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The Persuaders! - The Television Show

Updated on March 1, 2019

The Persuaders! The Complete Series

Source

Roger Moore & Tony Curtis Are The Persuaders!

As a fan of the action / suspense / adventure shows of the 1960s and 1970s, I fondly remember the TV series The Persuaders!

Take American Tony Curtis and Englishman Roger Moore and you have two actors playing daredevil playboys who are blackmailed into a life of defending the law and dispensing any villains that get in their way.

Curtis plays Danny Wilde, a self-made oil millionaire who has pulled himself out of the slums of the Bronx, but who has also squandered his money pursuing the fast life. His foil is Moore's Lord Brett Sinclair, an aristocrat, who instead of upholding his good name, has otherwise decided on the easy life of fast cars and equally fast women.

They are brought together by Judge Fulton (Laurence Naismith) who enlists them into his personal vendetta against those who slip through the net of justice only to pursue a continued life of crime.

Along the way, Wilde and Sinclair are able to mix in heavy doses of their playboy lifestyles together with their lives as crime fighters. Add in several spoonfuls of humour and sparring interplay between the two and it makes for a great mixture called The Persuaders!


The Persuaders! : The Beginning

The first few minutes of the very first episode of The Persuaders! is shown here, introducing the characters and the concept of the show. This excerpt also includes the famous title credits, along with the superb theme music composed by John Barry.

Brief Facts About The Persuaders!

  1. The Persuaders! originally ran between September 1971 and February 1972.
  2. Rock Hudson was the initial choice to play the part of Danny Wilde.
  3. Each star drove a signature car. Tony Curtis a red left-hand-drive Dino 246 GT and Roger Moore a Bahama yellow right-hand-drive Aston Martin DBS.
  4. Each episode cost £100,000, for location filming and star salaries: the most expensive British television serial of its time.
  5. The Persuaders! won awards in both Australia and Spain.
  6. Reputedly, Roger Moore and Tony Curtis never got along.
  7. There has been talk of a Hollywood remake since 2005, but nothing has transpired with the project.

Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis | Source

Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde

In the hope that the series would be successful in the USA, Tony Curtis was brought on board to play Danny Wilde. This was the first time that Curtis had starred in a television show. At the time it was one of the most expensive TV series to be produced and Curtis's salary reflected that fact.

Although an American network bought the show, not even a big name like his was able to hook enough viewers to keep it on the air there. It also did not help that it was scheduled directly against the established Mission: Impossible. Because of this, the series' projected longer run was stopped and production ceased.

The Full Theme to The Persuaders!

Such was the popularity of The Persuaders! in the UK and across Europe that even the show's wonderful theme music was snatched up in its thousands. Composed by the man behind the James Bond music, John Barry's theme became an unexpected hit record during 1971, when it sold enough copies to push it into the UK Top 20.

Back then, British music show Top of the Pops featured all the big records of the day. An essential part of the programme was the all-girl dance troupe Pan's People. Here, accompanied by a somewhat unusual routine from the girls, is the full version of the theme from The Persuaders!

Roger Moore
Roger Moore | Source

Roger Moore as Lord Brett Sinclair

Unlike the United States, countries across Europe loved the antics of both Tony Curtis and Roger Moore.

Moore was well-known at the time for his television role of Simon Templar in The Saint, so he was the perfect English foil for his American partner. As a consequence, much of the humour in The Persuaders! was the sparring between Wilde and Roger Moore's Lord Brett Sinclair - particularly Tony Curtis's mimicry of Moore's English accent.

Once it was known that the series had failed in America, production stopped and Roger Moore was released to take up the role of James Bond in the first of his seven outings as the British agent in Live and Let Die.


How The Persuaders! is known around the world:

France: Amicalement Votre

Spain: Los Persuasores

Germany: Die Zwei

Italy: Attenti a Quei Due

Sweden: Snobbar som jobbar

Netherlands: De speelvogels

Norway: Gullguttene

© 2011 Richard

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