- Actors: Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman, Linda Thorson, Ian Hendry
- Writers: Sydney Newman
- Format: Box set, Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 2
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Sma Distribution
- Release Date: June 1 2002
- Run Time: 312 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- ASIN: 0767025075
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,585 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Avengers 64 Set 1
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From Britain with leather comes this three-volume collection of rare Avengers episodes starring Patrick Macnee as urbane, umbrella-toting spy John Steed and Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale, who preceded Emma Peel as Steed's partner. Virtually unseen in the United States, these six episodes from the third season of The Avengers will be a revelation for fans of this offbeat series.
Blackman portrayed Cathy Gale, stylish, leather-clad anthropologist and judo expert, from 1962 to '64, leaving the series to star as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. Another veteran of the James Bond series makes a surprising appearance in "Little Wonders," an episode on volume 1: Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell), a machine-gun-toting nurse. This episode, in which Steed goes undercover in a 300-year-old crime organization, features a kiss between Steed and Gale. He was never so intimate with Emma Peel... at least not onscreen. Volume 2 contains two episodes ranked among the best of the Cathy Gale era. In "The Wringer," Gale comes to Steed's rescue after he becomes a guinea pig in a diabolical plot to brainwash agents. In "Mandrake," a deserted village becomes the burial ground of choice for a rash of "rich and reasonably eminent" victims of a murder-for-hire business. "The Secrets Broker" on volume 3, in which a murder leads Steed to a wine shop, is not quite vintage Avengers, but "Trojan Horse," set at a racetrack and involving an illicit betting syndicate, is a winner.
Produced before the series switched over to film, these black-and-white episodes are technically cruder than their more popularly known counterparts. But the plots are often just as confounding. Cathy Gale may leave Emma Peel enthusiasts underwhelmed; her banter with Steed lacks the erotic promise that made the Peel episodes so provocative. But you'll get a kick out the martial-arts prowess that reportedly knocked out her male adversary in the graveyard fight sequence in "Mandrake." --Donald Liebenson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In volume one, we have "The White Elephant" and fan favorite "The Little Wonders". In "The White Elephant", Steed and Cathy investigate the dissapearance of a rare albino elephant, and cage a group of ivory smugglers. This episode did have potential, but unfortunately its a bit average. It does however, feature an assortment of exotic animals including a monkey, leopard, but no elephant. In "The Little Wonders", Steed goes undercover as a vicar in order to infiltrate a gang of religous racketeers, while Cathy plays with dolls. A nice plot and writing make up for the average direction. Featuring the only kiss between Steed and Cathy, and Lois Maxwell (a.k.a. Miss Moneypenny) as a macinegun-toting nun. It's just a great deal of fun.
In volume two, we have two of the best episodes. The effectively harrowing "The Wringer", and the delighfully enjoyable "Mandrake". In "The Wringer", six of seven agents using a certain pipeline have been killed, so Steed sets out to find the seventh. When he does, he is accused of killing the six agents and is subject to interrogation at the hands of "The Wringer". Extremly harrowing episode features a very different feel, outstanding performances, and masterful direction. Also, Cathy's surprising feelings for Steed are touching. In "Mandrake", mysterious grave undertakings at Cornwall cemetary lead Steed and Cathy to a sinister inheritance plot. This episode features all the best AVENGERS elements: a shifty-eyed (literally) diabolical mastermind, a mad doctor, merry widows, and tons of corpses. It could have been an Emma Peel episode. Also features one of the best fights of the series between Cathy and a thug in a graveyard.
In volume three, there's "The Secrets Broker", and "The Trojan Horse". In "The Secrets Broker", it becomes apparent that a wily wine merchant and a devious medium are involved in a plot to sell ministry secrets. This episode is really very dull, as it focuses on an illicit love affair rather than on Steed and Cathy's investigations. In "The Trojan Horse", Steed gallops to the stables as he investigates a prominent stable that's become a haven for hoods in training, while Cathy becomes a syndicate bookie for a gambling orginization as it starts closing the book on prominant politicians. Cathy's bookie numbers delivery is alone worth the price of admission, and the script is also good. But nothing else really stands out here.
Well, die-hard fans will be pleased with this delightful package, but be warned, the quality leaves abit to be desired. But if you're in the mood for intelligent storylines, kinky fashions, and brutal action THE AVENGERS '64 is what you're looking for!
Two of the episodes ran up with the very best televsion (not just Avengers) I have ever seen. Small Wonders, which also includes a not-so-small performance by Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny), is an absolute delight with clever plot twists and superb writing. It also plays upon certain "fears" of the period about secret societies. It is followed by "The Wringer" which could have come straight out of the pen of Le Carre. It reveals the underside of Steed's mysterious agency, and makes clear that these Avengers are playing for keeps.
Are these worth buying? Even with the fly, in a heartbeat. (and if they fix the fly, I will be the first in line to buy another copy...)
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