Saturday, 14 June 2014

Catherine Zeta Jones Rarity

This post is about an early obscure Catherine Zeta Jones topless scene whose origins have up to know proved oddly hard to substantiate.

It's one I've known about for quite a while but had never previously been able to verify the scant information known about it.  Its existence became known to me in the early 2000s via an old collage I saw which stated it came from something called "Resurgence".  There was also a mute 17-second clip showing the same scene.  Since then I've seen nothing else about it at all.

In the (silent) clip a young looking Catherine Zeta Jones is seen topless in a tennis clubhouse as a man opens up the door to the shower rooms just as she is coming out and she unabashedly flirts with him as she heads off to another room.  She looks similar in age to her "Darling Buds of May" days (1991-1993) and so it seemed likely it would be from the early 1990s sometime.

Back when I first came across it and was trying to find out further details, there was nothing on her IMDB entry to indicate she had ever been in anything with the name "Resurgence" - so it was a bit of mystery.

I initially put it on the site's Actress Database area as a query and had a response from an emailer who remembered seeing it and supplied the information that it was from a series called "Love At First Sight" with "Resurgence" being the episode title.  This was useful but actually got me no further in confirming anything because there was no trace of that on her credits either.  Nor any indication of there ever having been a series with that title at all.

I used that information on the site but it always nagged me that it was such an unconfirmable mystery series that seemed to have eluded all the reference sources I had ever looked at.  I've occasionally revisited it over the years when new reference sources turn up but still always turning up a blank.

But recently I revisited it again and discovered a new retrospective item had been added to Catherine Zeta Jones' IMDB credits that refers to "Resurgence".  And furthermore it helps explain why I've never been able to find any reference to a British series with that name.  Because it's actually a French series called "Coup de foudre"

This French anthology series had started in 1988 and she appeared in a 1992 episode entitled "R├ęsurgence" broadcast in France on 28th August 1992.  Coup de foudre means "Thunderbolt".

Episode Cast for Coup de foudre: R├ęsurgence
Dora Doll / Serge Dupire / Jessica Forde / Roland Giraud / Dominic Gould / Catherine Zeta-Jones

There is no plot summary given for it.

Some relevant series facts from IMDB:-
  • Each episode was 26 minutes in length;
  • It was an international co-production involving: France, Italy, UK, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland;
  • The production companies involved were: Antenne-2, Canal+, Harlech Television (HTV), Reteitalia.

HTV was the ITV region which served both Wales and the West of England (as two separate channels).  This is promising for it having been shown in the UK, which clearly it must have been given the existence of the clip and collage and my contributor's recollection. 

A search of a newspaper's TV listings pages from the time reveals that it was indeed shown.  But seemingly it was only shown in the HTV West region and it appears not to have been picked up for network broadcasting nationwide (not even in HTV Wales).  ITV London was showing a current affairs programme called "The London Programme" at the same time.  But that all helps with piecing together corroborating evidence since it was HTV who co-produced it.

It was shown at 11:10pm on HTV West on Friday, March 19th 1993, which was about 7 months after the French air date.  This listing shows it was given a time slot of 30 minutes which matches the stated length of the episodes.

There is no mention on IMDB of the series having been given an alternate English title of "Love At First Sight" but that now seems to be supportable with enough connecting information to make it seem likely that the same series is being referred to. 

One final check was to see if any of the male cast members listed for that episode matched the man seen in the clip and thankfully this also checks out:-  he closely resembles Roland Giraud.

So there seems to be little doubt that the clip's source has now been properly validated as being from Coup de foudre aka Love At First Sight.

Catherine Zeta Jones in Coup de foudre/Love At First Sight: Resurgence

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