The Wrecking Crew figures into new Tarantino movie

The Wrecking Crew, the fourth and final Matt Helm film, figures into Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The cast includes Margot Robbie as actress Sharon Tate. The movie’s trailer includes a scene where Tate goes to a theater playing The Wrecking Crew. In the Helm film, Tate played a klutzy British agent who ends up teamed with Dean Martin’s Helm.

A fifth Helm movie, The Ravagers, was announced at the end of The Wrecking Crew. The plan was to have Sharon Tate return. However, she was among seven people murdered by the Charles Manson family in 1969. Eventually, The Ravagers was called off and the Helm series ended.

You can view the trailer below.

Happy birthday, David McCallum

Happy 82nd birthday to David McCallum. To celebrate, here’s a publicity still of the actor during production of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


David McCallum with Sharon Tate in 1965,

A cool U.N.C.L.E. publicity still (1965)

Toward the end of the first season of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., David McCallum, playing Illya Kuryakin, posed for a series of publicity stills during production of The Girls of Nazarone Affair, the next-to-last episode of the show’s first season.

In this photo, he’s in a convertible with Sharon Tate, who had a small role in the episode. Tate, in this photograph, shows off her personality that made an impression on casting directors. She soon would soon get larger roles.

Looking at this image, you can understand why Dean Martin wanted Tate to return for a planned fifth Matt Helm movie, The Ravagers. Tate had been his co-star in The Wrecking Crew.

It wasn’t to be. Tragically, she would be murdered in 1969 by the Charles Manson family.

David McC, Sharon Tate

Bruce Lee working on The Wrecking Crew

There’s really not much to be said here. During production of The Wrecking Crew, the fourth and final Matt Helm movie, Bruce Lee was credited as “karate adviser.” In reality, he was the fight arranger.

This photo popped up Facebook. Here, Lee (1940-1973) works with Sharon Tate (1943-1969) and Nancy Kwan (b. 1939) on a fight sequence toward the end of The Wrecking Crew.

Even though Lee didn’t appear on camera, his stunt work/fight arranging made The Wrecking Crew a unique entry in the four-film series starring Dean Martin and produced by Irving Allen, Albert R. Broccoli’s former producing partner.

Bruce Lee supervises Sharon Tate (left) and Nancy Kwan

Bruce Lee supervises Sharon Tate (left) and Nancy Kwan

The U.N.C.L.E. movie may have an echo of a TV episode

Solo doesn't realize it, but he's very close to Thrush's Dr. Egret

The opening scene of The Girls of Nazarone Affair.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie now filming in the U.K. apparently has a sequence that has an echo of an episode of the 1964-68 television series.

The Extras Casting Web site has INFORMATION ABOUT THE MOVIE seeking extras who also have pre-1965 cars to appear as part of a sequence including “a memorable and iconic scene involving Grand Prix racing.”

The filming is to take place for four days starting Oct. 16 at the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Participating extras will receive 200 pounds a day but must be available for all four days.

As it turns out, the original show incorporated a Grand Prix race (a generic race, not the European-based Formula One series), for the next-to-last episode of the first season, The Girls of Nazarone Affair.

In the episode, which originally aired April 12, 1965, U.N.C.L.E. and the villainous organization Thrush are after a serum that greatly accelerates the healing process.

Thrush has gotten its hands on the serum and conducts a test, with women operatives firing automatic weapons into woman race car driver Nazarone. The latter survives and U.N.C.L.E. agents Solo and Kuryakin (Robert Vaughn and David McCallum) must plot a way to get the formula back. Meanwhile, the Thrush forces are led by Dr. Egret, a woman master of disguise in her second, and final, appearance in the series.

In the show, Southern California doubles for the South of France. Nazarone, whose behavior grows increasingly erratic, drives her race car onto the “Le Grand Prix” race circuit with the U.N.C.L.E. operatives in pursuit. The driving sequences take place on isolated roads.

It sounds Guy Ritchie, director of the new U.N.C.L.E. movie, starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, plans something more elaborate. The Nazarone episode of the television show included Sharon Tate in the cast.

Shoutouts to @laneyboggs2001 on Twitter and the Henry Cavill News and Web sites.

Bruce Lee turns Dino into a kickin’ fool

One of the oddities of the 1960s spy craze was The Wrecking Crew, the fourth, and final, Matt Helm movie starring Dean Martin. It has the distinction of being Chuck Norris’s debut (as a thug) and one of the final appearances of Sharon Tate.

But perhaps the most unusual aspect was the participation of Bruce Lee as “karate advisor” (his on-screen credit). In this YouTube video, we see a series of stills of Lee helping to prepare Dino, Sharon Tate and Nancy Kwan for fight scenes:

Here, we can see the finished product:

Also, here’s a longer clip where Norris shows up, asking Dino for his gun.

Sometime back, HMSS ran an article examining all four Helm movies, comparing them to the much-more serious Donald Hamilton novels upon which they were based. To take a look click RIGHT HERE.