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One Spy Too Many

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Title: One Spy Too Many  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Leo G. Carroll, Yvonne Craig, List of James Bond parodies and spin-offs, Donna Michelle, List of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

One Spy Too Many

One Spy Too Many
File:One Spy Too Many Poster.JPG
Directed by Joseph Sargent
Written by Dean Hargrove
Starring Robert Vaughn
Music by Gerald Fried
Jerry Goldsmith (theme)
Cinematography Fred J. Koenekamp
Distributed by MGM
Release date(s)
Running time 102 min.
Country United States
Language English

One Spy Too Many is the 1966 feature length film version of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s two-part season two premiere episode "Alexander the Greater Affair". It, as does the television series, stars Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. It is the third such feature film that used as its basis a reedited version of one or more episodes from the series. In this instance, the film took the two-part episode and added in a subplot featuring Yvonne Craig as an U.N.C.L.E. operative carrying on a flirtatious relationship with Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn); Craig does not appear in the television episodes. It also added in and substituted scenes that, while not out of place in a 1960’s U.S. spy film, were more explicitly sexual than generally shown on U.S. television at the time. Whereas the earlier U.N.C.L.E. films added material to a single episode to create a feature length movie, "One Spy Too Many" removed certain elements of the two-part episode (e.g., scenes with Alexander’s parents) to allow for the added subplot with Craig and other enhanced scenes within the film’s overall running time. This was the last film culled from the series to be theatrically released in the U.S. (in late 1966).


The film opens with Alexander (Rip Torn) stealing a chemical weapon from a military base. The weapon causes an enemy’s troops to lose the will to fight, thereby making conquest in battle far easier. This is part of Alexander’s dual goal: to conquer the world in the manner of Alexander the Great and to break each of the major moral codes in so doing (which essentially means the ten commandments as detailed throughout the movie).

U.N.C.L.E. becomes involved after the theft of the weapon and agents Napoleon Solo (Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (McCallum) are assigned. Also searching for Alexander is his estranged wife Tracey (Dorothy Provine), although her motive is to serve him with divorce papers that will allow her to get $1,000,000 she put into the marriage. Through a series of coincidences (and Tracey’s focused efforts to trail the U.N.C.L.E agents to find Alexander), Solo, Kuryakin, and Tracey end up joining forces. As a result they are at various times captured, tortured, left to die in an elaborate way in an Egyptian tomb, and otherwise thwarted by Alexander throughout the film.

Alexander believes that if he is able to assist a military junta in the takeover of a small country (implied to be Vietnam) that he can use that country as a base for world conquest. By careful planning, he combines his final violation of a commandment - killing the country’s leader - with the takeover of the country and the start of his march toward global domination. Intervention by U.N.C.L.E. prevents the assassination, and during his escape Alexander is killed by his own accomplice Kavon (David Opatoshu).


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • New York Times Review from 1966
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