The Henry Cavill Hidden Gem That’s On Streaming Right Now

Henry Cavill stars in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., streaming now on Max.

By Chad Langen | Published

henry cavill
Henry Cavill in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Yesterday, the internet was set ablaze upon the arrival of the official trailer for The Witcher Season 3. With the newest chapter of the wildly popular Netflix series slated to premiere on June 29th, Henry Cavill is understandably garnering a lot of attention as it marks his last portrayal of Geralt of Rivia. In the spotlight of his farewell to The Witcher, however, one of the British actor’s finest films, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., seems to be getting overlooked by many, even though it’s currently streaming on Max.

Directed by Guy Ritchie from a script he wrote with Lionel Wigram, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a slick, stylish throwback to 1960s spy movies like From Russia with Love and Casino Royale. It is based on the popular 1964 television series of the same name. Created by Sam Rolfe, the show ran for four seasons between 1964 and 1969.

The motion picture adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. stars Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo, a suave CIA agent, and Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin, a formidable KGB operative. Alicia Vikander plays Gaby Teller, the daughter of a missing German scientist, who becomes central to the plot. Elizabeth Debicki shines as Victoria Vinciguerra, the movie’s antagonist, while Hugh Grant portrays the British Intelligence head, Alexander Waverly.

man from uuncle henry cavill
Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer, and Henry Cavill in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

The film is set during the height of the Cold War in 1963, following the unusual pairing of the American Solo and Russian Kuryakin. Both agents are reluctantly forced to put aside their nations’ differences to stop a mysterious international criminal organization from upsetting the balance of power by proliferating nuclear weapons. The unexpected partnership and their witty banter form the movie’s heart, highlighted by a stylish visual aesthetic reminiscent of its time period.

Despite its exceptional cast headlined by Henry Cavill, a sharp script, and Guy Ritchie’s unique directorial flair, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. didn’t fare as expected at the box office. The movie grossed around $109 million worldwide against a production budget of $75 million. The film’s underwhelming box office performance can most likely be attributed to the intense competition it faced during its release, including from Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

Critically, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was met with generally positive reviews. It holds a respectable 68 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics praised the film for its stylish direction, the chemistry between Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, and the nostalgia-inducing 1960s setting.

Behind the scenes, the film’s production had an interesting journey. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. had been in development since the 1990s with various actors, including George Clooney and Tom Cruise, attached to the project at different times. Eventually, Ritchie took over the director’s chair and cast Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, creating a dynamic duo that breathed life into the film.

An interesting piece of trivia about the film is that the character Henry Cavill portrays, Napoleon Solo, was actually named by James Bond‘s creator, Ian Fleming, who worked as a consultant for the original The Man from U.N.C.L.E. television series. Another fascinating tidbit revolves around a particular scene in which Solo casually savors a sandwich and wine inside a truck as Kuryakin battles adversaries. This moment was completely improvised by Cavill on the film’s set.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E was an often-overlooked film even before Henry Cavill’s acclaimed performance as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher. It’s surprising, given that the movie offers stylish action, humor, and a glimpse into the glamorous world of Cold War-era espionage. If you’re one of the millions of fans eagerly awaiting the return of The Witcher, you can pass the time by enjoying The Man from U.N.C.L.E., currently available to stream on Max.

Of course, on June 29, Henry Cavill will return one final time as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher Season 3. The story unfolds as Geralt, in a desperate bid to protect Ciri from the continent’s power-hungry monarchs, mages, and beasts, takes his newfound family into hiding. Handing over Ciri’s magical tutelage to Yennefer, they seek refuge in the fortress of Aretuza, intending to delve into Ciri’s hidden abilities, but instead find themselves embroiled in a treacherous world of political corruption and dark magic, a battlefield they must confront to avoid being torn apart.

Until then, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. can be streamed right now on Max.