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How to Steal the World (1968)

5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 155 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin have to investigate: Their colleague Robert Kingsley and Dr. Kurt Erikson have vanished. The chemist has discovered a gas making people will-less...

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Title: How to Steal the World (1968)

How to Steal the World (1968) on IMDb 5.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Napoleon Solo (archive footage)
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Illya Kuryakin (archive footage)
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Dr. Robert Kingsley (archive footage)
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Margitta Kingsley (archive footage)
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Gen. Maximilian Harmon (archive footage)
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Alexander Waverly (archive footage)
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Steven Garrow (archive footage)
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Mr. Webb (archive footage)
Albert Paulsen ...
Dr. Kurt Erikson (archive footage)
Inger Stratton ...
Anna Erikson (archive footage)
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Grant (archive footage)
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Prof. David Garrow (archive footage)
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Alice Garrow (archive footage)
David Hurst ...
Dr. Jan Vanovech (archive footage)
Barbara Moore ...
Lisa Rogers (archive footage)
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Storyline

Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin have to investigate: Their colleague Robert Kingsley and Dr. Kurt Erikson have vanished. The chemist has discovered a gas making people will-less... Written by Volker Boehm

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Release Date:

19 September 1968 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

How to Steal the World  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The yacht Solo and Kuryakin land the helicopter on is the "Wild Goose', the yacht once owned by John Wayne. See more »

Goofs

Both Kuryakin (from U.N.C.L.E.) and Kingsley (the bad guy) have their own helicopters (Kingsley's has a large letter "K" on the front of the bubble). However, you can tell they used the same helicopter for both - both helicopters have the same aircraft registration number. See more »

Connections

Follows To Trap a Spy (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Episode Nobody Wanted (For A Good Reason)
6 November 2007 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Every long-running television series has an episode (sometimes several) that got red-lighted after the first rough edit and never broadcast. "The Seven Wonders of the World Affair" a/k/a "How to Steal the World" (1968) started out as "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." episode with this dubious honor. Unfortunately the footage was placed in storage rather than destroyed; then once the series had been notified of its cancellation (in the middle of its fourth season) and could not be hurt by such a bad episode; the original footage was resurrected, reassembled, expanded, and broadcast.

And since the ill-conceived episode was not needed as a tax write-off, the producers decided to expand it into feature length and give it a theatrical release overseas. They had already enjoyed success with the technique, releasing all the two-part episodes in a similar manner (although unlike this one these others had been originally intended to be double the one-hour running time). In any case the dusted off version ran for two weeks in late 1967 on US television; as the last two episodes of the series. This allowed the series to go out with a whimper; few cared at the time because the counterculture revolution ("Bonnie and Clyde" – "The Graduate" – etc.) had made the spy premise pretty much irrelevant.

"The Seven Wonders of the World Affair" feels more like a "Star Trek" episode or even "Logan's Run" than anything to do with U.N.C.L.E. They were building the new terminal at LAX at the time and were able to shoot most of the original footage at the building site. It probably looked futuristic in 1966-67, but looks extremely lame today (and probably looked moronic by 1968 when people would have recognized it as the new airport). The el-cheapo production design is not helped by the use of really ill-matched stock footage; some so scratched that it is quite laughable.

The episode inexplicably lacks what had been the two main strengths of the series; the banter between Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, and the casting of many of Hollywood's hottest young starlets in substantial supporting roles.

The premise is the standard idealistic scientist (Barry Sullivan) whose discovery (a gas that makes people peaceful and less aggressive) is about to be misused by evil people. In this case T.H.R.U.S.H. The only thing to watch for is late 1940's-early 50's film star Eleanor Parker, who plays Sullivan's wife, who just happens to be in league with T.H.R.U.S.H. Parker is extremely talented and somehow manages to breathe a bit of life into the lame script. And she has one cool scene where her head is pressed against the top of a glass table; the camera shoots her face from below-distorted by the glass.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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