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Closing Channel D… Actor Robert Vaughn Dies at 83

November 11, 2016 | Filed Under Entertainment, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Closing Channel D… Actor Robert Vaughn Dies at 83

-By Warner Todd Huston

November 11, 2016 brings sad news with the passing of actor Robert Vaughn, most well known as portraying super spy Napoleon Solo in the 1960’s TV series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

Vaughn, who had an extremely long, varied, and busy acting career that spanned stage, film, and TV, passed away at 83 after a short battle with Leukemia.

The famed actor appeared in some iconic movies including “Magnificent Seven” (1960), “Bullitt” (1968), and “The Towering Inferno” (1974). But he also had long running stints on TV in such series as “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “The Protectors,” “The A-Team,” the mini-Series “Centennial,” and the British TV series “Hustle.”

While he was quite a left-winger and was active early in the Vietnam anti-war movement, Vaughn was less like the loudmouthed liberal actors that seem uneducated and halfbaked who today blather about politics. In fact, he was quite the thoughtful, intellectual man and while he worked as Napoleon Solo in the mid 1960s, Vaughn went back to college and earned a degree in political science.

I was always struck by how gracious Robert Vaughn was. Especially to fellow U.N.C.L.E. star David McCallum. It must be remembered that U.N.C.L.E. was supposed to be all about Napoleon Solo — in fact, the original title of the series was set to be simply “Solo.” But when the Ilya character became a hit along with the show itself, it never seemed that Vaughn resented it. His gracious acceptance of McCallum — a relative new comer to Hollywood at the time — is unusual. After all the entertainment world, where passions and egos are usually so out sized, is usually a very jealous business but Vaughn always seemed quite happy for McCallum’s success.

So, the passing of Napoleon Solo is sad news, indeed.

Napoleon is closing channel D… for the last time.


Props from my personal collection.


Robert Vaughn, “Magnificent Seven”


Robert Vaughn, Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, “Magnificent Seven”


Steve McQueen and Robert Vaughn, “Bullit”


Robert Vaughn, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”


The cast of the “A-Team”


The cast of “Hustle”

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Guy Ritchie’s ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ Movie Premiere Swag

June 4, 2016 | Filed Under Entertainment, Movies, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., TV, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Guy Ritchie’s ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ Movie Premiere Swag

-By Warner Todd Huston

For nearly 50 years fans of the hit 1960s TV show “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” had been waiting eagerly to finally get a new UNCLE adventure and the many decades of waiting finally ended in August of 2015 when director Guy Ritchie’s re-telling of the TV series debuted on movie screens across the world. This page is dedicated to some of the swag given out to those lucky few who were invited to the film’s various premieres in nations everywhere.

I personally didn’t make any of the premieres and had to watch the movie like a commoner (after it opened wide in theaters), but I have come across a large number of the items that fans and moviegoers were given at the special screenings as the movie burst forth to such great reviews… but sadly, low audience turnout.

Here is the official trailer of the film to whet your appetite…

As I said, most reviewers loved Ritchie’s vision of U.N.C.L.E. calling it a smart, sexy, 1960s spy extravaganza. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, not enough movie goers turned up at theaters to make it a hit. Oh, it was no dismal failure, to be sure, but for old time U.N.C.L.E. fans who were hoping this film would spur a new series of big screen adventures, well, let’s just say the hope ended in disappointment.

There could be a sequel, yet, but it doesn’t look good.

Anyway, here is a photo essay of the items handed out at the premieres and a few other assorted items associated with the film. I’ll start with the most common items and after that get to the ones which are a bit farther and fewer between.


One of the 27 X 40 movie posters seen outside the theaters. This one was also handed out in an 11X17 version at theaters (I also have that one).


Another one of the more common posters for the film


These vinyl signs where what one would see in the frames over the door of the theater at the local multiplex. These, of course, weren’t given to moviegoers.


These gray T-Shirts were handed out by the hundreds and are the most common shirt for the new U.N.C.L.E.


There’s no spy stealth if you’re wearing THESE big buttons on your shirt, but fans will know ya, anyway!


Sunglasses were featured heavily in this stylish flick, so the promo department made up some special U.N.C.L.E. sunglasses for fans to take home.


Of course, no smart phone was in the movie as it was an early 1960s period piece, but everyone has cell phones today, right? These were all over the place.


Some moviegoers were luck enough to be given one of these very nice hot/cold metal tumblers.


Every spy needs to stay hydrated, so these water bottles were also given to fans.


Now we are starting to get to the items that were given out in smaller numbers. This all black T-Shirt with yellow lettering isn’t nearly as common as the gray one above.


For those who had too many U.N.C.L.E. items to carry, these handy vinyl shoulder bags were also distributed.


Just in case you need to take some notes in your spy notebook, they gave out these ball point pens, too.


If you were lucky, you were handed a nice, high quality black baseball cap with your favorite U.N.C.L.E. slogan embroidered onto it.


Now we are back to cell phones, again. Even though you aren’t supposed to use your phone in the theater, they did give out a few external cell phone re-chargers like this one. But not many of these were given out.


I think these computer memory sticks were only given to fans in Europe. But I may be wrong about that.


This external iPhone speaker does not have the U.N.C.L.E. logo on it. The outside clamshell, though, is also white like many of the other plastic items, so it does match the color scheme of many of the handouts.


One of the very cool costume choices in the film was Illya’s flat cap. So, anticipating that, the promo department made up at least two different versions of it for fans. These were not handed out a whole lot, though. The darker gray one is of higher quality that the tannish one, I must say.


The swag-makers also made a special shirt for girls, too, and this is the girl’s T-Shirt. It is a long sleeved affair that is long enough to go over the girl’s hips and is slightly flared-out at the bottom almost skirt-like. It has the yellow segment at the bottom with the U.N.C.L.E. logo printed on it.


Fans in Australia were the lucky recipients of this gold vinyl makeup case, apparently trying to raise interest in the female fans.


If one attended the UK premieres one might come away with a nice catalog put out by the Hawes & Curtis clothing company of clothing “inspired” by the film.


Speaking of the UK, during the release of the Guy Ritchie U.N.C.L.E. movie in Britain you could enter into a contest and the prize was this tiny digital Minox spy camera with a “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” plaque on the front. It resembles the one Minox made decades ago (of course, it took film back then and wasn’t digital). It also came in this wooden presentation box and if you can’t make it out the little plaque is in the lower left corner of the front of the camera body. There were only a handful of these produced and given away during the 2015 premiere in England.

The next few things were handed out only to the press as far as I know.


This full-sized, serviceable backpack is an example of an item available only to members of the press.


This is a very nice Stormtech 35L Waterproof, Rolltop Backpack (WXP-1). Not a ton of these were made, for sure.


Now, I don’t have this item–YET–but members of the press (at least in New Zealand) were also given an U.N.C.L.E. umbrella. This is a photo of Threads editor Megan Robinson who received her U.N.C.L.E. umbrella when she attended the movie premiere in New Zealand. You can’t clearly see all of the parasol, but you get the idea from Megan’s snap shot. (Photo used by permission)

There were also some special things given out only to those who worked on the film. I have been fortunate enough to have obtained these from various sources.


This gray hoodie sweat jacket was only given to set visitors and movie cast and crew members.


There was also a black crew hoodie as seen above.


These T-Shirts were given to members of the UNCLE Second Unit that filmed in Britain and other parts of Europe.


This is a pretty rare Barbour Liddesdale Crew Jacket also given out only to those who worked on the film itself.


Here is an example of one of the booklets used to help crew members plan their work days.

So, there you have it, folks. If you went to one of the many premieres across the world in 2015, you might have gone home with some or all of these items.

Now, I know vaguely of a few other items connected to the film shoot. Apparently Henry Cavill (Napoleon Solo) gave the cast and crew a special limited edition coin as a keepsake for working on the film. I’ve never seen one and only heard tell of them second hand. Also there was some sort of photo book assembled for the crew at the end of the project. That is another item I only heard of second hand and have never seen. There may have been a few other stray items here and there and if I learn more about them or actually get my hands on any, I’ll update this post.

Finally, if you have or know of more swag from the 2015 U.N.C.L.E. premiere that I don’t have here, do contact me and let me know.

OTHER ITEMS CONNECTED TO THE FILM
Now for a few items that weren’t given out at premieres but are still associated with the movie in one way or another…

First off, cosmetics company BirchBox put out an U.N.C.L.E. tie-in box of products. The box top had the title of the film on it, a sheet describing the movie inside, and a bunch of skin care products. It also had a multitool with a cardboard sleeve with the film title on it.

The next three photos show this offering from September of 2015. The last one shows the sheet inside and if you’d like to see this in a larger size, double click on the photo.


Here is a snapshot of the tickets for the movie.


The Hardees fast food chain gave out UNCLE cups as part of a tie in for the film.


One of the plot lines for the film included the Soviet Illya character talking about the watch his father gave him. This is a Russian-made Pobeda model like the watch that appeared in the film.


Here is a sleeve of unused movie postcards. I am somewhat unclear of where these came from, though.

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