French TV to try new western

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Some years ago French television, prodded by President Charles de Gaulle, filmed a cowboy and Indian series in the Central Massif of France. Connoisseurs still remember that one.

Apparently the general liked westerns, but refused to accept that only the Americans could make them. The producer tagged for the project did his best, but the Central Massif doesn't look like cowboy country and the leisurely French steeds in no way charged around like spunky little western quarter horses. Then, too, someone had the idea of having the Indians talk in the authentic Crow tongue, culled from a missionary's dictionary. Nonetheless, for the traditional Indian greeting, the ''Indians'' resorted to ''Comment allez-vous?'' instead of ''How?''

Time has moved on, and the French are ready to try again with a series aimed directly at the United States and elsewhere. Titled ''Blueberry,'' it is based on an award-winning and internationally published French action cartoon strip recounting the adventures of Lt. Mike Steve Blueberry of the US Cavalry. According to Jean-Nicolas d'Ancezune of High Speed Productions in Paris, which unveiled the project at the International Television Festival of Monte Carlo, the French now are acutely aware that western films are best made in the US and Mexico. He said that while overall production would be under Technisonor, the top production company in French television, there are plans for American partners.

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