Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Persuaders - Episode One - Overture (1971)

Anonymous invitations to a luxurious Cote d'Azure hotel bring a wealthy American and an Aristocratic English man together - tricked into teaming up for what is to be a new challenging career of adventure and danger.
Danny Wilde (TONY CURTIS) and Brett Sinclair (ROGER MOORE) provide a striking contrast. Danny is a rough diamond, self polished - a man who has emerged from a tough New York slum background, now moves in high society, has made and lost several fortunes and never has to worry about being able to make another one if necessary. Brett, on the other hand, is a real live Lord from a long line of aristocrats, has the languish and polished perfection of his class and is very much a member of the caviar and champagne set.
Nevertheless, they have a lot in common. Both are handsome and highly personable and both are magnetic to beautiful women. Their meeting is unexpected, but planned. Each receives an anonymous invitation to a luxurious Cote D'Azure hotel. Their first encounters are skillfully manipulated, climaxing in a good-humoured but none the less vigorous fight which almost reduces the hotel restaurant to rubble.
Facing the prospect of imprisonment, they find themselves at the mercy of their mysterious host, a former Judge named, Fulton (LAURENCE NAISMITH) who berates them for being playboys but says he can help them. As an active Judge, he had applied justice according to the law which meant that many criminals escaped. In retirement, he has resolved to correct the balance between law and justice and Danny and Brett are his chosen instruments for righting legal wrongs!
Prison is their only alternative to complying with his wishes, so they comply. And their first task has its appealing aspects: to check out a lovely brunette by the name of Maria Lorenzo (IMOGEN HASSALL) who can be identified by a clothes-covered birthmark. This is easier said than done. Judge Fulton has set a trap to test them. They are attacked by a couple of thugs and they are shot at, but they do manage to identify Maria and discover - as Fulton already knows - that she is the sister of a crime syndicate boss said to have been shot two years earlier. But the usual battle for power following a top "Hood's" death did not materialise, why not?
Danny and Brett find that Maria really does believe that her brother is dead and that she has no idea what his business was. She is staggered when she discovers that her brother is still alive and is the most wanted man in the Mediterranean. Danny and Brett, as well as Maria and Judge Fulton himself are now in real peril!......