‘THE SPY WITH MY FACE’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Two Napoleon Solos Are Trouble
U.N.C.L.E. stands for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement!
It’s time to go back to the 1960s where things were hot; cool; electrifying and groovy than what they are today! It’s time to take a look at ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ films! They star Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo and David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin working for U.N.C.L.E. against the evil THRUSH.
‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ was originally an American spy-fiction TV series shown between 1964 to 1968. It lasted for four seasons. During the time the series was made, a number of films were made for the big screen. This was to promote the TV series worldwide whilst being transmitted in America.
Ironically, unlike the 1966 ‘Batman’ movie, these ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ films were essentially movie versions of the TV episodes being made at the time. So the audiences were watching the same TV stories that were being shown on the big screen in the 60s. It sounds weird, I know. It was the 1960s.
However I’m not familiar with ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ TV series as my parents are, especially my Mum. Therefore, as I write these reviews, I’m currently basing my opinions on these ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ movies in allowing them to stand on their own. Would these movies work just as movies?
N.B. There were originally 8 films made based on ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.‘ TV series. The 3-disc DVD set of ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ films I’m reviewing from contains only 5 films. I hope to get onto to reviewing the three remaining films not in ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ 3-disc DVD box set for a later time.
The first movie in the 3-disc set is ‘The Spy With My Face’. The film was directed by John Newland. This was released in 1965 and was the second ‘U.N.C.L.E.’ film made as the first was ‘To Trap A Spy’.
Incidentally, ‘To Trap A Spy’ and ‘The Spy With My Face’ were released as a double feature. ‘The Spy With My Face’ consists of the 1964 TV episode called ‘The Double Affair’ and has additional footage.
The film focuses on evil agency THRUSH trying to steal a super weapon. They do this by substituting a double for Robert Vaughn’s character of Napoleon Solo. Will anyone see through fake Solo’s guise?
Robert Vaughn takes on the starring role of secret agent Napoleon Solo. There’s a certain charm and elegance to Napoleon Solo’s character, especially when he is fighting bad guys during action scenes.
I also get a sense Napoleon Solo is an American James Bond-type character. This is especially when he has his way with women. Seriously those sexy scenes Napoleon has with women are rather saucy.
The performances of Robert Vaughn as both the real and fake Napoleon Solo are great to watch. There were times where I did wonder whether the fake Napoleon was actually the real one instead.
David McCallum stars as Illya Kuryakin, a Russian agent working for U.N.C.L.E. Oh by the way; yeah ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ films as well as the TV show were produced in the height of the Cold War.
Illya Kuryakin seems to be a loyal friend of Napoleon Solo during the special missions they have together. Kuryakin also seems to have a way with women, especially as he is hitting it off with Taffy.
I found it tense when Illya Kuryakin had been knocked about by the fake Solo and was put in a sauna set to a high temperature. Fortunately Kuryakin got saved by his potential love interest, Taffy, in this.
The film also features Senta Berger as Serena, one of THRUST’s agents. Serena gets to seduce Napoleon Solo romantically at her apartment. This is before he’s gassed and replaced by his double.
There’s Michael Evans as Darius Two, the head agent of THRUSH in this movie. Darius orchestrates the doubling of Solo to get in on U.N.C.L.E’s special mission as well as keeping the real Solo prisoner.
Sharon Farrell stars as Sandy Wister, Napoleon Solo’s lover in the film. Sandy gets annoyed when Napoleon is late for meeting Serena and this intensifies when the fake Solo doesn’t acknowledge her.
Jennifer Billingsley stars as Taffy, Sandy’s friend and fellow air stewardess in the movie. Oh yes, Sandy’s an air stewardess. Taffy also has this romantic connection with Illya Kuryakin that I enjoyed.
The film also features Fabrizio Mioni as Arsene Coria; Donald Harron as Kitt Kittridge and Bill Gunn as Namana. There is also Paula Raymond as Director of Project Earth Save and Donna Michelle as Nina.
The climax of the movie featuring Robert Vaughn on a motorcycle and the two Solo fighting against each other were fun to watch. It fulfills the action-packed side of things throughout this spy ‘movie’.
‘The Spy With My Face’ is a fairly enjoyable action film based on one of ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ TV episodes. I do not know how it compares to the original TV episode, but this film version seems fine.
‘The Spy With My Face’ rating – 7/10
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