Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Persuaders - Episode Three - Five Miles to Midnight (1971)

Five Miles to Midnight was the third episode of the classic ATV series, The Persuaders and guest starred Joan Collins. Smuggling an American Gangster out of Italy proves to be no joy ride for Brett & Danny, despite the assistance of a glamorous girl photographer.
The killing of an Italian Underworld boss named Gino Franco detonates a havoc - ahead explosion for Brett Sinclair (Roger Moore) & Danny Wilde ( Tony Curtis). The assassin is Frank Rocco (Robert Hutton) a New York Gangster who is sitting comfortably in Rome to evade a tax evasion charge awaiting him back in the States. Now, he is on the run again. There is no way out for him. He promises U.S. authorities that if they save him and reduce his sentence, he will lift the lid on an East Coast crime syndicate.
The U.S Authorities agree and Danny & Brett find themselves with another assignment from Judge Fulton (Laurence Naismith) who wins their reluctant co-operation when he tells them that if they get Rocco back to America it will be the biggest breakthrough ever made against organised crime!
Danny sets off with Rocco hidden under a tarpaulin in an old truck owned by Sidonie (Joan Collins) a beautiful girl photographer who smells a great scoop here and insists on accompanying them. Brett follows in his car creating a dramatic diversion at a police checkpoint which enables Danny to drive Rocco off in a different direction.
Unnoticed in the melee, a car starts silently after Brett. It carries Torrino (Robert Rietty) a big time Italian Mobster bent on vendetta. When Brett catches up with Danny and his passengers they abandon the truck because the police now know the number and begin to make their way on foot. Reaching an imposing villa they tell the owner, Sangallo (Ferdy Maine) that their car has broken down and he invites them to dinner.
Brett & Danny have chosen their host unwisely, he later locks them in and calls Torrino and they find themselves surrounded. Their escape has a melodramatic note, but is successful and they wind up a mountain road with Torrino and his henchmen in hot pursuit. Ahead is police block. But they get through on foot, bicycles and an old farm truck and have only five miles to go to the border when Sidone spots the sinister convoy of gangster cars.
Brett sends Sidone and Rocco into the bushes and drives on as a decoy with Danny, but Torrino catches up with them. It's not quite the end of the trail though. There's a big surprise for Torrino and an even bigger surprise for Brett & Danny!

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