Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s Return to Movies (Part 3)

In 1966, Bat-mania joined Bond-mania, and the Man from U.N.C.L.E. followed suit...
...combining elements of both genres into the new season of TV episodes, and the next couple of feature films.
Note: the movies were now based on two-part episodes to cut down on the amount of new footage needed to achieve 90-minute to 2-hour running times!
Due to lower ticket sales, this was the last U.N.C.L.E. film until the recent reboot to play in American theatres.
All the remaining movies played in theatres overseas and went direct to American TV.
Based on the 2nd season opener, "The Alexander the Greater Affair", One Spy Too Many added footage of future Batgirl Yvonne Craig as UNCLE commander Alexander Waverly's niece, Maude, working in communications tracking Solo and Kuryakin on their assignment.
video
Craig also appeared in new scenes shot for...
... as "Wanda" replacing scenes of another actress who appeared as Wanda, a communications technician in the two-part episode this film was edited from, "The Bridge of Lions Affair".
Did You Know?...This was the only UNCLE episode or movie adapted from an existing novel (which didn't feature anybody from UNCLE); The Bridge of Lions by Henry Sleazar.
Based on "The Concrete Overcoat Affair", Spy in the Green Hat added outtakes considered too violent for broadcast TV...but no new footage was shot!
 Did You Know?: Will Kuluva, who played UNCLE head Mr Allison in the Solo pilot that sold Man from U.N.C.L.E. to NBC and the UNCLE movie To Trap a Spy adapted from it, is the title character, a THRUSH bigwig!
No new footage was shot for this movie, edited from the two-part episode "The Five Daughters Affair", but footage cut by NBC censors due to violence was added back, along with a new music score.
Based on "The Prince of Darkness" two-parter, this film added only a couple of minor shots cut by NBC for violence and sexual content.
Appropriately, the final feature film was derived from the final two episodes of the TV series and was released after the show was cancelled.
It's also the only film not to have any footage added, not even already-shot material cut by NBC censors!
BTW, you can catch the Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series Sunday nights at 10pm ET/7pm PT on MeTV as part of their...
...lineup which also includes the original Mission: Impossible, Get Smart, and, The Saint!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s Return to Movies (Part 2)

Pleased with the overseas box-office success of To Trap a Spy, MGM decided in 1965 to release another feature consisting of the episode "The Double Affair" with new footage added to extend it to 90 minutes or so.
And, this time, they put the flick in American theatres as well!
You'll note that the American poster mentions U.N.C.L.E. and the fact you'd see the characters in color.
That's because the TV series' first season was produced and aired in black and white, a common practice since most American households still had b/w TV sets!
Here's the trailer for the film...
In 1966 both films were released as a double-feature in response to a similar move by United Artists doing the same thing with their earlier James Bond films (and raking in big bucks doing so)...
At this point, the TV show was both in color and at the height of its' popularity, so the posters no longer needed to play up the "in color" angle!
The feature film fun continues...tomorrow!
BTW, you can catch the Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series Sunday nights at 10pm ET/7pm PT on MeTV as part of their...
...lineup which also includes the original Mission: Impossible, Get Smart, and, The Saint!

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s Return to Movies (Part 1)

The new Man from U.N.C.L.E. film is not Solo and Kuryakin's first cinema appearance...
...but it is the first time the entire movie was shot for theatrical release.
Let me explain.
In 1964, spies were the hot pop culture commodity thanks to the runaway success of Sean Connery's James Bond films Dr No and From Russia with Love.
Hoping to capitalize on the fad, all three TV networks demanded series pilots featuring spies.
MGM's entry was Solo, starring Robert Vaughn as U.N.C.L.E. agent Napoleon Solo. along with David McCallum in a minor role as agent Illya Kuryakin.
NBC liked it and bought the show, but demanded several changes, including retitling the show.
The pilot aired as "The Vulcan Affair", with several minor changes including reshooting all the scenes with the head of U.N.C.L.E., who was recast, and dubbing "THRUSH" into everyone's dialogue to replace "WASP" as the name of the badguys' organization.
One other note: "The Vulcan Affair" was broadcast in black and white (as was the entire first season of the show) since most American households still only had b/w TVs!
To recover costs for the expensive pilot, MGM shot several additional scenes with actress Luciana Paluzzi as a WASP agent trying to seduce and kill Napoleon Solo to get the running time up to about 90 minutes and released the finished film as To Trap a Spy!
You'll note there's no mention of "U.N.C.L.E." on the poster, since the show hadn't aired outside of the US at that point, so it was promoted as a Bond-like spy pic!
Here's the theatrical trailer for the movie...
...which mentions, at the very end, the tv series as the basis for the movie.
It did moderately-good box office overseas, which resulted in another theatrical release, which we'll show you...tomorrow!
BTW, you can catch the Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series Sunday nights at 10pm ET/7pm PT on MeTV as part of their...
...lineup which also includes the original Mission: Impossible, Get Smart, and, The Saint!

Friday, June 26, 2015

RIP Patrick Macnee 1922-2015

John Steed
Count Iblis
Imperious Leader
Dr John Watson 
(opposite Roger Moore and Christopher Lee as Sherlock Holmes)
Dr George Waggner
Invisible Jones
Sir John Raleigh
and, on one occasion, Sherlock Holmes

You will be missed