The Persuaders! Reviews.
     By Bill!


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Introduction

                                                        

                                                           

                                                                                           CURTIS     &    MOORE

 

                                                                                

 

Welcome to my tribute to what was one of the best TV shows ever and starred two of the greatest ever screen icons.

 

Little did I think, back in the 1971/72, that some 35 years later I’d be doing reviews of all 24 episodes of my all-time favourite TV show, The Persuaders! As a teenager, you tend not to think too far ahead anyway, and it would have seemed pure fantasy if someone had said to me I could watch The Persuaders! on small shiny discs when I’m in my late 40’s!  DVD blu-ray laptop PCs, tablets, ipads, smartphones and other multi-media gizmos would be the stuff of science-fiction. Nor could I have imagined that I could discuss aspects of the show on a web-site forum blog or FB, with like minded fans around the world!. Then again, going on a Cote d’Azur locations journey would have seemed equally unthinkable and absurd [it might as well have been on another planet!]. Probably most implausible of all though would be if someone had said The Persuaders! will be re-united in Paddington, London in march 2006 [up the road to where I had lived in my teens] for The Empire Awards and I would get to see them along with fellow lifelong fan and pal Lenny. 

 

Thanks to DVD in particular, but also broadcasts on tv channels such as ITV4 in 2006, The Persuaders! is reaching a new generation [including my two sons!]. Carlton first released it on DVD in autumn 2000 and I was stunned by the improved picture quality when I first saw it on this format when compared to VHS. The advent of blu-ray and HD format means even better quality picture quality. Network DVD released 3 blu-ray volumes of classic ITC shows on 28th feb 2011 titled 'Retro-Action'! The Persuaders! blu-ray box-set was released on 19 Sep 2011 with a launch event 'The Time and the Place' in west London and special guest Roger Moore himself. Sadly Tony Curtis passed away a few months earlier on 29th Sep 2010. 2011 also marked the 40th Anniversary of the first broadcast of The Persuaders! on 17th Sep 1971 on LWT[London Weekend Television]. To see it on blu-ray however is a joy and it looks like it was made yesterday. It has never looked so good.

 

For about a decade there has been talk of a film remake of The Persuaders! with various actors talked about in the leads...but thankfully nothing has come of this. There is simply no way the chemistry that existed between Tony and Roger can be recreated or captured again. Other remakes have failed rather miserably, The Saint, The Prisoner, The Avengers. I do hope however that all these great shows will eventually be released on blu-ray and be discovered and enjoyed by future generations. The ITC era was indeed a unique and  golden age of television.

                                                 

 

                                              The Persuaders! and the early 1970's

 

1971 was about the time glam-rock was kicking off, David Bowie, T.Rex, Roxy Music, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Slade, The Sweet etc. Radio Luxembourg was still on the airwaves, flared trousers, big collars, stack heels and hot pants were all the rage, as were chopper bicycles. It was around a decade before VHS tapes and recorders became available to the masses. In the early 70's all I had was a reel to reel type taperecorder to capture music and dialogue from episodes! On the way to and from school I always checked in the sweet shop/newsagents to see if Countdown/ TV Action was in [a weekly mag which featured popular tv shows of the time including The  Persuaders!]. There were only 3 tv channels. Some other popular shows of the time were Hawaii 5 0, Star Trek, Monty Python, Benny Hill, Catweazle, I dream of Jeannie, On the buses, Top of the pops, Mission Impossible, The old grey whistle test etc.

 

On Friday 17th September 1971 however The Persuaders! exploded on to our screens. What an impact it had! Sunny, exotic locations, the girls, the cars, glamour, action, adventure but above all, the fun! Oh, and colour too, even though I saw it originally in black and white! It blew me away! Most of all, its two great stars, Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde and Roger Moore as Lord Brett Sinclair. Without doubt the best pairing ever on television. The Persuaders! captured  a certain joie de vivre on those dark, cold London winter nights The Persuaders! brought glossy exotic locations, sunshine, adventure and laughs to our living rooms and helped banish all thoughts of school homework! We eagerly awaited that Friday night 7.30pm slot on LWT every week! I didn't know it at the time, but some episodes of The Persuaders! were filmed just around the corner from my school in the Maida Vale / St. Johns Wood part of London, think Valerie Leon's soap queen 'Rocket' or Inspector Curruther's of the yard in Grove court!

 

That Persuaders! chemistry was rekindled again when Tony Curtis received a lifetime achievement award at the Empire film magazine awards on 13th March 2006, presented to him by none other than his old pal Sir Roger Moore. TC had an illustrious career in Hollywood, he was a huge star in the 50’s/60’s with such classic movies as; The Defiant ones, The sweet smell of success, Spartacus, The Vikings, The Boston Strangler, Operation petticoat, Some like it Hot and many many more. Sir Roger was already famous for The Saint on tv and went on to become the worlds most famous spy, James Bond 007 after The Persuaders! 

Lew Grade's ITC was responsible for many other classic tv shows such as Department S, The Zoo Gang, The Protectors, Man in a Suitcase, Gideons way, The Saint, Strange Report, UFO, The Prisoner etc. All classic shows in their own right..

 

These reviews of the 24 Persuaders! episodes just started off as a bit of fun and exchange of views with 2 good friends and fellow Persuaders! fans. Then I decided to transfer them to microsoft office words, and make numerous ammendments/revisions which involved much DVD viewing to boot! I should add that the views expressed here are purely personal. It’s my own tribute as an ordinary fan to those who worked on the show at Pinewood studios and on location, especially to the late great Lew Grade also Bob Baker and all those who helped create the show, writers, directors and all the cast and crew. Not forgetting the great John Barry for a classic theme and Ken Thorne for that wonderful incidental music. Above all, to the shows two truly great stars Tony Curtis and Roger Moore, for giving us so much entertainment and enjoyment down the years. Bill O’Shea Bucks. June 2006.

 

N.B. I'm putting these reviews up in what I think is the preferable sequence of episodes. This differs from the 1971/72 LWT transmission order and actual production order of the series.

 



The Persuaders! Overture

                                                                     

The release of VHS tapes of the show in the early 1990’s was long awaited, but in the summer of 2000 Carlton released ‘Overture’ on the far superior DVD format. In the first scene, Judge Fulton gives us a little information about the two main characters, Danny Wilde and Brett Sinclair, and with the words “nitro and glycerine, and I light the fuse” we hear the first bars of John Barry’s wonderful theme as the opening titles tell us the life story of English aristocrat/playboy Lord Brett Sinclair and the self-made businessman/playboy from the tough streets of the Bronx, Daniel Wilde. These great titles combined with the theme made an instant and huge impression. Then there were the cars, a Ferrari Dino 246GT for the sporty Danny and an Aston martin DBS for the suave, aristocratic Brett. Not to mention the exotic location of the Cote d’Azur/French Riviera and the girls! It was the stuff of dreams for a teenage boy! It didn’t enter my head at all at the time that our 2 heroes were well into their 40’s. Just after the titles we see Danny arrive at Nice airport on his ‘private’ trident jet, and collecting his car on the tarmac, meanwhile Brett has several female hitch-hiker friends in his Aston and drops them off one by one. Then a terrific shot of the gleaming scarlet Ferrari as Danny tries to leave the airport car park but is blocked by Brett kissing yet another hitch-hiker farewell! There is immediate friction between the two of them. The 2 cars draw up to a red signal and soon they are off racing along the gorgeous Corniche with its spectacular scenery and viaduct [near the village of Eze] to the catchy vocal strains of Tony Hatches ‘Gotta get away’. This culminates in the fight scene in the bar of the Hotel de Paris after they disagree about how many olives there should be in a creolescream drink! The fight scene is comical and slapstick, and they manage to converse throughout!! “You Lords fight dirty” says Danny, to which Brett replies, “How do you think we Lords became Lords?” They are arrested and taken to a house where they meet up with Judge Fulton [played by the excellent Laurence Naismith]. This is a brilliant scene when the Judge mocks both of them for wasting their talents, and threatens them with jail unless they work for him. Their first task is to help identify a girl,a simple enough task it would seem.

Another classic scene follows as the 2 boy’s walk to the pool to find the girl with plenty of wise-cracks along the way. They spot the girl and Danny approaches first, but he makes a mess of trying to chat her up! Brett joins in and introduces himself to Maria with the classic line “Brett to my friends, but you may call me darling”!! This fun scene was shot in the beautiful Hotel La Voile D’Or in glorious St. Jean Cap Ferrat, not far from Nice on the Cote d’Azur. They wine and dine Maria and drop her back at the hotel. Another fight ensues in the Hotel de Paris as Danny and Brett are told to leave town and not to meet Maria again by a bunch of heavies. After the second fight in the hotel, poor Bruno the manager is distraught! Having identified the girl they tell the wheelchair bound Judge who suddenly stands up! Danny and Brett’s reaction to this is great fun to watch! He knew all along, and her brother happens to be the gangster Robert Du pont. The boy’s aren’t happy and leave, only to return to help. ‘His Judgeship’ is captured as are Danny and Brett, and locked in a wine cellar. Brett tries some wine tasting and suggests they all have a drink! They play at being drunk and somewhat rowdy, attracting the attention of  the heavies who they overcome in a very funny scene. Even the Judge gets in on the action! "I will have order in court" he proclaims! Just watch his broad beaming grin here, having just floored a baddy with the help of a bottle of wine! Du pont is shot by his sister.

In the final scene, as Danny and Brett are about to check out of their hotel and part ways, a lovely young damsel in distress quotes Judge Fulton’s name and pleads for their help. Our reluctant heroes soon change their tune! We can now look forward to even more fun and adventure in the weeks ahead. First broadcast on Friday 17th September 1971[ITV] the exotic locations, humour and most of all the incomparable chemistry between Tony Curtis and Roger Moore hasn't diminished in the least.

Tony Curtis - Danny Wilde   Roger Moore - Lord Brett Sinclair

Laurence Naismith - Judge Fulton

Written by Brian Clemens. Directed by Basil Dearden. Review by Bill October 2004 [revised June 2006].

 



The Persuaders! Angie Angie

 

Although it wasn't the second episode to be broadcast [the 10th actually, 19th Nov 1971]  to follow 'Overture', 'Angie Angie' was intended to be exactly that. Producer Bob Baker confirmed this in a subsequent interview. The relationship between Danny and Brett is tense and frosty almost throughout this one. 

After the theme, various shots of glamorous Cannes, and the film festival in full swing. Note that this is before the Palais des festivals et des congres which now hosts the golden palms film festival was built. Danny enters a disco wearing a very shiny black jacket & big sunglasses and there is some funky music going on too!! He spots his old boyhood buddy, Angie [played by Larry Storch of F-troop fame]. They chat over old times, and we see the first of many very brief black and white flashbacks from their days as boys back on the tough streets of the Bronx district of New York. They agree to meet up later. Next a great shot of the dino arriving outside a bank, Danny gets out and runs straight into the path of a blond riding a moped! She asks Danny if he wants a lift!  Danny replies in fairly competent French, “I have some business here”, then he helps the young lady along by pushing the moped. His entrance into the bank reception is very amusing, the typical Danny Wilde wave and “Hi” and then he tries to chat up the very shapely receptionist [Anna Brett], she leads him straight into another room [ he follows her very closely!] where Brett is waiting.“You again” says Danny unenthusiastically! Brett corrects his pronunciation of "again"! Then Judge Fulton appears from behind Brett, Danny is even less pleased to see him!. However, the Judge needs their help to protect an ex-union boss, Kyle Sandor who is in town for the film fest. Brett already saved his neck once in a casino, but the hitman escaped. Danny is most reluctant however and it takes some financial arm twisting by the Judge to get him on-side. This scene clearly demonstrates they aren’t quite best pals yet.

A classic sunny scene of the 2 lads walking along  the famous ‘La Croissete’ in Cannes [with the large façade of The Carlton hotel in the background] follows. Previously I’d mistakenly thought this was the Promenade des Anglais in Nice! While ‘girl watching’ on the beach Danny has to go and meet his pal Angie, Brett reminds him they have a job to do. During the pool game with Angie, it’s clear that Brett is very cool towards Angie and would rather be somewhere else, there are a few somewhat tense exchanges. Yet another tense scene follows, this time between Brett, Danny and the Judge. They try to convince Danny that Angie is the suspected hitman that tried to kill Sandor. He gets quite angry and won’t have any of it.

In the shooting scene [filmed in Monte Carlo], Danny, Brett and Angie end up arguing, as Angie feels he is being tricked.  They return to their cars, it looks like this was filmed at the Royal ‘Palace of the Princes’. The conversation is electric with both Danny & Brett at odds, with Danny still refusing to accept Angie could be the hitman. He accuses Brett of disliking Angie because he’s “a little rough round the edges”. It’s so rare to see them argue seriously like this, but it’s a terrific scene. They argue at length yet again in the hotel, and Brett gives Danny a file on Angie proving he has form, but even this doesn’t persuade him. Danny tells the Judge to “stay out of my life”in no uncertain terms. Later, in Angies hotel room, the tall silent blond [Kirsten Lindholm],“fixes”Danny’s drink,and it dawns on him that Brett and Judge Fulton had been right. The haunting Bond like tune is played as Danny passes out. Meanwhile, Brett is being held by the gangster, Marceau, but manages to escape.

 At the film festival, Sandor arrives to see a “Bulgarian” movie and Angie knocks out the projectionist. Brett prevents him from shooting Sandor [again]. We switch to a very groggy Danny getting in the Dino as he chases Angie to a rural farmhouse where there is a shootout. There are more black and white flashbacks as they recall the old days in the Bronx. Angie knows Danny won’t shoot him, “that’s the difference between you and me” he says. The bad guy [Angie’s paymaster], arrives as does Brett [whistling, Danny Boy!], more shooting ensues and Angie is shot in the back. An emotional Danny holds his old buddy in his arms, though it’s not clear if Angie dies. The end scene shows a stone faced Danny walk past Brett  ignoring him completely, but as they get in their cars  the boys are back on speaking terms as they quip about Brett’s lucky number. A different, but important episode, their friendship was tested severely, and they came through it. Also, it’s a good story line and I like the fact that we learn a little about Danny’s past. Other plus factors are the stunning sunny location of the Cote D’Azur of course, with Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo all featuring. 

Written by Milton S. Gelman. Directed by Val Guest. Review by Bill. January 2006

  



The Persuaders! Five miles to midnight

 

As with ‘The man in the middle’, this episode has a very Italian flavour, and just after the theme we see Brett in BS1 passing some famous Roman landmarks to the accompaniment of some very jolly Italianesque music [also used in Man in the middle]. His Lordship is on his way to a rendezvous with Judge Fulton and Danny. This takes place at the apartment of photographer/journalist Sidonie [played by Joan Collins], who isn’t slow at coming on to Brett, and he looks distinctly and uncharacteristically uncomfortable with Sid's behaviour! Another surprise for Brett is when the good Judge appears with a well known and wanted gangster, Frank Rocco [played by Robert Hutton]. The Judge asks Brett for his help to smuggle Rocco out of Italy, so he can be repatriated to the U.S. to help with investigating crime syndicates [and in return having charges against him reduced]. Brett is somewhat reluctant but agrees. Danny and Sid meanwhile inspect the escape vehicle, a rather quaint, beaten up Citroen H van [412796 Roma]! This is the classic Danny Wilde look, black hair, tan leather jacket and gloves of course.

 They set off in the van and hit a road block , Danny’s attempt at speaking Italian leaves a lot to be desired! Brett speeds off in BS1 to draw attention away from the van. Later they have to stop as the old van is overheating. Rocco taunts Danny, “you trying to make time with that chick, showing her what a tough man you are!” and there is an angry exchange between them. Further on they stop again, in a secluded spot under a bridge to rest and meet up with Brett. Danny and Rocco are just about to fight when they see a police car approach! It’s none other than His Lordship! Now along with the van they have the two ‘hottest’ vehicles in all Italy! They have to continue on foot, as night falls they need a place to stay, Danny acts as chief scout. Meanwhile Brett smooches up to Sid and opens to her about his near death experience a year previous when racing at Monza and how working for the Judge has given him [& Danny] some direction. Soon, we see Danny emerge from the gates of a stately house very energetically having fixed them up for the night with accommodation. The owner, an Italian count is most aristocratic and charming, and there are some fun moments here. However it turns out too good to be true when a stunned Danny is presented with a hefty bill by the good count for his hospitality! Plenty of facial expressions here too!  They end up locked in the room during the night, but manage to escape as the count’s beefy pals arrive. Can’t quite make out what Danny says as he climbs in through the sun roof of their escape vehicle; it sounds like L O Z, but I later learned from a friend of mine it’s actually “allons-y” which translates as Lets go! They have to abandon the car [Peugot] on a mountain road and send it hurtling down the hill towards the bad guys cars. Note Danny sort of excitedly celebrates this immediately afterwards!!

 Meanwhile we get a glimpse of Judge Fulton on an express train passing the alps with the ‘real’ Frank Rocco on board!  Our heroes along with Sid and Rocco have to continue their journey to the border on foot yet again, only this time they have to traverse mountains. “Pull up a rock” Brett says as they pause for breath! Various modes of transport are then used, bicycles and an ancient truck as they continue on. Danny & Brett find a farmhouse to hide as Sid and Rocco take another route. A gunfight ensues with the heavies as night falls [and an ancestor story from Brett!], but the imposter Rocco [actually a U.S. embassy agent] saves their bacon. Danny & Brett aren’t pleased to hear that Rocco isn’t the real Rocco, and neither is Sid. She has the last giggle by driving off and leaving the boys stranded 30 miles from the nearest town! Plenty of good elements, but not my favourite episode, I think Joan Collins is miscast and seems to play herself! Interestingly, Danny uses almost the full range of ‘terms of endearment’ for Brett in this one; ‘your dukeship’, his grace, ‘my lord’, ‘Holmes’[as in Sherlock], ‘His Lordship’, and even Brett! In one scene using three of these all in one sentence!

Written by Terry Nation.  Directed by Val Guest. Review by Bill. March 2006. Hedgerley.  



The Persuaders! To the death baby

                                                                            

Sunny Spain is the setting for this story [though it looks like much of it was filmed in the south of France]. Shelley Masterton is the heiress to a $30million fortune, and Carl Foster and big conman Cody are out to get her for all she’s got. Brett & Danny get involved by preventing a fight between Shelley’s financial advisor and bad guy Foster, in a hotel restaurant.  Not for the last time in this episode, Brett can be seen downing a brandy and smoking a rather large cigar!  The archery scene is a classic and our two heroes discuss what to do to help Shelley. Some fun sketches follow as the lads compete for Shelley’s affections and Danny & Brett narrate during these scenes. Danny wears the trademark tan leather jacket here, and in several other scenes in this episode.

Most definitely a favourite scene is when the boys are breaking into Foster’s flat. Danny with his tool kit, complete with tyre pump and engine hose! “I’ve seen this done a million times in the movies” says Danny, as Brett looks on in utter disbelief! Danny’s enthusiasm here is almost infectious! A pure Laurel and Hardy moment follows when Brett opens the door and says to Danny “you don’t have to kneel, I’m a very democratic Lord!” and Danny actually kisses his Lordships hand like he was the Pope.

Jenny Linden plays the role of Shelley, she guest starred in a number of ITC shows. A little later Brett is looking cool and casual in a blue jacket, as he follows Foster and finds himself in a rural village, where the natives spend the day playing the guitar, dancing flamenco and tending sheep! [Hatton is being held captive here]. Brett is in trouble with the locals as he makes enquiries, and ends up fighting a beefy shepherd, being swung around unceremoniously by the neck at the end of a sheperds crook! He escapes, with Danny at the wheel of BS1 [the only time we see this in the entire series!].

Later Brett tells more tales of his ancestors during a game of poker with some dodgy characters. Thinking they are doing a good deed for a damsel in distress, the boys somewhat naively each loan Shelley $100,000 [double what she needs!]. A funny scene when they both arrive outside her hotel room each with a trolley of champagne and  waiter, one of whom reveals that Shelley has absconded with all their ‘bread’; the boys have been conned and they raise a toast to the fact! Shelley Masterton turns out to be Gladys Smith and is working with Foster. They intend to cheat ‘big beast’ Coady, but Gladys is held by him. Luckily Danny and Brett had given her ‘funny money’. On their way to rescue Gladys [with Hatton tagging along] there is some fun banter in the Aston as they try to figure out how to tackle Coady’s 6 heavies. Another amusing scene when Danny demonstrates to Brett how to do his short punches. They also make use of the shepherds crooks when the shepherd and his pals return to help them overcome Coady’s heavy brigade. There’s a great upbeat, sunny, and colourful ending to this one as they say ‘Hasta la vega’ to Gladys. Danny [in classic jacket] and Brett [with open neck shirt and medallion!]  both wave to each other getting into their cars, speeding off in opposite directions only to return soon after. Danny looking very pleased with himself thinking he can get back to meet Gladys. Brett had the same idea however, but Gladys didn’t waste anytime and is seen preying on yet another oil tycoon. They are both philosophical about it and head off into the sunset! 

Written by Donald James. Directed by Basil Dearden. Review by Bill October 2005.

 



The Persuaders! The Gold Napoleon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Danny is about to leave Nice, and Brett is at the airport to see him off, surrounded by a bevy of beauties naturally! On the  tarmac Danny gets chatting to a young lovely, helping her pick up some items she dropped, when she is shot by a sniper. Security at the Nice, Cote d'Azur airport seems a bit lax by today's standards as Danny takes charge of a mini-moke and Brett a helicopter no less![telling the pilot his wife is about to give birth!]. They both give chase to the gunman who disappears into the Mediteranean sea. After the theme the boys meet up with Judge Fulton, some sharp and witty dialogue here as they discuss if the bullet was meant for Danny or the girl. Danny corrects Brett’s pronunciation of “hopitale”, but Brett is reading an article from a French newspaper in French! Danny visits the injured girl [Michelle] in hospital, and he enters her room with a bunch of flowers, the trademark wave and a very Bronx “Hoi”, which he repeats when Michelle’s uncle arrives. Michelle is played by the sultry Susan George, probably the most famous of The Persuader girls. It emerges that her uncle is mixed up in some dodgy dealings in counterfeit coins. Enter Pullicino as the Godfather character played by the excellent Alfred Marks.

The next couple of scenes are little gems, Danny & Brett are strolling down by a charming sunny harbour [a Riviera location I’m unable to pinpoint ] and then sit down to order drinks. Unusually Danny orders a  lemonade! As they chat a white Mercedes tries to mow them down [or Danny at least]. Back at the hotel, Brett wants to pack Danny off to his Uncle's  place in Tanzania for his own safety [where he might be able to catch the Wildebeast, Brett jokes!].They then argue over who should pay for lunch and Brett tosses a coin to decide, Danny recognizes the face on the coin “the guy with the goaty beard” or in other words a ‘Gold Napoleon’, the same face that Michelle had been sketching. The lads show the coin to the Judge in another little gem of a scene with the Judge examining the coin and Danny and Brett standing behind him, some fun banter and facial expressions aplenty here before Brett says “A tout a l’heur” and goes gold prospecting. Lovely shots of BS1 in Monte Carlo passing by the ornate ‘Casino’. Brett goes into German mode here as he visits Michelle’s uncle's Jewellers shop. He is wonderfully over the top as he tries to dig out information about the coins, posing as a German businessman.

Dyed hair, gloves and the tan leather jacket, complete the classic Danny Wilde look in this episode. We have a display of his agility too, when Danny pays an uninvited visit to Pullicino’s [Gold] factory, climbing the scaffolding, roofs and jumping from a truck onto a warehouse building [most stunts done by Tony Curtis himself, who was about 47 at the time!]. This scene is accompanied by a wonderfully funked-up Ken Thorne piece with a terrific sax solo, and was filmed in Pinewood studios. Once inside the factory Danny tries to blend in with the other workers, picking up a notebook and pen, beret, glasses while whistling as he goes. Very funny and over the top like Brett a little earlier. Danny is spotted however and makes his escape on a small BSA motorcycle, the back projection here is er… noticeable! Some of these chase scenes were filmed in Burnham Beeches near Farnham common in Bucks. He then switches to the Ferrari dino [rear reg plate no MO22 -1400], then we see some spectacular Riviera scenery and Danny arrives at the hospital where Michelle is [a very English style red brick building!], just ahead of the evil Pullicino. Interestingly the dino front registration plate reads 221400-MO, a different arrangement to the rear plate!! Danny and Michelle manage to escape. Next scene is of Danny, Brett, Judge Fulton and Michelle discussing their next move, and then a lovely shot of the Ferrari crossing a spectacular viaduct beneath the equally spectacular village of Eze [with St Jean Cap Ferrat and the Med as a backdrop!].Brett and Michelle keep in touch using walkie-talkies the size of bricks!! They are both pursuing one of Pullicino’s ‘gold trucks’ up to the Italian border [long before the EU Shengen agreement!]]. At the border, Brett jumps the traffic queue explaining to a Gendarme  “Ma vielle Grandmere est cent ans aujourdui!”[my Gran is 100 today!] and the cop waves him through!! A goof here too as the Danny's dino is seen by-passing some English road-signs [road-works and white arrow on blue background] and then on what looks like the old A40 road [before the M40 was built from Uxbridge/Denham]. Danny forces the little truck off the road! The occupants aren’t too little or happy though! One of them is built like a rugby prop-forward and Danny's punches have no effect! Brett arrives and protests, “put my friends down” to the behemouth man mountain!! Hilarious! Brett fairs no better than Daniel, though eventually the big fella [somewhat conveniently] walks straight into the truck door!  They take off in the truck full of Gold [?] back to the border. At the border barrier, the Chief of Police arrives along with Pullicino who demands his ‘Camion’ back! The truck is indeed packed with smuggled 'Gold Napoleons' and Danny and Brett get their own back on the villains right in front of the Police Chief! Finally, trying to hitch a lift with Michelle, the two lads find themselves stranded by the roadside.

Written by Val Guest. Directed by Roy Ward-Baker. Review by Bill, Nov 2005.

 



The Persuaders! Powerswitch

                                                                                                                     

Danny and Brett continue their adventures in the glossy Cote d'Azur. In the opening scene we see them living the playboy lifestyle water-skiing. They are thoroughly enjoying themselves as the boats pick up speed,  and soon Danny can’t control his glee as ‘His Lordship’ suddenly appears to dissapear beneath the waves. His glee turns to concern as it becomes clear Brett has spotted the body of a girl. At the morgue, Danny looks particularly cool in his dark blue zip up jacket and the obligatory gloves. Brett is there too and Pekoe [played by Australian actress Annette Andre of Randall & Hopkirk fame], a friend of Julie Blake, the victim found in the bay. Both Danny & Brett get quite irritated with Inspector Blanchard’s questioning and apparently callous attitude. Danny protests, “if this was some Maharajah or somethin’, you’d have your police cars driving all over the water”! Little do they know that the good Inspector [Paul Whitsun-Jones] is doing a favour for the devious Judge Fulton who appears after the boys leave the morgue [having had their passports confiscated].

A nice sunny seafront scene follows with Danny, Brett and Pekoe talking about Julie and what to do next. Danny suggests that Pekoe stay with “His Majesty the Prince” while he goes to visit Julie and Pekoe’s employer to ask some questions. Cue ‘funky music’ and the immortal words of Travis [played by real life dancer Lionel Blair!] “move it, move it, move it, move it!” . This is a funny, very ‘Austin Powers’ scene with the music and scantily clad go-go dancers!!! [not to mention those moves!]. Danny introduces himself as “Inspector Headstone, death squad, international branch!” and gets away with it as only Danny could! He quizzes Travis about Julie. Note the use of the record player, very quaint. Brett and Pekoe stumble across a burglar at Julie's flat, Brett gives chase in an exciting scene as he clings on to the door of a speeding ford mustang [Roger Moore doing his own stunt too]. Really nice scenes of Brett’s Aston Martin [BS1] as both he and Pekoe try to retrace Julies steps. The Riviera scenery is a treat too of course and Brett uses his French at the old rustic petrol station, bribing the attendant in the process for information [in fact Roger Moore speaks fluent French, Italian and German – the man is a class act all round]. Note during this scene the use of the very ‘Bond like’ music from Ken Thorne. More stunning scenery follows and BS1 passes road signs for Eze village [0.5km?] and Cannes/Menton, eventually arriving at a beautiful Villa. “Tarzan must be out”, Brett jokes as they enter to the sound of bird-song. This is the home of the tycoon Koestler  [John Phillips] who had an affair with the dead girl. Danny is already there looking very businesslike, and in fact doing business with Koestler . However the nasty pairing of Crane [Terence Alexander] and Lisa [Melissa Sterling] have Koestler under their thumb. Danny puts on an act, as if he didn't know Brett.  He ‘introduces’ himself! “what am I supposed to do?, courtsey?” says Danny in the face of ‘His Lordship’. It emerges that Julie had ‘apparently’ been trying to blackmail  Koestler, and Crane and Lisa had her killed.

Brett returns during the night and Danny goes on to tell the joke about the bird that spoke 5 languages, but Brett knows it much to Danny’s disappointment, a fave scene with other gags thrown in. They go through Koestler's books, Danny wearing glasses here, and the dodgy dealings are uncovered. Koestler isn’t actually himself, the real one is dead [note the hi-tec camouflaged tv/video cabinet in this scene!]. Danny tries to do a deal with Crane and Lisa but ends up locked in a garage with Brett and Pekoe. “Hello Noddy” Brett greets Danny as he awakes. More fun and gags follow in spite of their plight!! They plan to blow their way out. They escape in a jag/Daimler, but the brakes are fixed of course! [ the doors too!] . They manage to stop, but relief is short lived as they realise the car is teetering over a cliff! They get out through the sunroof and overcome the villains! More go-go dancing to finish off, and the boys get their passports back. The Inspector asks if there is anything he can do, to which Brett replies “can you do the chicken?” and he demonstrates "the chicken" on the dance floor. Great fun!  It seems the boys  are unaware that the Judge was behind getting them involved in this case. 

Written by John Kruse. Directed by Basil Dearden.  Review by Bill. October 2005.

 






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