The Original "The Man from UNCLE Movies – Now on Digital HD!

As filmgoers go gaga over Guy Ritchie’s stylish and swinging origin story for "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment offers a chance to grove to the original U.N.C.L.E. team with Robert Vaughn and David McCallum as it’s neer been seen – in eye popping, crystal clear 1080p Digital HD!

Crafted from the original series' frequent two-parters, these are more than mere patch-jobs, employing extra footage shot while filming the original episodes to expand the stories and including elements that would be deemed too racy or violent for American primetime television.

Notable guest stars in these films include Academy Award winner Jack Palance and Joan Crawford, Emmy Award winners Telly Savalas, Maurice Evans & Bradford Dillman, Oscar nominees Eleanor Parker, Rip Torn and Joan Blondell, as well as Vera Miles, Herbert Lom, Jill Ireland, Carol Lynley, Kim Darby, Terry-Thomas, Dorothy Provine, "Star Trek" star James Doohan and "James Bond" luminaries Curt Jurgens and Luciana Paluzzi. The late Yvonne Craig appears in two of the films.

These entertaining films are now available for download in Digital HD from Amazon and iTunes.

Here's the list of the eight "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." features -- complete with one-line synopses, guest stars, a link to a trailer and a link to the actual film. And attached are a few of the film's one-sheet posters (all of the posters are available upon request).

To Trap a Spy (1965)

Expanded version of the U.N.C.L.E. pilot (Napoleon Solo aka The Vulcan Affair), including the famous "too hot for TV" scenes shot with future Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi.  

Film: http://bit.ly/SPYTRAPHD   

 

The Spy With My Face (1965)

Expanded version of The Double Affair, in which a fake Napoleon Solo wreaks havoc on an U.N.C.L.E. secret mission.

Film: http://bit.ly/SPYFACE

 

One Spy Too Many (1966)

Expansion of season two's Alexander the Greater Affair, in which an ambitious industrialist (Rip Torn) sets out to conquer the world. With Yvonne (Batgirl) Craig. 

Film: http://bit.ly/TOOSPYHD

 

The Spy in the Green Hat (1966)

The Concrete Overcoat Affair gets the feature treatment, in which Thrush agent Louis Strago (Jack Palance) attempts to unleash climate change upon the world.

Film: http://bit.ly/SPYGREENHD

 

One of Our Spies is Missing (1967)

Vera Miles, Yvonne Craig and James Doohan guest as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin head to London and Paris to foil a plot hatched by the nefarious fashion industry.

Film: http://bit.ly/MISSSPYHD 

 

The Karate Killers (1967)

The Five Daughters Affair feature version, with heavyweight heavies Telly Savalas and Herbert Lom providing the menace while Joan Crawford, Jill Ireland and Kim Darby make up the distaff side.

Film: http://bit.ly/KARATEKILL 

 

The Helicopter Spies (1968)

Carol Lynley and Bradford Dillman lend their talent to the film version of The Prince of Darkness Affair.

Film: http://bit.ly/HELISPIES

 

How to Steal the World (1968)

Leslie Nielsen joins Robert Vaughn and David McCallum for the film version of the U.N.C.L.E. series closer, The Seven Wonders of the World Affair.

Film: http://bit.ly/WORLDSTEAL

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...I tried to put this up as an addition to an earlier post , but McDaniel also wrote an Ace-published Prisoner novel (and not a whole lot else published , actually ~ more than me , tho' :-( !) ~ one of two which explicitly stated that Number Six was Drake from DANGER MAN/SECRET AGENT , presumably accidentally slipping by without anyone from ITV noticing !!???

..." Fandom of old " fascinates me (pre-80s , I guess .) - It's " wishing I was there " , I suppose , in part...:-( " nostalgia is , often , a yearning for something you were too young for , didn't (Ouite , anyway ?) experience...

  Snice I didn't spell it out , the Wiki about McDaniel links to the complete " The Final Affair " novel .

  To repeat myself , this is an officially commissioned by Ace Books MFUncle novel ~ that , however , ended up being not published after it was completed ~  that concludes the original series . Does that interest anyone here ?

  Honestly , reading on Wiki what the ending was , I jumped ahead to the very last chapter and read its disposition of the main U.N.C.L.E. characters !...

I've not watched the show, but I've seen a fair chunk of the reunion special. When I was a kid I had a British The Man from U.N.C.L.E. annual that contained "The Spirit of St. Louis Affair" from Dell's The Man from U.N.C.L.E. #9. I didn't keep the annual but I wish I had as I remember parts of the story vividly.

I've read a couple of the novels, one of them McDaniel's The Monster Wheel Affair. They were by different authors, but read very similarly. Not great, I suppose, but not bad.

I did the same thing with the online novel, before reading your post. Thanks for the heads up; I'll read it ere long.

...Do you mean , Luke , that you'd independently found about about McDaniel's conclusion novel before I posted about my

discovery of it being online/satisfying my long-time curiosity about it ? 

  Maybe it wasn't on Wiki I read of The Final Affair's disposition of the main characters from U.N.C.L.E....

No, I mean I followed your link, followed the link there to the book, and went straight to the end to see how things turned out.

..Hehe ~ Great minds think alike !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Luke Blanchard said:

No, I mean I followed your link, followed the link their to the book, and went straight to the end to see how things turned out.

...I am now reading " The Final Affair " ~ It's decent !!!!!!!!!!! (Maybe a little too much techno-babble - inevitably interfered with by the thought that this is technology of so many years in the past ~ 1969 , I suppose)

...I am now about 50 percent through ~ A San Francisco setting helps .

  SPOILER ~

  A plot development has a long-thought dead (when Solo was in the Korean War) wife of Solo's turning up !

  Per Wikipedia , this would appear to be an invention of McDaniel's , though ~ Okay , no current or former wife was ever mentioned on-screen in the series .

...I've finished it (I'm a fast reader .) .

  SPOILER

  THRUSH is completely destroyed , a invented-for-the-novels character who worked for them getting away , Naoleon remarries his wife , IIlya is called back to the USSR Navy (Is he from " the Ukraine " , which now-now longer used term is used in the novel ? - which refers to the " Russian " Navy , not " USSR " - oh , and " Formosa " is referenced once .)...and Mr. Waverly is killed in the final attack that destroys THRUSH .

  I'm afraid that the climax ends up boiling down to " Which one of two wires will shut down the Bad Machine ? " . I don't THINK , anyway , they're described as one red & one blue !:-)!...........

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (NBC, 1964-8) was one of those programmes that one could both love and hate at the same time, depending on when he watched it.  It's also one of those infrequent flash-in-the-pan shows that was met with wild popularity in its first year, only to wind up on the bottom of the ratings by the end of its second.

The pilot for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was made in November-December, 1963, and, as has been mentioned on this thread, was filmed in colour.  After the initial screening, some pick-ups had to be made in early 1964, mostly to accommodate the replacement of Will Kuluva as New York U.N.C.L.E. chief, Mr. Allison by Leo G. Carroll, as Alexander Waverly (due to a misunderstanding of one studio executive's complaint).

MGM sold the pilot to NBC, which would run The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as a series, débuting in September, 1964.  To keep costs down, that first season aired as a monochrome (black-and-white) series.  The pilot was cut down to fit the forty-eight minute episode lengths and converted to monochrome to become the first aired episode, "The Vulcan Affair".

But MGM believed in getting its money's worth out of its projects.  In April, 1964, some additional colour scenes were filmed---racier, more sexually suggestive scenes---and inserted into the pilot. Then, to capitalise on the début of the television show, the pilot was released to movie theatres as a second feature, To Trap a Spy.  That "double-dipping" of the same material repeated itself throughout the run of the U.N.C.L.E. series.  At least twice for each of the seasons it ran, two-part U.N.C.L.E. episodes were produced and then MGM would shoot additional scenes---those that were deemed, at the time, either too violent or too salacious for television audiences---and inserted into the original television material.  The augmented teleplays were then released as feature films.

As for the series itself, the original format was for the show to headline Robert Vaughn as "Napoleon Solo" (hence the title singular, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.).  But in his brief appearances as a supporting cast member, David McCallum made a positive mark with the viewers, so the producers gave him more air time in succeeding episodes.  The more air time McCallum got, the higher his stack of fan mail grew.  The ring of cash-registers bells in the producers' ears, McCallum's "Illya Kuryakin"---despite his contractually required "co-starring" billing---quickly became an equal participant with Napoleon Solo.  (Although, occasionally, either Vaughn or McCallum would carry an episode, with the other's character making only a minor appearance.)

If you were even casually familiar with the show through all four of its seasons, then you already know how it evolved, and how that evolution led to the show's demise---despite a last-season Hail Mary attempt to save it.

In the first season, the series was conceived and delivered as a serious, sometimes hard-core, look at the world of espionage (the idea of involving an "innocent" in each adventure was to have a character provide the viewpoint of the viewer), although with occasional bits of comedy.  This was usually in the form of the absurd----such as, in the second episode's teaser, when Napoleon Solo runs up against a hostile skin diver in the middle of landlocked Iowa---that would prove to have a logical explanation, when all was said and done.

This format would change with each succeeding season, primarily due to changes in producers and their respective visions.

The second season of U.N.C.L.E. was the most uneven.  Television reviewers had commented on the humour laced into the series, and the second-season producer, David Victor, took those remarks as the bellwether for the show's direction.  But it was an inconsistent thing.  Many of the second season episodes were still done in the mould of the first season---heavily serious with just touches of lightness.  Other episodes saw the wittiness ramped up; the situations were still grim, but the dialogue, especially between the two heroes, became wry and sardonic.  And then, about a third of the second-season offerings drifted toward the ridiculous, turning the series into a spy spoof, rather than an emulation.

The ratings, so high the first season, started to drop.  This, in tandem with the phenomenal popularity of the Batman television programme which was introduced in 1966, led the next round of U.N.C.L.E. producers to imitate the same sort of arch campiness into their series.  U.N.C.L.E. plots became more science-fiction oriented, more exaggerated, and more absurd just to be absurd.  The heroes reflected no sense of drama or danger in their dialogue or reactions to situations.  Each U.N.C.L.E. mission became a romp.

What worked for Batman did not work for The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  Old viewers wanted their old, serious U.N.C.L.E. back, and new viewers were won over by Gunsmoke, counter-programmed over at CBS.  The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s third-season ratings nudged bottom.

Realising that the show had made that wrong turn at Albuquerque, the production team for the fourth season went back to basics.  The show went back to its "Old Coke" format of being a serious, hard-edged spy series, with only touches of lightness to keep things from getting too oppressive.  And, honestly, they did a decent job of it, though there were still some readjustment pains at the beginning. The arc of the new/old format was on the rise, though.  Unfortunately, the viewers and NBC weren't sufficiently wooed by the new direction, and it was cancelled halfway through its fourth season.

Obviously, which season, and format, one prefers is a matter of taste.  For me, the show's best offerings were in the first and last seasons.  There are a few gems in the second season, also, if you look for them.  But the third, camp, season is abysmal.

If I might ask a question, Wikipedia's page on the show says "In 1964, it was the only American spy show on U.S. TV; by 1966 there were nearly a dozen". I can't name one! What might some of the others be?

Edit: Mission Impossible, of course; and Get Smart (my pick for the greatest show of all time, because it was both exciting and funny, and told solid stories in half-hour episodes). That's two. Secret Squirrel?

Also I, Spy, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and The Wild Wild West. That makes five (or six). And I suppose I should count The Man from U.N.C.L.E. itself, which adds one more. The Wackiest Ship in the Army? That might stretch the category "spy show" too far.

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