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The 1975 Champagne commercial

 
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TrueIndigo
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Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 67
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:37 am    Post subject: The 1975 Champagne commercial Reply with quote

Does anyone have any further information about the 1975 Steed and Tara Laurent-Perrier champagne commercial beyond what is already generally known? My curiosity was initially aroused some time ago by the write-up of it on The Avengers Forever:

http://theavengers.tv/forever/king-33.htm

Mike also mentions it on page 361 of his comprehensive book, Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots.

In trying to find out something new myself (with some online searching) to add to the knowledge base of this 60-second commercial, I unfortunately drew a complete blank! Even the French TV/film executive Rudolph Roffi, who organised the commercial and seems to have brokered the start money for The New Avengers, is strangely not even listed on imdb (hell, even I'm on imdb). Going through my books I find in The Avengers and Me (page 117) Patrick describes Roffi as the "biggest producer of commercials for French cinemas." He goes on to explain how producers Albert Fennel and Brian Clemens got back in touch with some of The Avengers production team to shoot the commercial at Elstree Studios; afterwards Linda "returned to Toronto to work in theatre".

I wonder if this commercial is now only available in the Super 8mm form that we see it on youtube? One version has a red cast, and the other has a rather high contrast look. Not ideal, but it's great, though, just to be able to see it at all. Here are the youtube links for the two versions of the same commercial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-NLN3SJKhg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzRyw4NGzRQ

I wonder if there are any French fans who remember actually seeing this commercial - was it only shown in the cinema, or also on TV as well? Maybe there's a 35mm print still in a French film vault somewhere that might turn up one day, if it hasn't already been dumped (most commercials were shot on 35mm, so I imagine this one was too). Was the reason for striking a Super 8mm copy simply to make it more convenient to view in a non-professional environment during the era before VHS?

In the commercial, Tara is in fine fighting form, despatcing the villains with an umbrella while Steed is left to do what he does best: opening a bottle of champagne. I always think of it as a charming brief glimpse of what a second season of Tara King might have looked like set in the early 1970's.
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MikeR
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Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 1049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While researching Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots, I could not find much in the way of information about Roffi. Brian Clemens always described the commercials as being for TV, so it would be interesting to know if they were ever shown in French cinemas. I've not discovered anythting else about them since the book was published.
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TrueIndigo
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Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 67
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike, I really like this little sketch; it's so in the spirit of The Avengers, you could almost consider it the very last tag scene before the coming of The New Avengers. Maybe something new about it will come to light one day. Since the old crew were got together to shoot this at Elstree, I wonder if that also included being directed by one of the Season 6 directors? Maybe someone will know.
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TrueIndigo wrote:
Thanks Mike, I really like this little sketch; it's so in the spirit of The Avengers, you could almost consider it the very last tag scene before the coming of The New Avengers. Maybe something new about it will come to light one day. Since the old crew were got together to shoot this at Elstree, I wonder if that also included being directed by one of the Season 6 directors? Maybe someone will know.


I don't know who directed, I suppose it could have been Roffi as this appears to have been his area of excpertise. If it had been someone who had directed episodes of the series I think we would have heard about it by now.
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