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The Persuaders! (TV Series 1971–1972) Poster

(1971–1972)

Trivia

Because Sir Roger Moore deemed that no good photos exist of him as a child, the black-and-white boyhood picture of Brett Sinclair in the opening credits, is that of his son Geoffrey Moore.
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Sir Roger Moore quit smoking cigarettes in 1971, following a stern lecture from Tony Curtis on the set, which is a bit odd, as Curtis continued to smoke into the early 1980s.
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In one episode, Tony Curtis answers a hotel telephone with the words, "Bernard Schwartz? Never heard of him." "Bernard Schwartz" is Tony Curtis' real name.
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Sir Roger Moore gained twenty pounds over the course of the series' production, which he attributed to the use of real champagne during shooting.
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The cancellation of this series allowed Sir Roger Moore to accept the role of James Bond.
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Sinclair's (Sir Roger Moore's) car is a 1969 Aston-Martin DBS. Wilde's (Tony Curtis') car is a 1969 Ferrari 246 Dino.
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According to the DVD commentary, neither Sir Roger Moore, an uncredited co-Producer, nor Robert S. Baker, the credited Producer, ever had a contract, other than a handshake with Sir Lew Grade. They produced the entire twenty-four episodes without a single written word guaranteeing that they would ever be paid.
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Throughout the series, Danny Wilde (Tony Curtis) is almost always seen wearing gloves. According to DVD commentary, this was a gimmick developed by Curtis, to make his character unusual, and therefore create some buzz for the series.
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In France, this show was wildly popular because it was dubbed in an irreverent way, ad-libbing a lot, thus departing from the original scripts, and using very funny, often absurd colloquialisms and phrases. Because of that, in France, it had more of a comedy element to it, more so than its original version, making the characters even more quirky and lovable. The French dubbing is, understandably, largely the reason for this show's success and popularity in France. (The same thing happened there with the dubbing for Starsky and Hutch (1975)). Other countries in Europe, such as Spain, followed the France model.
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According to the end credits, Sir Roger Moore designed the costumes for his own character, Lord Brett Sinclair.
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The idea for this show came from The Saint: The Ex-King of Diamonds (1969), where a British character was paired against a brash American.
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Sir Roger Moore chose Tony Curtis as his co-star. The other choices for the role of Danny Wilde were Rock Hudson and Glenn Ford.
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The most ubiquitous firearm used in the series is a Model 1934 Beretta in 7.65 Browning, a.k.a. .32 ACP. It appears in almost every episode involving a handgun. When a revolver shows up, it is almost always a Colt Detective Special.
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The title, in Swedish, was the rather silly rhyme "Snobbar som jobbar". In English, this means "working snobs".
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Popular in Denmark, and still repeated on television forty years after. The Danish title "De uheldige helte" (The Unlucky Heroes) plays with the words held=luck and helt=hero. The title tune was also a bit of a hit.
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Bernard Lee, Geoffrey Keen, and Lois Maxwell, future Sir Roger Moore-era James Bond regulars, had guest roles.
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Several cast members would land roles in the Sir Roger Moore-era of James Bond. George Baker, Madeline Smith, Valerie Leon, Shane Rimmer, Bob Sherman, Robert Rietty, and John Moreno.
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Sir Roger Moore did the opening sequence water skiing stunt.
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Other countries such as Switzerland, Austria and even West Germany followed France's lead---where it is worldwide known to be more famous than in USA---in dubbing the series in an unconventional way, using very funny, often absurd expressions and phrases. Because of that, like in France, it became very popular (unlike the English version) and, as in France, is still regularly repeated on German television. Tony Curtis had asked Rainer Brandt , the West German speaker, to write the dialogue for the next season, but the series got canceled before this could happen.
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The filmed sequences, presenting Danny Wilde and Brett Sinclair, in the opening credits, were not filmed expressly for said credits, but were taken from various early episodes (all of them in the French Riviera), mainly The Persuaders!: Overture (1971) (the two men racing their sports cars, Tony Curtis and Sir Roger Moore distracted by a blonde in a bikini walking between them, Brett flirting with two beauties) and The Persuaders!: Powerswitch (1971) (the water-skiing shots, and Danny shown as a businessman at work at a desk).
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Sir Roger Moore and one-time guest star Dame Joan Collins commented on Tony Curtis' heavy marijuana use, which lasted throughout the series' run. In fact, before the show was to begin shooting its first episode, Curtis was arrested at England's Heathrow Airport for possession of cannabis.
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Although Tony Curtis and Sir Roger Moore got along fairly well during production, other people on the set found Curtis to be rather tempermental.
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Many episodes were filmed outdoors in France---where it is wildly popular---including the French RIviera.
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Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz of Jewish-Hungarian immigrants, and if you pay attention, you will find him sprinkling inside jokes to his origins throughout the series. In The Persuaders!: Greensleeves (1971), for instance, his character pretends to be Brett Sinclair's new butler, Grzegorz (Gregor), and explains his (fake) east European accent by his being from a "Hun-GAA-rian" from "BU-dapesht" (unfortunately for Danny Wilde, the black beauty from an African republic, with whom he shares this, speaks the language perfectly). Torn from his Paris hotel shower in The Persuaders!: The Old, the New, and the Deadly (1971) by the telephone ringing, which turns out to be a wrong phone number, a dripping wet Danny states, "No, this is not Mr. Schwartz, you got the wrong room!"
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Originally, the title was going to be "The Friendly Persuaders". But, because that sounded too close to Friendly Persuasion (1956), it was shortened. Coincidentally enough, in France, the title "Amicalement vôtre" translates to "Friendly yours", or "Yours, amicably".
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In episode fourteen, "The Man in the Middle", Brett Sinclair accidentally dropped his passport during a fight in the first scene. As part of the plot, it is picked up by MI5 Agent Kay (Suzy Kendall), and opened at the photo page in close-up. Lord Sinclair's place of birth is clearly stated as "Scotland".
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Tony Curtis voiced his anger at the American television networks for failing to give this show a proper chance at success.
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When the series was broadcast in the United States, only twenty out of the twenty-four episodes were shown.
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In spite of the series flopping in the U.S., this show enjoyed considerable success in various parts of Europe.
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If Sir Roger Moore hadn't been cast as James Bond, there was a chance of their being a second season of this show.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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