Three days after this year's Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the All England Lawn Tennis club opened its doors to the public again, when the Paramount film company began shooting its latest motion picture, "Players".
Three days after this year's Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the All England Lawn Tennis club opened its doors to the public again, when the Paramount film company began shooting its latest motion picture, "Players". The film, produced by Robert Evans, of "Love Story" and "Chinatown" fame, stars Ali MacGraw, and numerous tennis players, including Wimbledon veteran Pancho Gonzales and this season's most successful money earner on the International Tennis circuit -- Guillermo Vilas of Argentina. It also features Dean Paul Martin, son of American entertainer, Dean Martin, making his screen debut as a rising tennis star, who has a blossoming off-court romance with an older woman -- Ali MacGraw.
SYNOPSIS: With clearing-up operations almost completed after this year's Championships, which attracted over 335,000 spectators, the crowds descended on the famous courts once more. Several thousand people queued for hours for the unique opportunity of a place of the centre court, where "Players" was being shot.
It is the first time the world's premier tennis venue has been used as a backdrop for a major motion picture, and presents producer Robert Evans with the best possible conditions for realistic fictional re-creation.
In the film, Guillermo Vilas -- appearing as himself -- is Martin's opponent in a Wimbledon's men's singles final, and there are long sequences of highly competitive tennis. With Pancho Gonzales -- who plays Martin's coach -- always on hand to lend professional advice. Martin, at the far end, is a professional tennis player in his own right, and plays team tennis in the United States for Phoenix Rackets. He regards himself as a player who can act rather than an actor who can play.
During a filming break, Ali MacGraw and Robert Evans expressed delight at being permitted Wimbledon access.