Sadly, what might have made a tolerable 90 minute fantasy,had instead become a bloated,stodgy bore,which satisfied neither kids or adults. The original Hugh Lofting stories were all but thrown away for another attempt to grab the brass ring with a hit ''Roadshow Musical''.
Though Fox wasn't alone in trying to foist an over-produced would-be spectacular on an increasingly fed up public Think ''Camelot'' ''Half A Sixpence'' ''Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'' as well as their own ''Star'' ''Dolittle'' is the one which nearly closed it's studio.
And it's all to clear why. Still, the movie has it's good points. Rex Harrison, in the title role who, at one point, pulled out of the film, and was briefly replaced by Christopher Plummer does manage to be fairly ingratiating, though his character doesn't have much dimension. The songs, while no great shakes, do provide attractive background music. The photography is beautiful. William Dix, the talented young co star of ''The Nanny'' is literally, just along for the ride.
Where are they off to?. A voyage to find the ''Great Pink Sea Snail''. And that's about it for the ''plot''. Not surprisingly, the film was cut prior to it's national release, one of the casualties being a musical number. At the beginning of the film, there was even a hint of a possible Love Triangle between Harrison, Emma Fairfax Eggar and Newley which was also apparently cut. And, with it went the only possibly interesting conflict in the film. It was probably no surprise after a listless thirty minutes,that a film taking so long to get where it's going, ends up going nowhere.
And, for this, audiences were expected to pay inflated ticket prices and reserve seats in advance. However, thanks to the early negative response, they were spared the expense. The same was definitely not true for Twentieth-century Fox. I can't be as kind as many of the other commenters. I didn't see it when it first came out, although, I was inundated with the "Talk With the Animals" song everywhere I turned.
Seems like we even played it in our junior high band. I was under the impression that this was the most heralded musical in history with regard to the hype surrounding it. It was only recently that I realized that it was panned by the critics. I finally watched it on Turner Movie Classics and realized what a "snoozer" it was. I kept thinking there might be some romance between someone in the film - Samantha Eggar and Rex Harrison Samantha Eggar and Anthony Newley Samantha Eggar and Geoffery Holder Anthony Newley and Geoffery Holder Rex Harrison is a great actor and carried this exhausting effort as bravely and heartily as he possibly could, however, in the end, it was a pointless story that dragged on and on and on.
Even Anthony Newly couldn't seem to pull it out of the fire with his pleasant voice and apt song styling. It seems that the only thing that might have held children since it was a family movie would have been the animals, which weren't really used all that dramatically. As much as I admire the actors who performed in this insipid tale, I have to say, it barely held my interest.
My apologies to those who truly loved this movie. Gideon24 23 May Dolittle is the musical dud that almost put 20th Century Fox out of business for good while simultaneously receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Picture of Based on stories by Hugh Lofton, this is the story of John Dolittle, an anti-social doctor whose disdain for humans and love for animals motivates him to stop treating humans and only treat animals. He then discovers he has the ability to actually communicate with animals, an ability which ends up getting him arrested and on trial for his sanity.
I learned later that Harrison was never comfortable with animals and hated every minute of making this film and some of that tension is evident in his performance.
Anthony Newley plays his over eager sidekick Matthew, Samantha Eggar is lovely as the obligatory love interest, and Richard Attenborough nails a cameo as a circus owner named Mr. The film was re-imagined almost four decades later as a vehicle for Eddie Murphy.
Movies that lost enormous amounts of money are often regarded as bad films, when often this is not the case. It's pretty easy to see why audiences who flocked to see and Rosemary's Baby did not take to Dr. Dolittle, but it is is a delightful film - I actually prefer it to My Fair Lady, and I like the songs better too. Of course my judgment is probably clouded by nostalgia I watched this many times on video as a kid but I still feel the film is unfairly maligned.
It is a beautiful old-world adventure that hearkens back to a time that does not exist anymore. Rex Harrison is completely charming, the animals are all adorable, and Richard Attenborough's brief appearance is perhaps my favorite cameo of all time. A wonderful, colorful adventure for children of all ages. Entertaining the whole way through, with catchy and witty songs, colorful performances, plenty of cute animals, and a script packed with imagination and a sense of fun.
To me Rex Harrison was always "Doctor Dolittle", even though the film came late in his career. When I discovered his earlier film work, I was amused at seeing a "young Doctor Dolittle". So my views may be colored by nostalgia, although I recently saw the movie in its entirety for the first time in many, many years and found it to be great fun. The story has the feel of an episodic adventure, taking our heroes to different places and having them do different things.
This keeps the audience engaged throughout the nearly two and a half hour running time. Doctor John Dolittle Rex Harrison is a physician in s England who is more interested in the various species of animals than in his human patients. So he becomes a strictly animal doctor veterinarian and, with the help of his genius pet parrot, learns hundreds of animal dialects. The various side-adventures in this film are all in service of Dolittle's quest to find a mythical giant pink sea snail.
First he showcases a rare two-headed llama a "pushmi-pullyu" at a circus until he can earn enough money to set sail. From there come legal complications, a jail break plot, adventure on the high seas, and still more fun on an exotic "floating" island. Harrison gives a signature performance as the good doctor. Dolittle's a very kind fellow whose ideas about treating animals with as much respect as humans and his practice of fitting short-sighted horses with glasses, for example run counter to the prevailing minds of his "civilized" community.
The man's an eccentric genius who doesn't fit in with human society. Bricusse provided a tuneful bunch of songs carefully suited to his stars, beginning with Rex Harrison. Harrison had not been considered a musical star until My Fair Lady, for which he developed a style of singing that was more like rhythmic, somewhat musical speaking. Newley was serving only as performer, not collaborator here, but Bricusse knew how to write for his voice, and even in an unlikely Irish accent, Newley was in his element belting out songs like "After Today.
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Music LP : English. Motion picture music -- Excerpts. Similar Items. Overture -- My friend the doctor -- The vegetarian -- Talk to the animals -- At the crossroads -- I've never seen anything like it -- Beautiful things -- When I look in your eyes -- Like animals -- Fabulous places -- Where are the words -- I think I like you -- Doctor Dolittle -- Something in your smile -- My friend the doctor.
Dolittle, the potential of that relationship is much greater. The production closed on 26 June , having run for almost a year. It was followed by a UK tour which starred Schofield, before being replaced by Russ Abbott in the title role. The show made its American debut on a national tour which began at the Benedum Center in Pittsburg from August 2, After just 9 weeks of touring, the producers announced that the production would close due to the lack of ticket sales.
Following the early closure of the production, it was announced that nine-time Tony Award Winner, Tommy Tune would direct and star in a revamped version of the tour from January The rest of the creative team remained the same as the start of the tour.
Filming was finished by April Following a test screening in Minneapolis, preview audiences wrote on their comment cards that the film was too long. Before the film was screened again in San Francisco, several verses of the songs were edited out to improve the film's pacing including "Something in Your Smile". Dolittle and Emma did eventually begin a relationship in which he sang "Where Are the Words? Both versions were filmed and both actors recorded their respective versions, but the footage for both, as well as the vocal track by Rex Harrison have been lost.
In both scenarios, "Something In Your Smile" is sung by Dolittle when he realizes he himself has fallen for Emma; although Harrison's vocal for the song survives, the footage does not exist. Ultimately, the version screened in San Jose, California , which ran minutes, became the final cut of the film. The soundtrack release was accompanied by an enormous media blitz, with half a million copies of the mono and stereo LP soundtrack being issued in retail stores four months before the premiere.
Sammy Davis Jr. In November , the 50th Anniversary Expanded Soundtrack from La-La Land Records was released as a lavish 2-CD set and did include numerous demos, rehearsal takes, and alternative versions. The film's first sneak preview in September at the Mann Theatre in Minneapolis was a failure. The audience consisted largely of adults, who were not the primary target audience.
The general audience response was muted during the screening and comment cards rated it poorly, with frequent complaints about the film's length.
A shorter edit of the film with a younger audience previewed in San Francisco was no more successful; a still shorter edit previewed in San Jose was well enough received to be approved as the final cut. Bricusse, who had read Winston's script, assumed it was from the books and included it in his own treatment by mistake. Because the producers only had rights to the content of the original books, they had no legal defense and were forced to settle out of court. The animal strike is mentioned in the movie but was not actually filmed.
Thirteen months before the film's release, Fox began an extensive marketing campaign to promote the film. On September 30, , Life ran a cover of Harrison in character as Dr. Dolittle riding a giraffe accompanied with a piece documenting its production. Reviewing the film for The New York Times , Bosley Crowther wrote: "The music is not exceptional, the rendering of the songs lacks variety, and the pace, under Richard Fleischer's direction, is slow and without surprise.
It is a picture we can greatly enjoy seeing our children enjoy, but without feeling quite at one with them. Maltin admired the film's photography, but was quick to point out how it nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox. He admitted that "The movie has one merit: If you have unruly children, it may put them to sleep. The film also faced strong competition from the Disney-produced animated feature film The Jungle Book , which had opened to considerable critical and audience acclaim two months earlier and was still in wide release.
Doctor Dolittle ' s appeal as family fare was undermined when the press drew attention to racist content in the books, prompting demands to have them removed from public schools.
While a commercial success, Valley of the Dolls had received less than stellar critical reception. As a result, in January and February , Fox booked 16 consecutive nights of free screenings of Doctor Dolittle provided with dinner and champagne to Academy members on the studio lot. The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:. In , the film was adapted into a stage musical , starring Phillip Schofield as Doctor Dolittle, a pre-recorded Julie Andrews as the voice of Dolittle's parrot Polynesia, and the animatronics of Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
The show ran for performances in London's West End and at the time was one of the most expensive musicals produced. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Dr. Dolittle movie. This article is about the film. For the film, see Dr.
Dolittle film. For other uses of "Dr. Dolittle", see Doctor Dolittle disambiguation. Theatrical release poster by Tom Chantrell. Main article: Doctor Dolittle musical. The Numbers.Nov 26, · You’ve never seen anything like it! Doctor Dolittle returns to the stage in Leslie Bricusse’s acclaimed family musical. Join the eccentric Doctor, his human companions and his .