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Grand Slam (1978 film)

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Title: Grand Slam (1978 film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Television programmes, Rugby union, 1978 films, List of films: G
Collection: 1970S Comedy Films, 1978 Films, Bbc Television Programmes, Films Set in Paris, Films Set in Wales, Rugby Union Films, Welsh Films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Grand Slam (1978 film)

Grand Slam is a 1978 sports comedy film produced by BBC Wales. The film starred Oscar-winning actor Hugh Griffith, Windsor Davies, Dewi "Pws" Morris and Sion Probert. The play was written for television by Gwenlyn Parry and then-head of drama for BBC Wales, John Hefin.


Four men, members of a Welsh rugby union club, fly to Paris as part of a weekend outing to see Wales play France in the Five Nations Championship match that will decide the Grand Slam title.

One of the party is funeral director Caradog Lloyd-Evans (Griffith), who briefly served in occupied Paris near the end of boutique owner Maldwyn Pugh, who is the only one of the main four characters who makes the start of the match, because Mog is still in jail as he was considered the ringleader (the others were released), Caradog has collapsed near his strip club table while Glyn is trying for his own sexual 'Grand Slam' with Odette, taking a rest to watch the game on TV.

Mog is eventually released halfway through the first half of the match, but when he finally arrives at the stadium, there's only seconds of the game left, which Wales lose, leaving Maldwyn without a prized signature from Gareth Edwards and Mog still yet to witness a Welsh Grand Slam triumph. Caradog is found after the match, and Madame thinks he has died, but Odette fires a soda siphon on his face, and the story ends with Caradog warning his son of the dangers of overseas travel.



Production notes

  • Many of the film's interior scenes were filmed at the BBC Wales club in Newport Road, Cardiff with filming in Paris taking place over several days in February 1977, when Wales' match with France took place at Parc des Princes during the second round of matches in the 1977 Five Nations Championship. The airport scenes were filmed at Cardiff Airport.
  • Wales' 16-9 defeat on the day of the match led to a rewrite of some of the film's closing scenes and a new scene with Mog and Maldwyn contemplating next year's Wales v France fixture at Cardiff Arms Park (which saw Wales beat France 16-7 to win the Grand Slam and the 1978 Five Nations).
  • The film is iconic in Wales, being broadcast many times since its original network transmission at 10.45pm on Friday 17 March 1978. It also marked the penultimate film or television role of actor Hugh Griffith, who died in 1980.
  • Originally intended to run for 75 minutes, the film was ordered to be cut down to an hour just a few days before its first network broadcast as a result of industrial action.

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