About that boring thunderbolt logo

A scene from the first Matt Helm movie, The Silencers

The blog was reminded earlier today about how two classic villainous organizations (SPECTRE and Thrush) traded in their classic logos for newer (uninspired) designs with thunderbolts.

The thing is, the Matt Helm movies produced by Irving Allen (Albert R. Broccoli’s one-time partner) featured a villainous organization called BIGO (the Bureau of International Government and Order). It’s logo was a thunderbolt through a capital O.

The Helm movies were out of production by 1969. But apparently other spy entertainment franchises may have remembered it.

In the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, SPECTRE has traded its classic octopus logo in for a thunderbolt.

For example, thanks to the Behind the Stunts feed on Twitter, here’s an image of the same stunt performer who appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever. With the latter image, his helmet has SPECTRE’s new logo.

More than a decade later, we got The Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. TV movie in 1983. Instead of the classic Thrush logo, the villainous organization also went in for a thunderbolt logo. The one exception was a scene at desk of a Thrush chieftain played by Anthony Zerbe. Mostly viewers saw spiffy new orange uniforms for thugs with a thunderbolt logo.

Thrush thugs in their new orange uniforms with the (boring) thunderbolt logos

Well, you can’t win them all. Nevertheless, the thunderbolt logo may have been Irving Allen’s main contribution to spy entertainment.

UPDATE: Reader Ricardo C Cantoral reminds me that the original SPECTRE logo is on Blofeld’s mini-sub in Diamonds Are Forever. That’s true. I’ve seen that mini-sub up close. It’s in the custody of the Ian Fleming Foundation. Likewise, the original Thrush logo can be seen briefly in The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. Robert Short, technical adviser for the TV movie, managed to get it on the desk of Anthony Zerbe’s character. Regardless, the filmmakers intended the thunderbolt logo to be the symbol of the revamped SPECTRE and Thrush.

2 Responses

  1. The henchmen in DAF had lighting bolts on their uniforms but the exterior of Blofeld’s bathosub displayed the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. octopus logo.

  2. I know. I’ve seen it. In The Return of the Man From UNCLE, the original Thrush logo can be seen on Anthony Zerbe’s desk. In both cases, the original logos make cameos.

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