The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: variation on a theme

It’s a few days before The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’s 45th anniversary. So here’s are variations on a theme — namely the Jerry Goldsmith-composed theme.

There were five different versions of the opening theme (two in the first season), and four different end title versions. Here’s an first-season end title, using an edited version of Goldsmith’s original. The episode is The King of Knaves Affair, the last to feature an original Goldsmith score:

For season two, Lalo Schifrin did a new arrangement. Here it is from the end titles of Alexander the Greater Affair Part II:

By season three, Gerald Fried had become the lead composer for the show and he was given the chance to do his arrangement of the Goldsmith theme. This is from The Galtea Affair, which ran early that season.

For season 4, Fried did another new arrangement that was rejected. That version turned up in one of the U.N.C.L.E. CDs produced by TV and movie music expert Jon Burlingame. Instead, MGM music boss Robert Armbruster came up with a brassy arrangement that fit in with a more serious tone that occurred with season 4 episodes. The title of this episode was The “J” For Judas Affair:

UPDATE: We were remiss in not pointing out that Sept. 19 was David McCallum’s 76th birthday. So happy birthday, DMc.

UPDATE II: The Bish’s Beat blog reminded us of something we should have linked — namely, a 2004 HMSS interview with Jon Burlingame about the U.N.C.L.E. soundtrack CDs. Better late than never, you can view it by CLICKING RIGHT HERE.

1964: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. sells Corvairs

Next week, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the spy show with just a teeny bit of Ian Fleming influence, celebrates its 45th anniversary. To whet your appetite, here’s a special commercial.

It runs five minutes or so and features the casts of shows sponsored by Chevrolet — Bonanza, Bewitched and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

In this case, Robert Vaughn drew the short straw. He’s telling viewers about the Corvair, the model that would become known as “unsafe at any speed” courtesy of consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Not exactly like getting to drive an Aston Martin DB5.

As we understand it, this spot ran on all three shows early in the 1964-65 season. Take a look for yourself. In particular, note the rather, eh, interesting interaction between Agnes Moorehead and Dan Blocker. (No spy connection but it does look like she’s ready to rip his clothes off.)