Thursday, January 29, 2015

Stephanie Powers, the Girl From UNCLE herself

The actress Stephanie Powers, despite her obvious talent and beauty, failed to project herself as a major Hollywood star. She had much more success on TV with the series Hart to Hart (1979-1984) alongside Robert Wagner.

But Stephanie had a pioneering experience on TV when starred in The Girl From UNCLE series in 1966-1967, a spin-off of the hit The Man From UNCLE (1964-1968). It was the first time a female character (April Dancer) became the protagonist of an adventure series in the history of American TV. 

Stephanie Powers as April Dancer, the Girl From UNCLE.

The Girl From UNCLE was always kind of despised for choosing the path of self-parody (in the style of Batman series with Adam West). Despite all the problems, or even because of them, Stephanie Powers could have dealt The Girl From UNCLE (which gave her worldwide recognition) with more love and care.

In her autobiography Hart to Hart (Gallery Books), Powers devotes only two pages to her whole experience as April Dancer. She provides very few informations about the period. It is a pity, because the rest of the book is well written and interesting. In addition to a great comic actress, Stephanie was a good dancer and fluent in six languages. All these features were well used in The Girl From UNCLE. Steph could be a lot more generous to her readers with her memories.

Monday, January 26, 2015

How to find UNCLE's Headquarters

If you want to visit the secret entrance of UNCLE headquarters in New York follow the instructions:

1) Go back to 1964.
2) In Manhattan, find the headquarters of the United Nations (pictured above).
3) Enter in each of the streets "40" and go through their first blocks next to First Avenue (click on the map for details).

4) Look at each of these blocks for a taylor shop called Del Floria's.
5) When you find the Del Floria's, congratulations! You have found the secret entrance to the headquarters of UNCLE.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Total Films: "Ten things you need to know about Guy Ritchie's big screen reboot of the Man From UNCLE" - Part 2

Armie Hammer & Henry Cavill

6) It is still set in the '60s - While a modern reimagining was briefly on the cards a few years ago, (director and co-writer Guy) Ritchie UNCLE will be staying firmly rooted in the Cold War.
7) Equality is key - Two guys means two girls - with rising stars Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki both signed on as lead female foils.
8) It's got a good supporting cast - Running things from the basement-base of a dry-cleaning shop in New York (guarded by lasers and controlled machine guns), Hugh Grant is UNCLE's new British spy-chief, Alexander Waverly.
9) Superman takes a kicking - One on-set spy spotted Cavill (as Napoleon Solo) getting repeatedly kicked in the balls by bad guy Luca Calvani.
10) It's going to be massive - UNCLE is competing with Jurassic World, Terminator: Genisys, Ant-Man and Fantastic Four. Solo and Kuryakin are going big or going home.

To read the original TotalFilm magazine story, click here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Total Films: "Ten things you need to know about Guy Ritchie's big screen reboot of the Man From UNCLE" - Part 1

Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo

February 2015 edition of Total Films magazine shows "Ten things you need to know about Guy Ritchie's big screen reboot of the Man From UNCLE". Excerpt:

1) The U stands for United - That's United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, the secret spy ring at the center of the cult '60 film.
2) It's actually happening - on and of the production slate, the project was nursed by Steven Soderbergh until he dropped out in 2013.
3) Guy Ritchie's directing - working with his co-writer Lionel Wigram (...) Ritchie gave the stalled script a complete overhaul.
4) Henry Cavill is the new Napoleon Solo - "I'm sure he will be fine" - said the 81 years old Vaughn of his replacement.
5) Armie Hammer is excited - cast as Solo's straight-laced Russian co-spy Illya Kuryakin, Armie Hammer is still working in his poker face. "Getting to play a KGB agent is exciting".


Monday, January 19, 2015

Some of the very funny guest stars in The Girl From UNCLE only season

Pictures: reprodutions.

The only season of The Girl From UNCLE series managed to be even more silly that the third season of The Man From UNCLE. But there is the positive side of this error. Girl From UNCLE was attended by some of the best comedians available in the American show business in 1967 - like Edward Andrews, pictured above. And actors and actresses known for the seriousness had a good time doing comedy. These are some of the most remarkable special guests of the show:

John Carradine

Dom De Luise 

Raymond Massey

Fernando Lamas

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Armie Hammer, the new Illya Kuryakin, reviews The Man From UNCLE series

By Brian Truitt / USA Today:

Stars are just like us — for example, everybody loves binge-watching TV shows, and so does Armie Hammer, who rolled through seasons of the 1960s spy show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. And got paid for it! When we talked with the Lone Ranger star for our 2015 movie preview, Hammer told us that he grew up with Bond movies and other secret-agent stuff but had never watched U.N.C.L.E. until he was cast in the upcoming Guy Ritchie-directed movie based on the old series: Hammer plays KGB dude Illya Kuryakin opposite Henry Cavill’s CIA man Napoleon Solo — the roles played by David McCallum and Robert Vaughn respectively in the original show. Hammer ended up sharing his thoughts on the show — if you want to binge-watch it yourself, it’s streaming on Amazon Prime and there’s also a big honkin’ DVD set.

SEASON 1 – 1964-65
“In the first one that was black and white, it felt like they were getting their bearings, figuring out the show, figuring out the tone. I know that Illya wasn’t even supposed to be on any more seasons but they liked him so much, they kept him.”

SEASON 2 – 1965-66
“When they went to color, that’s my favorite. Everything worked on the show. That second season specifically, I like the way they balance and juxtapose the serious spy nature of it with fun, with humor and all that. They found this appropriate level of tongue-in-cheekness while being this serious spy show.”

SEASON 3 – 1966-67
“The third season kinda spun a little out of control and just got goofy.”

So that’s probably why he didn’t get around to U.N.C.L.E.‘s fourth and final season, which was canceled midway through its run. However, Hammer does say that the new movie almost acts as a ’60-set, globetrotting prequel of sorts, especially when it comes to the Illya/Napoleon dynamic: “At first they pretty much hate other and then they become a team, which is sort of like the genesis of the relationship they had in the show.”

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Warner Brothers releases a new photo of The Man From UNCLE 2015

Photo by Daniel Smith, Warner Bros. Pictures

From the Henry Cavill site:
With the promotional campaign continues and gains momentum for Henry Cavill's upcoming movie, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Warner Bros. has just released brand new official movie still featuring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer riding Vespa in night street in Rome. Enjoy the new image in Ultra HQ! The Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie from director Guy Ritchie is adaptation of the popular 1960s TV series. The story of the film takes place in the early 60s at the height of the Cold War, as CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) is forced to team up with KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) to stop a mysterious criminal organization. The movie also stars Alicia Vicander, Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Debicki, and Jared Harris, with Ritchie having penned the screenplay alongside his Sherlock Holmes collaborator Lionel Wigram. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. opens in theaters August 14, 2015.

The Man From UNCLE Comics

The success of The Man From UNCLE TV series generated a series of 22 comic books published by Gold Key. The magazines are collector's item nowadays. New material was released in the United States by the Entertainmente Publishing (1987/1988) and by Millenium Publications (1993). Other parallel versions also appeared in Britain newstands in the 1960s.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Newsmax: 50 Years Later, 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E' Is Still A Hit

Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 04:22 PM

One little-noticed 50th anniversary date in 2014 was that of September 22. In 1964, that was the date of the premiere of NBC's "The Man From U.N.C.L.E," the series that brought the secret agent craze of the mid-1960's to the small screen.

A half-a-century later, the super-secret spying-for-good United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.) lives on among a new generation of fans who watched its four seasons and 105 episodes on YouTube.

With eight motion pictures made of past episodes of the series, Hollywood is now in the process of casting a new film version of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." with Tom Cruise originally cast as American agent Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as his Russian partner Illya Kuryakin. (Earlier this year, Cruise left the project, leaving producers of "U.N.C.L.E." in search of a new Solo).

In its heyday, U.N.C.L.E. spawned board games, novels, comic books and various imitations. A sister series, "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E." came later, and the bag and container Glad was pitched by (you guessed it!) "The Man From GLAD." 

As former George W. Bush White House speechwriter and "Investors Business Daily" columnist Tom McArdle recalled: "I grew up knowing who Napoleon Solo was before I knew who Napoleon Bonaparte was."

To read the whole article click here

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hit Fix: 40 most anticipated movies of 2015

40. "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

Release date: August 14
Cause for excitement: Hollywood's been trying to crack a new 'Man From U.N.C.L.E' for at least 15 years now, and it looks like Guy Ritchie finally figured it out. Or at least, we hope he did, because both Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill seem ready to show off what they can do. If they've got chemistry, it could be a huge franchise for Ritchie and Warner Bros, and a genuine counter-point to the spy games of 'Bourne' and 'Bond' alike.
Possible warning signs: Hammer hasn't really had his moment yet, and while we feel like he tried hard to make 'The Lone Ranger' work, he really didn't work in the role. He and Cavill are obviously beefcake, but we're hoping they've also got the chops to make us interested in these characters from a barely-remembered-by-the-mainstream TV show.
- Drew McWeeny

Some scenes from the unforgetable episode #25

Episode 25 is one of the best episode in the whole series. With guest stars Barbara Feldon and Cesar Romero, its clever script (by Dean H...