As is true of many actors, George Nader’s career progressed through a number of identifiable phases. His early days of trying to make it in the business, gave way to a time when he was a contracted leading man with Universal Pictures. Aside from gaining his Universal Pictures contract in the early 50s, being cast as FBI agent Jerry Cotton by a German film company was probably the biggest turning point in Nader’s career.
That starring role as Cotton arrived just after the actor had fallen out of favour with Universal. It provided Nader the opportunity to make no fewer than eight movies as the character between 1965 and 1969. It was as the Jerry Cotton films came to a halt that Nader’s career moved into its final phase. We’re going to take a look at the movies, shows and roles that comprised that last chapter of his career.
The Million Eyes of Sumuru (1967)
After first appearing as Jerry Cotton in 1965, Nader didn’t play any other role until mid-1967. His first post-Cotton role was as Nick West in the British spy film, The Million Eyes of Sumuru.
The film was loosely based on a series of novels by Sax Rohmer, all concerning a megalomaniac femme fatale named Sumuru. The zany and over the top lead was played by Shirley Eaton, whilst Nader and Frankie Avalon lined up as her two secret agent rivals.
Sumuru’s ultimate aim was to achieve world domination. In order to fulfil that aim she planned to kill all male world leaders, with the help of her (often bikini clad) all-female army. Should would then replace those leaders with her agents.
The dastardly Sumuru first comes to the attention of Agents Nick West (Nader) and Tommy Carter (Avalon) when the Chief of Security for President Boong of Sinonesia is murdered. West and Carter are tasked by British intelligence to investigate.
They discover Sumuru and her organisation and set to work trying to dismantle it. After initially ‘befriending’ several members of Sumuru’s army, West and Carter work with local forces to completely destroy it.
The Million Eyes of Sumuru was a movie that could only have been made in the 1960s. Decadent, unusual and in the end really quite bad, it has not gone down in history as a great piece of cinema. Producer Harry Alan Towers still followed it up with a sequel, however.
The Girl From Rio was the name of that sequel and was a joint Spanish, West German and American production. Easton reprised her title role and much of the original film’s plot was rehashed but neither Nader nor Avalon returned.