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The Golden Schlussel

 
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anti-clockwise
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


Joined: 17 May 2013
Posts: 1683

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:34 pm    Post subject: The Golden Schlussel Reply with quote

So what's the story behind this footage? It looked like Emma Peel but there was of course no speaking part. What a find! So great to see something that had never been aired. Where was it found?

How about the minikillers? I assume that was done after the Avengers? Wow that was a piece of the 70's that is kind of dated. I'm not into special effects but they really needed some help on that one.
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Timeless A-Peel
A Touch of Brimstone


Joined: 31 Aug 2008
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Location: New Scotland, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Das Diadem/The Minikillers/Der Goldene Schlussel were shot in the late sixties, after Diana had left the show, and while Diana is listed as playing "Emma Peel", they have no connection at all to anyone to do with the Avengers. Bootlegs have floated around the 'net for years (I have copies I bought on VHS stashed somewhere). The general consensus is they were financed by a wealthy fellow, and Diana did it them for the rather sizeable paycheque--she certainly won't speak about them today! Laughing

The best backstory on the films I've come across was posted on a previous iteration of this forum, though I've no idea as to the accuracy. I saved the post, and it makes for interesting reading:

Quote:
Das Diadem...
Hi everyone!

I´m new to this forum and I thought maybe the best way to introduce myself was to share
this piece of information with you:

Last Saturday, a German TV station (RTL) broadcast a show where they presented the 25 most
popular TV cult shows of all time in Germany. The Avengers featured as well (15th) but the
best part was that they also showed a clip of "Das Diadem".

And they had invited the man who was knocked out by Diana Rigg in the scene they showed.
He is a pensioner today and could reveal something about how "Das Diadem" and the other 2
short films came into existence. Here´s a summary of what was said:


- no one involved in the production was a professional,
all were amateurs who especially founded a film company for this project.

- the idea behind these films was that during the late 60s it was still common that people
remained sitting in their cars at the filling station, waiting for their fuel, having
their oil or tyre pressure checked etc. So the idea was to "entertain" them by showing
short (4-5min) films- which explains why there is no dialogue.

- however, they knew that to make this project successful (and in the end commercially
viable), they would first of all need a "big name", someone famous and popular to
promote it.

- while on the way home from London one of them accidentally met an old friend from school
on the train, who was working there as a journalist and could give him an address through
which they could contact Diana Rigg´s management.

- negotiations went back and forth and in the end she finally said yes and came over to
Germany and then to Spain. Shooting took 4-5 days and Diana Rigg received about
10,000 DM (whether for all or one of these films remained unclear)

- the film company did, however, not survive this courageous project Wink

- finally, the man was presented with a Video and DVD version of the films since he did
not own any of them himself!

- and when asked by the hostess (a huge fan of the show): "In the end I simply must ask
you how Diana Rigg was like. Was she cool?" , he replied: "Oh yes she was..."
As for Diana Rigg 'traveling to Spain' to make MINI-KILLERS, it's possible she was there already. Indeed, one can't even help but wonder whether she had a hand in its production, as some kind of promo or screen-test, trying to attract financing for her own intended Spanish production at this time. From a December 1969 article by Harvey Pack:
Quote:
[Diana] purchased a small house on one of those still untouched by tourists islands off the coast of Spain, where she goes when she wants to be alone with her thoughts. 'It's actually impossible for my agent to reach me there,' she explained. 'I have no phone and although there is a telegraph office nobody volunteers to deliver messages. But the tourists are starting to creep in.' (...) This summer [i.e. 1970], (...) she intends to make a film but on her island, using her own property as the principal setting and with a company of her own so it will be fun. She has the script and hopes to have the financing before the first summer tourist reaches Spain.


(Harvey PACK, 'Desirable Diana Riggs [sic]: James Bond chooses wisely when he weds in new film,' Ogden Standard-Examiner (Utah), 24th December 1969, p.16)

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anti-clockwise
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


Joined: 17 May 2013
Posts: 1683

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much Timeless. That was really informative especially to hear from someone directly from Germany. I would normally never have access to this information so it is quite interesting. What puzzles me, from all the interviews on Diana Rigg, I get the idea she did not like or feel comfortable in her role as Emma, so I am puzzled why she agreed to the part. But maybe back then as you say she was well compensated and it worked for her.
I think i could tell the films were not done as professionally. Wow to think wealthy amateurs could come along and play the parts with her.
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Timeless A-Peel
A Touch of Brimstone


Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 4866
Location: New Scotland, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anti-clockwise wrote:
Thank you so much Timeless. That was really informative especially to hear from someone directly from Germany. I would normally never have access to this information so it is quite interesting. What puzzles me, from all the interviews on Diana Rigg, I get the idea she did not like or feel comfortable in her role as Emma, so I am puzzled why she agreed to the part. But maybe back then as you say she was well compensated and it worked for her.
I think i could tell the films were not done as professionally. Wow to think wealthy amateurs could come along and play the parts with her.


Again, though they say she's playing "Emma Peel", this was in no way, shape, or form an Avengers production, so it's not connected to the Avengers in any way. That said, she was consciously trying to get away from the Emma Peel image, so I think money would be the main driving force. Getting paid the rough equivalent of $300,000 for five days' work is tough to pass up, especially if, as suggested in the post, she wanted it for some particular purpose. None of the principal actors got rich off doing The Avengers in terms of salary, so a good payday would be a nice incentive.
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