Long before Bo Derek, actor/director John Derek was playing Svengali with another movie-star wife, Ursula Andress. In Once Before I Die, Derek casts himself as a cavalry major and Andress as his mistress. Both captain and girl are marooned with a group of American marines in the Philippines. When the group is pinned down by Japanese aerial bombardment, Ursula is anxious to escape, and promises to service any man who helps her. The girl's machinations result in the death of practically every member of the group. The ads for Once Before I Die displayed a shot of a fetchingly underdressed Ursula Andress, lying invitingly on her back; alas, the only thing flat on its back was the film itself.