Codename Capricorn: An Introduction to a Month of Secret Agents

Happy New Year!!!

Thank God that Bitch is dead!!!

2020 was difficult for a lot of people; and here in Puerto Rico, it was no different. It started for us in the first week of January with an earthquake that left the island without water for two days and without power for five.

All throughout the year, we suffered the tremors, both great and small. Then the pandemic, of course. Not the least of which, we now have a group of people that refuse to acknowledge the reality of an election.

However, this is not a lament. This is a celebration!!! Welcome to the Mustache and the Beard dot com, two Grey Geeks changing the world, one post at a time.

This entire month of January, the Mustache and the Beard will be promoting all things Secret Agent. If you’re a subscriber you know how we do our specialty months. Books, TV shows, movies, and if we get a chance maybe comic books will be explored.

This is a vast genre. We have already tackled several aspects of the genre, but 007 is not the only secret agent to be incarnated in multiple mediated fictions. Yes, followers of the Mustache and the Beard know that we love James Bond. We also love and will explore Our Man Flint (1966) as played by James Coburn, and The Silencers (1966) Matt Helm played by Dean Martin.

In these movies that satirize secret agents and Sean Connery’s alter ego in particular, the leads are men that are intelligent, witty, debonair, and smooth. The women are gorgeous and plentiful, seizing on some of the worst tropes of an extremely sexist genre. The villains are silly, cartoonish cardboards, but dangerous, nonetheless.

These movies were shown repeatedly in the 70s on the 4:30 Movie, the Saturday Matinee, and the Sunday Afternoon Movie. We, guys, wanted to be as cool as those Secret Agents, and to have droves of women that looked like Stella Stevens, Daliah Lavi, and Gila Golan.

The Beard and I want to also watch and review some Hitchcockian offerings like North by Northwest (1959) and possibly Saboteur (1942). In North by Northwest, Cary Grant plays the regular dude with no spy skill that gets mistaken for a spy and has to navigate the intrigue by the seat of his pants and the help of a lovely Eva Marie Saint against the villainous James Mason.

Both movies have very similar plot MacGuffins, and they rely on a train getaway, but Saboteur has the added gift of circus performers. Need I mention that Saboteur is 27 years OLDER than North by Northwest. Still, for the Beard and I, we look forward to re-watching many of our old favorites.

Some other old movies that we’ve talked about revisiting are: The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Masquerade (1965), and an Alistair Maclean’s the Guns of Navarone (1961) which is a secret agent / war thriller mash-up.

Lest you think we will only look at vintage classics, we want to do Atomic Blonde (2017), Salt (2010), and Red Sparrow (2018) to show our female subscribers, daughters, sisters, and other significant ladies that we want to evolve the genre along with our selves. (Now, please go into the kitchen and make me my dinner. Ha Ha.)

As far as other media, Where Eagles Dare is a novel from Alistair Maclean, but we want to do a SCAR comparison of the book with the movie. There are various secret agent comic books such as T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents: Nick Fury, Agent of Shield; and the newest Secret Agent: Deadpool trade paperback.

For TV there’s, of course, Hanna, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Alias, and Alex Ryder on Amazon Prime. I highly doubt that we will cover all of it, but you can bet your tushy that we will try our damnedest to give you informative, entertaining silliness every step of the way.

And that’s just the first month of 2021. As always, I want to thank you for coming along for the ride. We love you all our Geek Followers. I’m looking forward to a GREAT year with lots of happy surprises. As always, my name is Louie Matos. I am the Mustache. See you later. Take it easy. And…

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