns out no one is who they say they are and Raquel...I mean Fathom...must use her sizable assets to manipulate all the men who aren't trying all that hard to kill her.  Can she discover the secrets of the supposed British agents?  Can she uncover the plans of Franciosa?  Can she swipe the prize from the mysterious Sergi Serapkin, whose body temperature is far below normal?   Does anyone care?  Did the writer even put in an effort?

I doubt anyone working on Fathom bothered to figure out just what kind of movie they were making.  The actors realize they are in a spoof, but the action plays seriously (well, except that no one that counts is ever in real danger).  For a comedy, it lacks jokes.  For a thriller, it lacks thrills.  For a mystery, it lacks any sense that there is a solution that depends on something in the movie.  For a romance, it lacks...well, romance.  Raquel WelchIt has some banter, but it never rises to wit or emotion.  So, we're back to Raquel in a bikini.  The thing is, Raquel in a bikini is a really good thing.  Sure, out of one would have been better, but many a thirteen-year-old boy went to bed dreaming of her in that yellow swimsuit in long ago 1967. 

With excellent cinematography, relaxing outdoor locations, and a genial cast, Raquel's assets  are enough to make Fathom a pleasant diversion, as long as you are looking for wholesome sensuality.  It is mainly a nostalgia piece, but even the uninitiated can be drawn into those eyes...or that cleavage.

Sins (What does this mean?)

Pride Fathom seems to like herself, but nothing exciting here.
Sloth Nada.
Avarice Riches get you a nice yacht, servants, and girls sent out when needed.  Not bad.  A mountaintop, seaside villas are also available is you've got the cash.
Gluttony Nada.
Aesthetics Raquel Welch in a bikini.  The ocean is beautiful and...  Forget it; it's all about Raquel in a bikini. 
Surrogate Cruelty For a spy film, there's surprisingly little killing, and even less combat.
Thought Nada.
Humor The entire film is light and frothy, but stops short of actual Humor.
Lust Raquel in a bikini.  She doesn't do anything sexual for the entire film (nor does anyone else), but you can focus a lot of Lust on her just walking on the beach.

Buy It


Or, pick up a collection of Ms Welch's more popular films.


Film Info

Director: Leslie H. Martinson

Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr.

Cast: Raquel Welch, Tony Franciosa, Ronald Fraser, Richard Briers, Clive Revill

Runtime: 99 min