The Persuaders!

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Persuaders.jpg
North American DVD release.

The Persuaders! is a British television series, which first aired in 1970 and 1971 in Britain's ITV and on the ABC Network in the United States. The series starred Roger Moore, as Lord Brett Sinclair, and Tony Curtis, as Danny Wilde, both millionaire international playboys, but from very different British and American backgrounds. The inconsistent premise of The Persuaders television series is in aristocratic Sinclair being forced to team-up with rough-diamond-American Wilde in fighting crime in behalf of a judge (Laurence Naismith), or face jail. Twenty-four episodes of The Persuaders! were made by Lew Grade's ITC company, each fifty minutes long and featuring dramatic synthesizer theme music by John Barry. Some critics have called this one of the finer television series ever made, anywhere.

In some ways, "Lord Brett Sinclair" was inspired by Roger Moore's earlier performance as Simon Templar in The Saint, and it was first tested in an episode of that series entitled, "The Ex-King of Diamonds". Both roles were similar to James Bond who Moore played for seven Bond films in the seventies and early eighties. Like the James Bond genre, The Persuaders! occurs in a rich, fantasy world of men living high, driving fast cars, and loving beautiful women, often played, subtly, as much for laughs as for drama. The contrast of personalities of the two main characters (the rapport of the lead actors) is used to great effect in creating and telling interesting, light stories. Seen from the contemporary, modern perspective, this adult series is outrageously politically incorrect.

The Persuaders! series is known for leading man Tony Curtis's occasional ad-libbing (most notably in-jokes about "Bernie Schwartz", his true name). Curtis commented that ad-libbing was due to the scripts' unrealistic "American" dialogue, which he, as an actor, had to change for the better of the show. At the time, The Persuaders! was the most expensive television series produced, at a cost of 100,000 per episode. While it was a huge success in Britain, Europe and Australia, the series made little impact in the US, where it aired opposite Mission: Impossible. Given that the majority of the series was filmed in England (though with substantial location filming in France, Spain, Sweden and Italy) and was very English in flavour, it is perhaps not surprising.

The cancellation of the series after only one season came as a surprise to the producers and the stars, however this allowed Moore to assume the role of James Bond, which previous commitments to The Persuaders! and The Saint had prevented him from taking. Three pairs of episodes from the series were later re-edited into three individual TV-movies entitled Mission: Monte Carlo, Sporting Chance and London Conspiracy.

The entire series was remastered for DVD release in Europe in 2001, and released on DVD in North America in 2003.de:Die Zwei fr:Amicalement vtre... sv:Snobbar som jobbar

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