5.8/10
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The Helicopter Spies (1968)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 2 January 1968 (Japan)
An African village is nearly exterminated by a deadly weapon - The Thermal Prism. Napoleon and Ilya must find it first before it can be used again for the conquest of the world.

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, (developer: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Napoleon Solo (archive footage)
...
Illya Kuryakin (archive footage)
...
Annie (archive footage)
...
Luther Sebastian (archive footage)
...
Azalea (archive footage)
...
Alexander Waverly (archive footage)
...
Dr. Parviz Kharmusi (archive footage)
...
Third-Way Priest (archive footage)
...
Laurie Sebastian (archive footage)
...
The Aksoy Brothers (archive footage)
...
Carl (archive footage)
...
White Hunter (archive footage)
...
Mom (archive footage)
...
Ship's Captain (archive footage)
Barbara Moore ...
Lisa Rogers (archive footage)

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Storyline

An African village is nearly exterminated by a deadly weapon - The Thermal Prism. Napoleon and Ilya must find it first before it can be used again for the conquest of the world.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

2 January 1968 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Die unverbesserlichen Drei  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aside from Luther Sebastian, all the members of the Third Way, from its high priest to its henchmen and female entertainers, sports a platinum blonde hair. See more »

Goofs

There is an airport shot titled on screen as being Tehran, Iran, however dominating the shot is a Lockheed Electra aircraft of TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited), a New Zealand airline and forerunner to Air NZ. That airline never flew further west from NZ than Australia and would never have tried flying thousands of miles to the Middle East using such a relatively short range turboprop aircraft. See more »

Connections

Follows The Karate Killers (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Favourite uncle...
10 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm in the middle of taping then watching the made-for-Europe splicings of 2 "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." episodes, topped and tailed with movie-type titles, which are regularly shown as a series on UK TV on some channel or other. Sadly it's the only way to see anything from the original series over here, so I guess I'll just be thankful for small mercies, as I grew up in my 60's household avidly watching Napoloeon & Illya taking on that particular week's would-be world-dominating master-villains, as well as utilising some high-tech gadgetry, canoodling with a bevy of mini-skirted lovelies and travelling to some far-flung destinations.

All of this happens, as per usual, in "The Helicopter Spies" - such lazy titling, always trying to get the word "spy" in there!. In fact here, we get two mini-Blofeld's chasing a thermal prism which activates a deadly heat ray when placed in orbit, more like a red-stripe ray if truth be told. It's a little difficult to apply cinematic criticism to what is basically two joined-up television programmes, but this one flows along entertainingly as a full-blown feature, although I doubt you'd pay money to watch it at your local picture-house.

The action here is more Robert Vaughn centred than on David McCallum (either works for me), who along the way is required to dye his hair whiter than Truman Capote, fend off the attentions of a bazillion women and escape (with Ilya's assistance) from a fiendish sand-trap, before foiling Mr Big 2 (Bradford Dillman's Sebastian character) and his plan to launch a rocket into space from a public building, in a plot development, it seems to me adapted and modified for later use in the succeeding James Bond movie "Diamonds are Forever", only that had oodles more budget to razzle-dazzle your eye. There are also entertaining stunts involving trains, 'copters, cars, you name it before our heroes eventually save the world in time, with a smattering of deadpan humour to season the action.

To their credit Messrs Vaughn and McCallum (with the redoubtable Leo G Carroll on hand as their greyer than grey boss Mr Waverley) play it as straight as they can and avoid campness wherever possible. I always liked Robert Vaughn's sub-Mitchum style of acting and he was undoubtedly one of the coolest operators in mid-60's TV land.

I have, I think three more of these features to watch and after this will look forward to the next with a little anticipation, always tinged with nostalgia for those long-gone days lying in front of our old black & white TV in the mid 1960's, waiting for that great Jerry Goldsmith theme tune to announce the arrival of my TV uncles.


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