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Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair

4.2 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Retired secret agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin try to stop a THRUSH atomic plot.

Amazon.com

Open Channel D! We're gonna party like it's 1964, when global espionage, secret agents, and evil masterminds bent on holding the world to multi-million dollar ransoms were all the rage. This 1983 reunion film recaptures some of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s vintage "cloak and swagger," but it also has some sly fun setting these Cold War-era spies loose in a contemporary world that could use their urbanity and a sense of style. Things are different since suave Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and cool Ilya Kuryakin (David McCallum) retired. Del Floria's Tailor Shop, the former headquarters of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, is now just a tailor shop. Alexander Waverly (the late Leo G. Carroll), who ran the covert operation, has passed on, replaced by Sir John Raleigh (Patrick Macnee of The Avengers, ironically, the rival show whose popularity played a part in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s cancellation in 1968). But some things never change. THRUSH has hijacked a nuclear device and threatens to detonate it somewhere in the United States unless Solo himself delivers the demanded $350 million of ransom. From the moment Ilya leaps in to the fray to help his old partner and friend in a bar fight, it's just like old times, except that Solo is a little rusty, and U.N.C.L.E.'s hotshot young agents are a little less than impressed. But he can still teach them a few tricks. The pleasure of seeing Vaughn and McCallum back in action is tempered a bit by campy moments that echo the series' unfortunate third season. During a car chase, Solo gets some assistance from one-Bond wonder George Lazenby, who cameos as a dapper-looking man in an Aston Martin with the personalized license plate "JB." But that is the most grievous offense in an otherwise entertaining adventure that will give U.N.C.L.E. fans many happy returns. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Patrick Macnee, Anthony Zerbe, George Lazenby
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Full Screen, Color, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001MVWMD4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,217 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Cabos on February 9, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The most surprising omission in the recent "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Series" collection was the 1983 reunion movie (I assume because the rights were owned by a different studio), so the newly-released "The Return of Man from U.N.C.L.E." is a 'must' for all us fans of Solo, Illya, and the immortal spy network, to truly complete our collections...and be aware, if you are purchasing this as a 'stand alone' tape, there are no 'Special Features'; if you want to hear Vaughn and McCallum's observations about the reunion, you'll find them in the "Complete Series" collection!

"Return of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair" (the original title) doesn't compare with the best episodes of Seasons 1 and 2 (writer/producer Michael Sloan reportedly used episodes from Season 3...the worst year for the series...for his research), and some of his wry 'twists' don't make much sense (aloof, shy Kuryakin retired to become a women's fashion designer? Skirt-chasing, yet dedicated Solo now peddling computers and losing in Vegas?), but there are nice touches, as well; Patrick Macnee, 'John Steed' in the classic "Avengers", makes a perfect successor to the late Leo G. Carroll, as head of U.N.C.L.E. (there are some very welcome references to the beloved older actor); villain Anthony Zerbe puts a nice spin on how both THRUSH and U.N.C.L.E. aren't as much fun, anymore, in the new world order; and Vaughn and particularly McCallum, look remarkably unchanged after 14 years ("good makeup man", Solo quips).

While some 'surprises' seem out-of-place (George Lazenby, spoofing his one 007 film, here playing 'J.B.
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One thing I've learned over the years is that if you didn't think much of a film when you saw it 20 years ago or so, you're still not going to think much of it years later. This film proved that again for me.
U.N.C.L.E. was my all-time favorite tv show, I absolutely loved it from the night it premiered on NBC (and loving it wasn't always that easy considering its disasterous 3rd "Camp" season.) I was very excited about this film and couldn't wait to watch its initial airing on CBS. What a total mediocrity it turned out to be. Vaughn and especially McCallum are quite good. Parick MacNee was an inspired choice to play the new head of U.N.C.L.E. However he is given little to do. Some of the other performances are not so good however. Anthony Zerbe is his usual professional self as the head of THRUSH. Tom Mason is a total embarassment as a new moronic U.N.C.L.E. agent named Kowalski. The biggest embarassment however is George Lazenby driving around Las Vegas is a second-hand looking Aston Martin, with the license plates J.B., just in time to help Solo in a very unexciting car chase. I find this scene very sad considering Lazenby's great Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." The action scenes are pathetic attempts to rip off Bond films. The conclusion with totally exposed U.N.C.L.E. agents in motorboats taking on an army of concealed and highly armed THRUSH agents and easily defeating them is ludicrous.
I once read a long article on the making of this film. Apparently there was a young writer, (whose name escapes me,) whose dream is was to bring U.N.C.L.E. to the big screen along the lines of the first few Star Trek films. He got a script together and even got Vaughn and McCallum to agree to the project.
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I used to watch the Man from Uncle TV series, although am not that old! Great to see Napoleon Solo and Ylia Kuryakin go through fun times (at least I hope they were fun times for them). This film, which is a modernized version of the series (15 years later) brought back the fun with modern gadgets, locations and script (again the world is being threatened) although not in par with today's James Bond. Still a fun and nice movie to watch.
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