U.N.C.L.E. discovers that Thrush killer Andrew Vulcan plans to assassinate a visiting African leader, Premier Ashumen, while he's on a tour of Vulcan's factory. Napoleon Solo enlists the help of Vulcan's old girlfriend, Elaine May Donaldson, who pretends to be a rich widow and gets closer to Vulcan, trying to find out if her old friend really is the bad man that Solo says he is. At the same time, she also enjoys the life of luxury and wealth and finds it hard to accept that she has to go back to boring married life after the operation is over. The film is made from the first season episodes "The Vulcan Affair" (09/22/64) and "The Four Steps Affair" (02/22/65) from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Written by
Daniel Bolton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film is a re-edited version of the pilot episode for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964), plus footage from at least one other episode, with a number of changes. The famous character of Mr. Waverly is not in this film, for example. See more »
Top UNCLE agent Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) is assigned to prevent THRUSH hit-man Andrew Vulcan (Fritz Weaver) from assassinating Premier Ashumen (William Marshall), the leader of a primitive African nation who is visiting the States on a tour of Vulcan's factory. Solo enlists the help of Vulcan's former girlfriend Elaine May Donaldson (Patricia Crowley) and plants her as a rich widow in order to get close to Vulcan and prove to her that he is the evil doer that Solo says he is.
The Man From UNCLE was such a cult success in the UK that eight feature length films (made up of previously unaired episodes) were released in cinemas with virtually the British box office in mind. TO TRAP A SPY was the first film in the series and it is actually an extended version of the pilot episode, THE VULCAN AFFAIR (First aired: 22/09/1964), with extra footage that was considered too "adult" for television. Other changes were made such as in the TV version, THRUSH were the enemy organisation, but in the film they were renamed WASP. Also in the film, actor Will Kuluva plays UNCLE chief Mr Allison, whereas in the TV episode, Leo G Carroll played Mr Waverley and would do so for the remainder of the series.
To Trap A Spy stands as one of the best feature length outings from the TV series even though David McCallam fans will be disappointed as Illya Kuriyakin only appears in two scenes early on. Robert Vaughn is outstanding as Napoleon Solo portraying him as a super suave playboy and interestingly Luciana Paluzzi turns up as a beautiful THRUSH villain who attempts to seduce Solo to his death would later play much the same role in the Bond spectacular Thunderball. The plot may be thin but it is the nostalgia value that holds this film up after nearly forty years since it was first released.
Followed by: The Spy With My Face*, One Spy Too Many*, One Of Our Spies Is Missing, The Spy In The Green Hat (all 1966), The Karate Killers*, The Helicopter Spies* (both 1967) and How To Steal The World* (1968). The titles marked with an asterisk have now been released on DVD in the UK as a box set.
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