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The Persuaders! (TV Series 1971–1972) Poster

(1971–1972)

Trivia

When Tony Curtis flew to the UK to begin work on the show, he was arrested at Heathrow airport for possession of marijuana.
In one episode Tony Curtis answers a hotel telephone with the words, "Bernard Schwartz? Never heard of him." Bernard Schwartz is Tony Curtis's real name
The cancellation of this series allowed Roger Moore to accept the role of James Bond.
In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, where "The Persuaders" ("Die Zwei") was wildly popular, this series was dubbed in an irreverent way, ad-libing a lot, thus departing from the original scripts and using very funny, often absurd colloquialisms and phrases. (For example the speakers even improvised jokes about their own dubbing work in process). Because of that, in Germany, it had more of a comedy element to it, more so than its original version, making the characters even more quirky and lovable. The German dubbing owes a big part of this show's success and popularity in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. (The same thing happened there with the dubbing for Starsky and Hutch (1975)). Other countries, such as France, would follow the German model. Tony Curtis even asked Rainer Brandt, the German speaker, to write the dialogs for the next season, but the series got canceled before this could have been done.
Roger Moore quit smoking cigarettes in 1971 following a stern lecture from co-star Tony Curtis on the set. Which is a bit odd, as Curtis himself continued to smoke until the early 1980's.
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Sinclair's car is a 1969 Aston-Martin DBS. Wilde's car is a 1969 Ferrari 246 Dino.
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The most ubiquitous firearm used in the series is a Model 1934 Beretta in 7.65 Browning (aka .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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According to the end credits, Roger Moore designed the costumes for his own character, Lord Brett Sinclair.
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Throughout the series, Tony Curtis' character Danny Wilde 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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Roger Moore gained 20lbs over the course of the series' production, which he attributed to the use of real champagne during shooting.
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The idea for The Persuaders! (1971) came from The Saint: The Ex-King of Diamonds (1969), where a British character was paired against a brash American.
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According to the DVD commentary, neither Roger Moore, an uncredited co-producer, nor Robert S. Baker, the credited producer, ever had a contract other than a handshake with Lew Grade. They produced the entire 24 episodes without a single written word guaranteeing that they would ever be paid.
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Popular in Denmark and still repeated on TV 40 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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The title in Swedish was the rather silly rhyme "Snobbar som jobbar". In English this would mean "working snobs".
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Roger Moore did the opening sequence water skiing stunt himself
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In Germany and some other European countries, this series was dubbed in an unconventional way, using very funny, often absurd expressions and phrases. Because of that, it became very popular (unlike the English version) and is still regularly repeated on German TV today.
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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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Bernard Lee, Geoffrey Keen and Lois Maxwell, future Roger Moore era of James Bond regulars, have guest roles.
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A number of actors would land roles in The 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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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 Southern Europe), mainly The Persuaders!: Overture (1971) (the two men racing their sports cars, Tony Curtis and 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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Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz of Hungarian immigrants. And if you pay attention, you will find the actor sprinkling inside jokes to his origins through 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 that he shares this with 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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See also

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

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