Sunday, December 31, 2017

Episode 19 Guest Star: Gene Raymond


Gene Raymond (August 13, 1908 – May 3, 1998) was an American film, television, and stage actor of the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to acting, Raymond was also a composer, writer, director, producer, and decorated military pilot. Raymond was born Raymond Guion on August 13, 1908 in New York City. He attended the Professional Children's School while appearing in productions like Rip Van Winkleand Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch. His Broadway debut, at age 17, was in The Cradle Snatchers which ran two years. (The cast included Mary BolandEdna May Oliver, and a young Humphrey Bogart.) 

His most notable films, mostly as a second lead actor, include Red Dust (1932) with Jean Harlow and Clark GableZoo in Budapest(1933) with Loretta YoungEx-Lady (1933) with Bette DavisFlying Down to Rio (1933) with Dolores del RíoFred Astaire and Ginger RogersI Am Suzanne (1934) with Lilian HarveySadie McKee (1934) with Joan CrawfordAlfred Hitchcock's Mr. and Mrs. Smith(1941) with Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery, and The Locket (1946) with Laraine DayBrian Aherne, and Robert Mitchum. MacDonald and Raymond made one film together, Smilin' Through, which came out as the U.S. was on the verge of entering World War II. In the 1950s he mostly worked in television, appearing in Playhouse of Stars,[2] Fireside TheatreHollywood Summer Theater and TV Reader's Digest. In the 1970s he appeared on ABC Television Network's Paris 7000 and had guest roles in The Outer LimitsRobert Montgomery PresentsPlayhouse 90The Man from U.N.C.L.E.IronsideThe DefendersMannixThe Name of the GameLux Video TheatreKraft Television Theatre and U.S. Steel Hour.

On May 3, 1998, at 89 years of age, Raymond died of pneumonia in Los Angeles, California. For his contributions to the motion picture and television industries, Gene Raymond has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 7001 Hollywood Boulevard (motion pictures) and 1708 Vine Street (television).
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Vulture: "Armie Hammer loved The Man From UNCLE"

Photo: Amanda Demme

15 Things You Learn While Hanging Out With Armie Hammer



11. But don’t get him wrong: He loved The Man From U.N.C.L.E., too. 
Guy Ritchie’s 2015 spy movie is an underrated gem that bombed at the box office but has since built a cult following. Hammer starred as a Russian agent opposite Henry Cavill and Alicia Vikander, and he still counts the movie as one of his favorite filming experiences. “It was glorious,” he said. “White-tablecloth lunches and amazing meals all across Europe and hanging out with Guy Ritchie, who’s the coolest fucker in the entire world.” Still, Hammer felt like he had hit his limit when it came to making big studio films. “I was so happy and having a great time, but at the end of the day, I wanted to finish a project feeling like I had almost been transformed as a person. You only get that on movies where you have an exceptional amount of skin in the game and everybody is there pouring sweat and really sacrificing to get it done. That just wasn’t the experience on Man From U.N.C.L.E.

To read the complete Vulture story, click here.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

"The Secret Sceptre Affair": the complete 19th episode


The Man From UNCLE
Episode 19
The Secret Scepter Affair
Writer: Anthony Spinner
Director: Marc Daniels
Guests: Gene Raymond (Colonel Morgan), Ziva Rodman (Zia), Lili Darvas (Madamme Karim)
Filmed: 08-14 December 1964
Premiere: 08 February 1965
Places: Somewhere in the Sahara, Marseille (France)


Acts titles:
1 - "Drop Zone: the Middle East"
2 - "A Boxful of Death"
3 - "The Bear-pit Polka"
4 - "The Scepter Secret"

The affair: Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin parachute to a fortress somewhere in the Sahara and are picked up by soldier Zia. They are just training. The group meet Colonel Morgan, to whom Solo served during the Korean War. Morgan comes to save the country's elected new premier Karim. Solo and Illya warns that he will act on their own (as a favor to Morgan) using only anesthetic arrows. Morgan plan is to steal the golden scepter symbolizing power in the country, taking the power to Karim. Illya, Napoleon and Morgan invade the palace through the ceiling and steal the scepter. Morgan prepares to flee the country with Solo and Kuryakin, but depart before his helicopter explodes. Captain
Ahmed (from the Secret Service) warns that Karim Morgan was killed in the explosion and the scepter disappeared. Behind the scenes, Madame Karim takes over and says Morgan is a liar. Captain Ahmed intercepts the three and want to know where is the golden scepter. They are brought to a bear pit to be devoured. Solo deceives everyone and the bear eats madame Karim. Napoleon finds out diamonds inside the scepter. Solo, Kuryakin and Zia take the bus and run away. In Marseille, Napoleon delivers the golden scepter to Colonel Morgan, who forged his own death and is just a crook wanting diamonds. Illya kills Morgan. Solo flirts with Zia.


FYI: The plot looks straight out a Tintin comic book. It is the second time that Solo and Kuryakin act on their own, without connection with UNCLE. (The first time was in episode 14, “The Terbufos Affair”). We learn in this episode that Napoleon Solo fought in the Korean War. The episode works on solidify the loyalty and partnership between Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin.

Watch the complete episode:


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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Reappraisal: ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ is stylish, fast-paced fun


Reappraisal: ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ is stylish, fast-paced fun

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 6:02pm

In 2015, director Guy Ritchie (“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”) released “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” a Cold War spy caper featuring Henry Cavill (“Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice”), Alicia Vikander (“Submergence”) and Armie Hammer (“Call Me By Your Name”) as a motley crew of international spies hunting for a missing warhead. The film seemed to be one nobody had asked for, adapted from a low-brow 1964 television series of the same name. What’s more, it opened just weeks after spy-movie blockbuster “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.” As a result, ticket sales were less than spectacular. With tepid critical reviews, the film came and went as little more than a blip on the 2015 summer movie radar. Today the film remains one of the most underrated spy films to come out of the last decade, featuring dazzling stylization, irresistible cast chemistry and an electrifying soundtrack.

The spy flick was once a pillar of popular cinema: Filled with suave machismo, high fashion and exorbitant amounts of innuendo, the style of the classic spy movie is a cultural icon. Today, they don’t make spy movies like they used to; box offices are dominated by dark, gritty films like “The Bourne” series, and even the once-campy “James Bond” films now boast sleek, blue-tinted color palettes.

“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” is an homage to a bygone era of film. It doesn’t concern itself with deep, troubled backstories or a dark, moody aesthetic. The film meticulously recreates the style of the classic spy film, from its split-screen action sequences to its dramatic camera zooms. The film revels in this campy, carefree style with just enough modern flair to not feel dated. Critics panned the film for prioritizing style over substance, which it did. However, positing that criticism of this kind of film is like comparing Dr. Pepper to fine wine. The film wasn’t made to be deep — it was made to be stylish and fun, a goal it achieves in spades.

To read the complete story, click here.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Man From UNCLE Episode 18 Guest Star: Peter Haskell



Peter Abraham Haskell (October 15, 1934 – April 12, 2010) was an American actor who worked primarily in television. Haskell was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Rose Veronica (née Golden) and geophysicist Norman Haskell. He attended Browne & Nichols and later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Harvard University following a two-year stint in the United States Army where he rose to the rank of Private First Class. Haskell's plan to study at Columbia Law School was derailed when he was cast in the off-Broadway play The Love Nest, with James Earl Jones and Sally Kirkland. The play closed after only 13 performances but led to his being cast in an episode of Death Valley Days.



Guest appearances on The Outer Limits, Dr. Kildare, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ben Casey, The Fugitive, The F.B.I. The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Big Valley, Mannix, Medical Center, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, Vega$, B. J. and the Bear, Charlie's Angels, The A-Team, Matlock, and Booker followed. Haskell was married to Annie Compton from 1960 until their 1974 divorce. In 1974, he married Dianne Tolmich. His daughter Audra reported his death on his Facebook page the day of his death but did not specify the cause of death. Haskell reportedly died of a heart attack.


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Monday, October 30, 2017

Cleaning? Pressing? Del Floria's Tailor Shop!


Cleaning & pressing? Don't forget: Del Floria's Tailor Shop. Nobody does it better in all Manhattan.

"Yes, we're open until six!"


Much more about the Man From UNCLE in the Open Channel D book:


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Saturday, October 14, 2017

UNCLE gadgets - the laser weapon

 

In episode 18, the mysterious Mr Hemingway (Richard Haydn) drives a toy plane to UNCLE HQ building. Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) coordinates the defense and order agent Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) to use the laser weapon installed in the building roof. 


Illya sets up the laser command against the toy but... it fails. And they find out that the plane was just a warning from Mr Hemingway, in one of the most imaginative episodes in the whole series.


Much more about the Man From UNCLE in the Open Channel D book:


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Friday, October 13, 2017

Man From UNCLE Episode 18 Guest Star: Richard Haydn



George Richard Haydn (10 March 1905 – 25 April 1985), known as Richard Haydn, and born as George Richard Haydon, was an English comic actor in radio, films and television. Some of his better known performances include Ball of Fire (1941) as Professor Oddley, No Time for Love (1943) as Roger, And Then There Were None (1945) as Thomas Rogers, The Emperor Waltz (1948), Alice in Wonderland(1951) as the Caterpillar, as Baron Popoff in The Merry Widow (1952), as William Brown in Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), and The Sound of Music (1965) as Max Detweiler.

Haydn was born on 10 March 1905 in London. After working as a music hall entertainer and overseer of a Jamaican banana plantation, he joined a touring British theatre troupe, and then moved into television and film.

In the DVD commentary of Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks said that Haydn eschewed the Hollywood lifestyle, and that he used gardening and horticulture as a means of escape. Following a heart attack, Haydn died on 25 April 1985 in Los Angeles, California.

He is particularly notable for his performance as the voice of the Caterpillar in the 1951 Disney animated adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, and for his small role of Herr Falkstein in the 1974 Mel Brooks classic comedy Young Frankenstein. Haydn was also memorable as the manservant Rogers in the 1945 adaptation of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. He is also well remembered for his role as William Brown in Mutiny on the Bounty.Perhaps his most acclaimed role, however, was in Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1965 film musical The Sound of Music, in which he played the Von Trapps' family friend Max Detweiler.

To read the complete entry about Richard Haydn in the Wikipedia, click here.



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Episode # 23: Del Floria's big secret

Somewhere in Manhattan. Napoleon Solo enter the Del Floria's Tailor Shop - Cleaning & Pressing. Recognizing agent Solo, Mist...