Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery was first released 20 years ago today on 2nd May 1997.
Starring and written by Saturday Night Live alum Mike Myers, the spy action comedy follows the hilarious exploits of Austin Powers – a womanising spy of the swinging 60s who is cryogenically frozen after his arch-nemesis, Dr. Evil (also Myers) escapes in his own cryostasis rocket.
Revived thirty years later in the 1990s, as Dr. Evil makes his own return, Austin must acclimatise to the new attitudes and gadgets of the modern decade, whilst also working to thwart Dr. Evil’s latest plan of world domination. An unabashed parody of James Bond, Austin Powers has since been regarded as one of the most beloved spoofs in Hollywood history.
The film, which also starred Elizabeth Hurley, Robert Wagner, Seth Green and Michael York, was made on a relatively short budget of $16.5 million, but later proved a hit with audiences, making over $67 million worldwide. The film was also positively received by critics, who enjoyed Myers’ performances and the light, goofy air of the film’s relentless gags.
The film spawned two sequels. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me was released in 1999, followed by Austin Powers: Goldmember in 2002.
Full to the brim with crude gags, spoofs and endlessly quotable lines, if you’ve never seen Austin Powers, watch the clip below for a summary of what you’ve been missing.