The Spy With My Face (1965)

Country: United States
AKA: The Double Affair
Director: by John Newland
Starring: Robert Vaughn, Senta Berger, David McCallum, Leo G. Carrol
Music: Morton Stevens
‘The Man From UNCLE Theme’ by Jerry Goldsmith

The Spy With My Face is the second Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie. All the movies in the series were cobbled together from episodes of the television series with a small amount of extra footage added to pad them out. This film is made from The Double Affair and The Four Steps Affair. The movie opens in Australia, North of Melbourne, we are informed. Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) in conjunction with the Australian chapter of U.N.C.L.E., led by Kit Kiteridge (Donald Harron) engage a compound of T.H.R.U.S.H. agents. The mission is successful, but Kiteridge is injured when he intercepts the path of a knife thrown at Solo.

Strangely, somebody has hidden cameras in the compound and are filming the assault. Someone is interested in Solo. It was also a test to see how fast, U.N.C.L.E. can neutralise their twelve man team.

We cut to an airplane. Inside are three people. The first is the beautiful Serena (Senta Berger), next is Darius Two (Michael Evans), and the last man’s face is hidden beneath a layer of bandages. The title of this movie, probably gives away who is under the bandages.

After the mission in Australia, Solo engages in a little R & R. He calls one of his numerous girlfriends, Sandy (Sharon Farrell), who happens to be an airline hostess, and makes a date. But Solo ends up being detained breaking T.H.R.U.S.H. codes. Sandy is understandably angry when Solo finally does turn up.

Meanwhile, Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) has been working late as well. As he leaves U.N.C.L.E. headquarters, he is attacked by two toy robots. Doesn’t sound very threatening, does it? Naturally Kuryakin disables the toys.

The next day, Solo is trying to repair his relationship with Sandy. He takes her to dinner at an exclusive restaurant. During the meal, Solo is called to the phone. Selena is waiting for him at the receiver. They talk, but Sandy feels neglected and comes to see where her dinner companion has got to. She isn’t happy to see him with another woman. Solo ends up wearing a plate of spaghetti and Sandy disappears into the night. But there’s still Selena. Solo goes home with her, has a shower and washes off his dinner. Then the doorbell rings. At the door is Solo’s doppelganger. Before he can react, the real Solo is gassed and put on a plane to Zurich. The impostor takes Solo’s place.

At U.N.C.L.E. headquarters, the impostor is briefed on the August Affair, a mission which will take him and Kuryakin to Washington to meet two other agents and retrieve a suitcase. Inside the suitcase is the combination to a top secret vault. The vault’s combination is changed every August (hence, The August Affair). What’s inside the vault? Well that’s the big secret!

Unbeknownst to the two agents, they are being supplied backup in the form of agent Kitt Kitteridge, who has recovered from his knife wound. He is to protect the suitcase couriers from ambush.

Solo’s double and Kuryakin collect the suitcase, which is handcuffed to Solo’s wrist, from Washington, along with another two escort agents, and then board another plane bound for Switzerland. But guess who is one of the hostess’ on the flight. But of course it is Sandy. The fake Solo doesn’t recognise her. Needless to say she is a little peeved and spills not coffee on him. The impostor goes to the bathroom to clean up, but in fact opens the case, photographs it’s contents and closes it all up again. But he has made a mistake. One of the buttons from his jacket has fallen off and is now shut in the locked case.

Kitteridge realises all isn’t as it seems. He suspects that Solo may be an impostor, but before he can do anything about it, he is killed by a cyanide cigarette. Smoking kills once again.

This is where the films starts to get interesting and a little trippy. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Generally wasn’t considered to be a very psychedelic series, but this instalment has some weird things going on underground and some coloured filters are given a good workout. I’ll leave the synopsis at this point, but any film featuring two Napoleon Solos is heading to an inevitable climax.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. films, while being entertaining in their low-budget kind of way, are generally pretty poor. The pace often lags and the sets look studio bound. This film really takes it’s time in building up to the climax, and it can be quite frustrating watching the story. You know where it’s going but it takes so long to get there.

But fans of the series, regardless of what I say, will generally enjoy this movie. Others will find this movie a bit of a chore to sit through.

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