Karate champ Lewis is featured in this predictable action cheapie as a special agent sent to dispatch narcotics biggies in various world capitals. Top cast, but don't be fooled.
---LEONARD MALTIN'S MOVIE & VIDEO GUIDE
Beware of all-star casts participating in runaway productions (shooting all over the world because it's cheaper than paying American union crews). These films are usually unsatisfactory, and Jaguar Lives! is no exception...
The cameos by Pleasence (as a South American dictator, no less, which is almost as bad as casting him as the President of the United States in Escape from New York), Lee, and Huston are embarrassing.
---MOTION PICTURE GUIDE ANNUAL
BARBARA BACH: French Bond site with information and photos of Bach.
CAPUCINE: Shrine to the late screen beauty.
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THE OFFICIAL CHRISTOPHER LEE WEB: The official web site of the legendary British horror acting great.
JOSEPH WISEMAN: French Bond site with information on Wiseman.
Jonathan Cross (JOE LEWIS), code named "Jaguar," is one of a group of undercover agents known as the Big Cats. When his partner Brett is murdered he decides to become a man of peace. However, Anna (BARBARA BACH), a beautiful woman who has been the coordinator of the Big Cats, traces Cross to Colorado and convinces him to return to action. She has shadowy details of planned assassinations, a code name "The Killing of the Kings," a killer called Coblintz in an Arab jail, and one man linking them all. He is called Esteban and is believed to have killed Cross' partner.
At G-6 Anna's information is that The Killing of the Kings concerns a mammoth movement of drugs. As The Jaguar tracks Esteban first to Brazil and then to Hong Kong, he discovers a world-wide narcotics network. He jets to Madrid to meet with shipping magnate Ralph Richards (JOHN HUSTON), whose son has been kidnapped. Richards admits that he has been forced by the kidnappers to cooperate in the narcotics shipments.
In El Habab, Cross contacts a blind magician (JOSEPH WISEMAN) whose grandson guides Cross to El Sharif Prison where he will extract the plan of The Killing of the Kings from the killer Coblintz after he helps him escape. Coblintz reveals that his partner, Fleming, working for Esteban, is now in Santa Fortuna for a "hit" on that banana republic's General Villanova (DONALD PLEASENCE). At the Santa Fortuna airport Cross is met by a stunning beauty who will get him into Villanova's palace. When Cross asks information about Fleming, Villanova reveals that he himself is involved in The Killing of the Kings, Esteban's infamous plot, and orders Cross' execution. The Jaguar erupts, using his karate skill to demolish the General's guards and escapes in a helicopter.
The Jaguar's next clue takes him to Rome where Zina Vanacore (CAPUCINE), owner of a huge auto factory, admits a connection with the kidnapping and links it also to Adam Caine (CHRISTOPHER LEE), an English drug lord who arranged it for Esteban. Cross escapes from Zina's thugs and heads for Hong Kong and Macao. There Terry, a girl he makes love to (SALLY FALKNER), traps him for his enemies, who ship him to Tokyo where Caine is meeting with Esteban. Cross overhears them say that "the kings" have made their "killing." They have planned a gathering of the "kings" -- syndicate chiefs, Mafia dons, gang bosses from all over the world. The Jaguar smashes his guards, two Samurai swordsmen, and escapes, setting the scene for the most desperate confrontation of his life.
Synopsis © 1979 AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL PICTURES. All Rights Reserved.
Three former movie opponents of James Bond, plus one of 007's loveliest ladies, were cast to star opposite action star and former undefeated world heavyweight karate champion Joe Lewis in the action adventure, Jaguar Lives...
The handsome and dynamic Lewis, who plays the title role of an undercover agent, codenamed "The Jaguar," faces up in the film to Christopher Lee (who portrayed The Man With the Golden Gun), Donald Pleasence (who was the villain in You Only Live Twice), Joseph Wiseman (who was Dr. No) and the delectable Barbara Bach (the Russian agent of The Spy Who Loved Me).
Said producer Derek Gibson of his casting: "The character of Jaguar is so strong that he needed 'heavies' of this stature to make his action believable."
Added Barbara Bach: "I did one chop standing next to Bond, but next to Joe it would be absurd."
Also in the cast are John Huston, Capucine, Woody Strode and Gabriel Melgar.
Jaguar Lives was directed by Ernest Pintoff from a script by Yabo Yablonsky. Sandy Howard was executive producer. The film is being released by American International.
Press release © 1979 AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL PICTURES. All Rights Reserved.
clutches of "The Jaguar" (Joe Lewis).
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL PICTURES. All Rights Reserved.
Video artwork © 1986 TRANS WORLD ENTERTAINMENT. All Rights Reserved.
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