Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Return of the Man from UNCLE The Fifteen Years Later Affair|
Actors: Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Patrick Macnee, Anthony Zerbe, George Lazenby
Genres: Action & Adventure, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 03/03/2009 Run time: 96 minutes
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Solo & Illya
L. Cabos | planet earth | 02/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A project that took time to get off the ground but in 1983 U.N.C.L.E. fans were treated to the return of Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin one last time. Both agents had left U.N.C.L.E. to pursue other careers -- Solo as a computer salesman and Kuryakin as a fashion designer. Mr. Waverly had passed away and the organization is now being run by Sir John Raleigh (Patrick MacNee of the AVENGERS). A nuclear crisis brings the two back into the fold. Some witty dialogue:
Illya: They're all men! What happened to all the beautiful girls that worked for U.N.C.L.E?
Solo: They're in the U.N.C.L.E. home.
Look for George Lazenby in a cameo as "JB". Directed by Ray Austin, better remembered for his work on THE AVENGERS. Cast includes Geoffrey Lewis (EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE, ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN) as Janus, Anthony Zerbe as Justin Sepharim (the head of THRUSH) and Tom Mason as the new generation U.N.C.L.E. agent. The old-time chemistry between Vaughn and McCallum is still there 15 years after the series ended. Unfortunately, after being brought together again the two are sent off on separate directions. Still, as Robert Vaughn said at the time, the minute he put on the tuxedo it felt like 1966 all over again. A new U.N.C.L.E. logo appears. THE RETURN OF THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.: THE FIFTEEN YEARS LATER AFFAIR. A long wait but ultimately worth it. A nice transfer this time. Only extra is the trailer."
U.N.C.L.E. reunion movie is something of a letdown
Joseph A. Admire | Manassas, VA USA | 11/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Quite a lot of effort was expended during the 1970's and early 1980's in putting together a Man from U.N.C.L.E. reunion movie (at one point, Italian sex symbol Laura Antonelli had actually been signed to play Serena in the movie, reprising the role originally played by Senta Berger in "The Double Affair/The Spy With My Face"). However, at the end of it all, what we got was something of a molehill for the mountain of effort, a TV movie that was originally run on CBS in the spring of 1983. It;s not really bad, but it could have been so much more than it ended up being.
It's 15 years after the events of the original series, and Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin have both parted ways, not entirely happily, with U.N.C.L.E. Napoleon has become a computer entrepeneur (!) and Illya has become a fashion designer (!!). Meanwhile, Justin Sepheran, one of Thrush's honchos, has escaped from federal prison and has taken charge of the organization's efforts to become a nuclear superpower (shades of "Thunderball" and "Never Say Never Again").
One of the big problems with the movie is that, having expended a lot of effort to get Napoleon and Illya back together with U.N.C.L.E. again, the two agents are then immediately split up to work on their own to defeat the twin arms of Thrush's plot (Napoleon gets a rather annoying 1980's agent as a partner). This pretty much throws out one of the original show's key selling points, the relationship between Solo and Kuryakin.
As a femme fatale for Napoleon, Gayle Hunnicutt is, IMHO, not very much at all; I wish they had stuck with Laura Antonelli instead. Napoleon doesn't use the famous U.N.C.L.E. Special pistol at all (though Illya does). There is a BIG conceptual goof early on where U.N.C.L.E. agents are shown wearing their triangular badges outside headquarters - it was specifically established in the original show that those badges are strictly for purposes of internal security; if agents have to identify themselves to the public, they use the famous gold I.D. cards with the skeleton-globe insignia. And, speaking of, what was with that dull lightning-bolt insignia the new production team designed for Thrush? The new version of the U.N.C.L.E. insignia is pretty cool, though, and it makes sense that the organization would have moved to new offices sometime in the interim as it expanded; it always has struck me that, even in the 1960's, the original quarters "somewhere in the East Forties" were kind of cramped for the continental headquarters of a world-spanning organization."
Edward A. Rapka | Los Angeles | 01/18/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Vaughn & David McCallum reteam in this 1983 sequel, reprising their characters admirably & accurately, but the overall tone of this (one of the earliest of the tv "reunion" movies) fails to match the jaunty tongue-in-cheekness of the original, despite screenplay credit by series-creator Sam Rolfe, nor does it have the original hep music by Fried & Goldsmith.
The plot is typical of the '60s series: U.N.C.L.E.-vs-THRUSH, in the process dragging an innocent bystander into the fray. But besides the two leads, nothing remains of the original U.N.C.L.E. mythos. By 1983 the MGM backlot had been bulldozed for condos, so they shot entirely on location--even interiors. The result feels a little too raw. Sadly, the design ditched the sleek steel-panel walls of the original HQ, the cute miniskirted G3s & the gee-whiz technology that made the show fun. The old HQ "somewhere in the east '40s" has been boarded up and operations moved a few blocks away to new offices that smack of a mid-sized corporation somewhere in Wisconsin, with wood panelling & fluorescent overheads. In fact, the only elements reprised from the series are the pen-radio, the briefing-room TV sequence and a few "old-world" computer blinking consoles dragged out of the proproom.
The shtick of this remake is that the current staff of U.N.C.L.E. (the full "United Network Command for Law and Enforcement" emblazoned on the hallway walls; apparently U.N.C.L.E. is heavily into branding now) comprises vanilla-bland PC yuppies, possessing none of the silky suaveness of Napoleon Solo, and the entire agency seems to have a bureaucratic feel hanging over it. Perhaps with good reason: the international terrorist agency, THRUSH, is said to have been disbanded some years ago. The feeling is that without a worthy adversary, U.N.C.L.E. has lost its way. But now THRUSH rears up Phoenix-like, precipitating Solo's return to the fold, and he finds himself very much a fish out of water (a ploy used, perhaps more effectively, some years later in the first Brosnan "Bond" film where JB's predatory sexual mores clash with the PC feminism of the late 20th century).
Patrick McNee ("John Steed" of the Avengers) replaces the late Leo G. Carroll in a clever bit of type-casting, and there's a cameo by an even earlier "James Bond," but otherwise the show is unremarkable. Our aging fellows, drawn out of civilian retirement (explained for Ilya, but not for Solo), make a few slips being so long out of practice, but they're still in shape and eventually regain their old groove. Both see lots of action, make many witty comments & wind up regaining to a comfortable cameraderie. Curiously, it's never explained what kept them out of touch through the years (was there a falling out?), why top-agent Solo didn't get promoted to an admin position within U.N.C.L.E. (perhaps even Waverly's?), and what led to the ultimate demise of THRUSH years back.
Technically, the show is low-budget with a heavy '70s kitsch (film stock quality is marginal, typical of the era, with lots of stock footage -- one clip through an airplane window shows unprocessed blue-screen). The audio is poorly dubbed in places, with lots of distracting background noise. The stuntwork is pedestrian: a few cars get rolled "A-Team" style, dazed henchman stumbling from the wrecks, a villain dangles precariously from a helicopter skid but only a few inches from the ground, an U.N.C.L.E. swat team rapells down Boulder Dam identified as "Somewhere In Syria." This was a made-for-TV movie and it definitely shows as made on the cheap.
Come to think of it, though, that was the perverse charm of the '60s series, using cardboard sets and lots of smoke bombs. This sequel may ring more true to the series than I thought. --Edward A. Rapka
Lots of fun! Excellent Reunion movie!
J. McDonald | 04/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I still have the VHS tape recording that I made when this originally aired back in the early 80's. Finally, a QUALITY DVD transfer that will allow me to retire my old VHS!
In my opinion, this is one of the most FUN and enjoyable reunion movies ever made. It's obvious that Robert Vaughn and David McCallum are having a lot of fun reprising the roles that defined their careers. And what a classy choice as the new head of U.N.C.L.E, non other than "John Steed" himself, Patrick McNee (The AVengers)! The first 15 minutes are a total blast, and even includes a special cameo from James Bond himself (George Lazenby)!
There are fans of the original series that tend to rate this effort lower than I do. However, I honestly cannot think of a better reunion than this. It was the perfect time to do it, includes great guest stars, has an excellent updated theme song, and is well written and directed! In my opinion, it's actually better than MANY of the original epsiodes!
Grab it while you can!