Sunday, August 16, 2015

At Flashbak: Kurt Russell is Mattel’s Agent Zero M

This week at Flashbak, I also remembered young Kurt Russell's stint as Agent Zero-M in a series of early 1960s TV commercials.

"Although some folks may point to the Beatles as the hottest pop culture phenomenon of the 1960s, I would direct your attention instead to a gentleman with a license to kill: James Bond, 007. 

Think about it.  During the 1960s, President John F. Kennedy was (famously) reading From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming, Sean Connery became a mega-star after the third 007 film, Goldfinger (1974), and many new TV series and films qualified as (politely-speaking) Bond knock-offs.

Before long, fans of secret agents could enjoy movie like those in the Dean Martin-fronted Matt Helm franchise (1966-1969) or James Coburn’s Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967).

And on TV, the post-Bond spy boom gave the world The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968), Get Smart (1965-1970) and Mission: Impossible (1966-1973) to name just a few spy-oriented productions.

But there is one other secret agent of the 1960s worthy of mentioning today.  He is much younger than Flint, Helm, or even Bond. 

He is agent Zero M…and he was memorably brought to life by none other than Kurt Russell on no less than three occasions..."

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