Monday, August 18, 2008

"Post No. 537"

On the Turner Movie Channel this morning I caught a showing of the 1966 "Man from U.N.C.L.E." flick, The Spy in the Green Hat and it got me to remembering what a fan I was in the early 1960's of the various secret agent/spy craze that abounded at that time.

And this flick, although pretty "tongue-in-cheek", really captured the feeling of the t.v. show of that time, and was filled with just a barrel fun of great old stars (and if you don't believe me, just read that list!), with the UNCLE Agents battling thier greatest of foes, "T.R.U.S.H.", plenty of beautiful women, the always present super-weapon, and even a bunch of aging 20's gangsters who dressed in outfits Kirby could swipe from forever.

The spy-fad has really never gone away. Back in the 60's we had James Bond and the Man from UNCLE, and the GIRL from UNCLE, and Our Man Flint, and scrores of others which over the years has spawned the likes of more Bond flicks, Austin Powers and even a new version of "Get Smart" long past the days of The Cold War.

When it was really big, we found ourselves surrounded by digests and magazines, and paperbacks, and t.v. shows, and movies, and plastic models, etc., etc., and ...Oh THOSE TOYS! Secret Agent guns that did a hundred different things, minature cameras and radios, and, of course, my favorite, the "Sixth Finger", which looked like a really finger one could conceal in the palm of your hand that shot projectiles from the tip! Let's face it. They just don't make toys like that anymore!

And this fad had some really stiff competition as it played out during "The Bat-Craze" of the Adam West/Burt Ward show, but has still survived. For the record, BOTH fads have really survived as today we're still enjoying at least one Summer blockbuster of a super-hero movie. And "why' are they still around? I think perhaps because we associate them in similiar ways, and true at Marvel Comics we have "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." who began right during the 60's spy fad, and the feeling that "The Cold War" might begin anew hits us presently when we see where the former U.S.S.R. has invaded Georgia and we think, "Can U.S. involvement be far behind?"

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