Okay, okay…I’ll take the blame. Even though Armstrong came up with the acronym C.O.B.R.A.S, I was the first to run with it. That’s because I like it. I love silly spy acronyms, and let’s face it – C.O.B.R.A.S is hardly the worst of them. Let’s look at a few spy organizations!
I guess we start at the big one – S.P.E.C.T.R.E. – which stands for Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. Then in Fathom we have an organization called H.A.D.E.S. – Headquarters Allied Defences, Espionage & Security. Those two are not too bad, but then we move on to the villains in the UNCLE series – T.H.R.U.S.H. – Technical Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity. Let’s be honest – that’s pretty silly.
Evil Organizations don’t have a monopoly of silly A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.S either.
Many of the good guys had equally ridiculous names. Our Man Flint and In Like Flint feature Z.O.W.I.E. – (How’s this?) Zonal Organization for World Intelligence and Espionage. The Matt Helm films had Deano working for I.C.E. – Intelligence, Counter Espionage. U.N.C.L.E – United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. And while talking about Uncle – In the first movie spinoff, ‘To Trap A Spy’ T.H.R.U.S.H. is changed to W.A.S.P. (they dubbed over it – interested to know why?)
There’s Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966) (and this is ripped straight from the IMDB site – apologies to the author) H.A.R.M. stands for Human Aetiological Relations Machine. Aetiology is a British variant of etiology which is the branch of medical science concerned with causes and origins of diseases. This full wording is seen at the top of the world map in the very last scene of the movie.
Curiously a spy video game was released a few years back called: No One Lives Forever 2- A Spy In H.A.R.M.’s Way. Maybe a game developer remembers the old movie?
And apparently No1. Licensed To Love And Kill was called The Man From S.E.X. in the USA. Heaven knows how they justified that?
Silly Acronym’s eh? The film’s wouldn’t be the same without them. It’d be like an agent without a codename or number!