Doctor Dolittle (1967) Blu-ray Review

Sumptuous fantasy is better than its reputation. 4 Stars

More creative and entertaining than its flawed reputation allows, Richard Fleischer’s Doctor Dolittle is a whimsical fantasy a bit overlong and lacking precocity, but the music is lilting and the actors first-rate.

Doctor Dolittle (1967)
Released: 19 Dec 1967
Rated: APPROVED
Runtime: 152 min
Director: Richard Fleischer
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Cast: Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley, Richard Attenborough
Writer(s): Hugh Lofting (novels), Leslie Bricusse (screenplay)
Plot: After the animal communicating veterinarian goes too far for his clientèle, he and his friends escape their hometown to sea in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail.
IMDB rating: 6.2
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: Fox
Distributed By: Twilight Time
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA, English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH
Rating: G
Run Time: 2 Hr. 31 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray
Case Type: clear keep case
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: All
Release Date: 11/14/2017
MSRP: $29.95

The Production: 3.5/5

Richard Fleischer’s Doctor Dolittle came along at a most inopportune time in the American movie industry. With the move away from big-budgeted studio productions aimed at a family audience and toward independent-minded, harder-edged features with a more specific adult audience in mind, Doctor Dolittle was a transitional victim of changing tastes in both films and music. After Fox had enjoyed bountiful profits from the roadshow family musical The Sound of Music, it made sense to roll the dice again, but Fox opted for an original musical with flavorful characters reminiscent of My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music but within a fantasy framework, something that had produced record-breaking profits for Disney with Mary Poppins, Doctor Dolittle’s most obvious antecedent possessed of bits and pieces of that delightful Disney period tuner but lacking its most important ingredient: charm. Doctor Dolittle is big and bright and colorful, but it lumbers occasionally instead of lilts making it seem longer and less consistent in tone than its Disney counterpart.

Dr. John Dolittle (Rex Harrison) lives in the small English village of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh where he specializes in caring for and verbally communicating with animals much to the chagrin of his neighbors who basically find him a crackpot. When Dr. Dolittle is unjustly sent to an insane asylum for freeing a lovesick seal from captivity, his animal companions including parrot Polynesia (voiced by Ginny Tyler), dog Jip, and Chee-Chee the chimp and his two closest human friends, Matthew Mugg (Anthony Newley) and Tommy Stubbins (William Dix), liberate him. Afterward, they join Emma Fairfax (Samantha Eggar, vocals by Diana Lee), the supportive niece of Dolittle’s sworn enemy local magistrate General Bellowes (Peter Bull), and set out by boat to find a famed and elusive creature: the Great Pink Sea Snail.

Composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse has culled the dozen Doctor Dolittle books by Hugh Lofting and invented some of his own characters as well (the tentative triangle romance between Emma Fairfax, Dolittle, and Matthew Mugg was his own creation) to come up with his episodic set of adventures for his screenplay. He manages to get in some backstory of the good doctor explaining how this medical professional gave up on treating people and switching his allegiance to animals (wrapping the story around the Oscar-winning song “Talk to the Animals”), show how he came by money to finance his voyage in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail (the film’s most delightful musical sequence with “I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It,” one of the composer’s celebrated marches), and got in trouble with the law necessitating his escape from prison (“When I Look into Your Eyes” and Dolittle’s plea for tolerance to his point of view in “I Do Not Understand”). Bricusse’s best friend Anthony Newley with whom he had written two popular stage successes and the hit song “Goldfinger” was gifted with four of the score’s biggest showcase numbers: “My Friend, the Doctor” which introduces us to Dolittle’s eccentricities long before we actually meet him, “Beautiful Things” as he sings Emma’s praises, “After Today” as he thrills to his first flush of romance, and the title song late in the film and the movie’s most unnecessary number. And love interest Emma got her “I want” song with “At the Crossroads” and the second act’s best tune “Fabulous Places” as she dreams of magical destinations they might search for their pink snail. But that left the bulk of the singing for Rex Harrison’s doctor, a string of talk-sung ballads with rather lilting melodies that we don’t get to hear much of because of his patented patter style of presenting tunes and somewhat tedious in their sameness of delivery: “The Vegetarian,” “Talk to the Animals,” “When I Look in Your Eyes,” “I Do Not Understand,” and “I Think I Like You.”

The production itself is a real honey with big, beautiful locations photographed exquisitely by Robert Surtees (who earned Oscar nominations in 1967 for both this film and The Graduate) and elaborate, colorful costumes by Ray Agayhan that pop right off the screen (Miss Eggar appears in a succession of extravagant gowns each more sumptuous than the next). Richard Fleischer’s direction (with musical numbers staged and shot by Herbert Ross) makes the most of his wide canvas showing intimate scenes as well as the expansive locations whose sometime troublesome conditions helped balloon the budget to almost three times its original estimate. But all that money still couldn’t produce the magic the film required at crucial moments. We spend two hours hearing about the Great Pink Sea Snail only to be disappointed when it finally makes an appearance, and the Lunar Moth at the climax is almost equally anticlimactic. The film earned the 1967 Visual Effects Oscar, but it was likely the storms at sea and an island rejoining the mainland that brought him the prize.

At the time, Rex Harrison was criticized as being completely unlike the Dolittle of the Lofting books, but for those unfamiliar with the character there, Harrison’s sharp, abrasive veterinarian who gets along much better with any animal other than humans is a compelling central character. Anthony Newley’s Irish accent fades in and out, but he’s so amiable that it doesn’t really matter. We see Samantha Eggar’s Emma Fairfax slowly succumbing to feelings for Dolittle as Newley’s Matthew Mugg pines for her on the sidelines, but the romantic element woven into the story is rather feeble and could just as easily been eliminated. Still the match with voice double Diana Lee is pretty seamless, and “Fabulous Places” offers both ladies moments to shine. William Dix is an agreeable youthfully frisky companion for the group. Peter Bull bellows heartily as General Bellowes, and Richard Attenborough walks away with his big sequence as Albert Blossom, owner of the circus that employs Dolittle and his most astonishing animal friend. Geoffrey Holder has some funny moments as the eloquent William Shakespeare X once the group gets to Sea-Star Island.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Taken from Todd-AO elements, this brilliant 1080p transfer (AVC codec) represents the best Doctor Dolittle has ever looked on home video and represents one of the best Blu-ray transfers you’re likely ever to see. With its 2.20:1 original theatrical ratio, sharpness is astonishing throughout (one can see the make-up trail where Rex Harrison’s toupee netting is attached to his forehead), and color representation could not be bettered with blazingly rich hues all well controlled but still eye-popping and vibrant. Black levels are likewise strong in the film’s few dark scenes, and there isn’t a trace of age-related dirt or debris. The movie has been divided into 24 chapters.

Audio: 5/5

The disc generously offers both 2.0 stereo and 5.1 surround mixes, both in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio. Dialogue and song lyrics have been superbly recorded and have been routed to the center channel. The Oscar-nominated orchestrations get a superb spread through the fronts and rears and sound particularly lush in the 5.1 arrangement. (The transfer includes overture, entr’acte, and exit music.) Atmospheric effects likewise get sent to various channels, perhaps not in as sophisticated a fashion as today’s surround mixes but impressive for its era. No problems with hiss, crackle, or flutter exist.

Special Features: 4/5

Audio Commentary: music and film historian Mike Matessino hosts a wonderfully entertaining discussion with composer-librettist Leslie Bricusse who not only talks about the film but about Bricusse’s long show business career and his many professional and personal associations.

Isolated Score Track: presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo.

Rex Harrison: The Man Who Would Be King (44:10, SD): video biography of the sometimes explosive personal and professional life of the Oscar and Tony-winning actor.

Theatrical Trailer (1:38, SD)

Six-Page Booklet: contains a succession of color stills, original poster art on the back cover, and film historian Julie Kirgo’s encouraging analysis of the movie.

Overall: 4/5

More creative and entertaining than its flawed reputation allows, Richard Fleischer’s Doctor Dolittle is a whimsical fantasy a bit overlong and lacking precocity, but the music is lilting and the actors first-rate. There are only 3,000 copies of this Blu-ray available. Those interested in purchasing it should go to either www.twilighttimemovies.com or www.screenarchives.com to see if product is still in stock. Information about the movie can also be found via Facebook at www.facebook.com/twilighttimemovies.

Published by

Matt Hough

author,editor

63 Comments

  1. Excellent review; thank you Matt.
    I am looking forward to seeing Dr. Dolittle again in what sounds like a great presentation. I have always enjoyed the score and the performances of the leads. As I have not seen Dr. Dolittle since it’s original release it will be fun to reappraise it as an adult as opposed to a teenager (which was not the audience I believe it was aimed at).

  2. Matt Hough is quoted for saying that Doctor Dolittle "lumbers" occasionally.
    Do you think it has anything to do with the cast and the "timber" of their voices?:lol:

    But seriously, I was already on board; but what a joy to see further reinforcements that this transfer is sheer perfection.
    It's not about who liked or didn't like "Doctor Dolittle"; as this is merely 50 year-old news.
    What's key, here, is the exciting news of how its restoration, transfer, image and audio were handled.
    What's key, here, is the exciting news that we've got ourselves another 70mm Roadshow intact.
    What's key, here, is that something has been done by Fox and TT to its optimum levels and beyond.
    This is the stuff that we savor and salivate over.
    And with that, there need not be further hairs to split.
    So, let us send our gracious thanks all and not forget the bravura efforts of FotoKem, as well.:cheers:

  3. I didn't mention it in the review, but another feather in Twilight Time's cap: they didn't insult their viewers' intelligence by plastering an "Overture" frame across the screen while the music played. (Nor did they do it for the Entr'acte or Exit Music). Classy!

  4. Matt Hough

    I didn't mention it in the review, but another feather in Twilight Time's cap: they didn't insult their viewers' intelligence by plastering an "Overture" frame across the screen while the music played. (Nor did they do it for the Entr'acte or Exit Music). Classy!

    That's because TT and its clientele are the classiest of all cinephiles.:razz:opcorn:

  5. Matt Hough

    I didn't mention it in the review, but another feather in Twilight Time's cap: they didn't insult their viewers' intelligence by plastering an "Overture" frame across the screen while the music played. (Nor did they do it for the Entr'acte or Exit Music). Classy!

    That's because TT and its clientele are the classiest of all cinephiles.:razz:opcorn:

  6. “After Fox had enjoyed bountiful profits from the roadshow family musical The Sound of Music, it made sense to roll the dice again, but Fox opted for an original musical with flavorful characters reminiscent of My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music but within a fantasy framework, something that had produced record-breaking profits for Disney with [that smarmy saccharine manipulative ripoff of Song of the South] Doctor Dolittle’s most obvious antecedent possessed of bits and pieces of that delightful Disney period tuner but lacking its most important ingredient: charm. Doctor Dolittle is big and bright and colorful, but it lumbers occasionally instead of lilts making it seem longer and less consistent in tone than its Disney counterpart.”

    Now you have crossed the line. I’m definitely buying this disc.

  7. Of interest to cinephles (I think): Turn to your Blu ray of "Midnight Cowboy". When Joe Buck gets to New Yotk and checks into a hotel, he looks out a window. There, on the side of a building, is the HUMONGOUS marquee for "Doctor Dolittle"!!!!!

  8. Virgoan

    Of interest to cinephles (I think): Turn to your Blu ray of "Midnight Cowboy". When Joe Buck gets to New Yotk and checks into a hotel, he looks out a window. There, on the side of a building, is the HUMONGOUS marquee for "Doctor Dolittle"!!!!!

    That's cool. I only remembered the MONY sign. But, yah, it had to be "Doctor Dolittle", as they would have broken the fourth wall for the audience if Buck was seeing the marquee for that other 1967 film of "The Graduate". Right?;)

  9. DP 70

    I have just seen the first 10 mins of this disc and what a fantastic image.
    thanks Twilight Time.
    You cannot beat a bit of Todd-AO.

    You're right about that! Blu-ray brings out the very best of Todd-AO and VistaVision when the transfers are done properly.

  10. Matt Hough

    […] Blu-ray brings out the very best of Todd-AO and VistaVision when the transfers are done properly.

    …thus bringing us back "to those fabulous places where we long to be".:)

  11. It seems strange to me that the dialogue and lyrics are in the center channel, this would contradict all of the other Todd-AO releases from Fox in the era (Dolly, Star!, ect). I wonder why this is the case.

  12. RolandL

    No directional dialog? I'll still buy it…when TT or SA have a sale.

    RobertSiegel

    It seems strange to me that the dialogue and lyrics are in the center channel, this would contradict all of the other Todd-AO releases from Fox in the era (Dolly, Star!, ect). I wonder why this is the case.

    I respectfully disagree that the dialogue is not directional. I have several examples. Perhaps try listening with earphones, the panning becomes quite apparent.

    0:5:17 – 0:5:27 Newley dialog is clearly on the right and Stubbins is on left to match their positions on-screen

    0:8:50 – 0:8:57 Newley is on right side of street and walks to left side; voice pans with him

    1:40:28 – 1:41:38 Prelude to "Fabulous Places" song – characters are in various positions and audio tracks their positions

    2:13:25 – 2:13:33 Holder and Harrison walk from left to right and audio tracks their positions

    This is a wonderful blu-ray – I almost felt as if I were seeing it for the first time.

    I received the new CD set today. Amazing!

  13. KPmusmag

    I respectfully disagree that the dialogue is not directional. I have several examples. Perhaps try listening with earphones, the panning becomes quite apparent.

    0:5:17 – 0:5:27 Newley dialog is clearly on the right and Stubbins is on left to match their positions on-screen

    0:8:50 – 0:8:57 Newley is on right side of street and walks to left side; voice pans with him

    1:40:28 – 1:41:38 Prelude to "Fabulous Places" song – characters are in various positions and audio tracks their positions

    2:13:25 – 2:13:33 Holder and Harrison walk from left to right and audio tracks their positions

    This is a wonderful blu-ray – I almost felt as if I were seeing it for the first time.

    I received the new CD set today. Amazing!

    That's good news about the dialog.

  14. haineshisway

    The Music Man isn't in their league because it's an ancient yellow scan and travesty – time to revisit that one.

    Over a year ago, I wrote a quick note to Warner's concerning The Music Man.
    At the time of their initial BD release, I told them that I thought MM looked really great. But I also questioned, with all of the technological advances that have since taken place, if they had any plans for new scans or transfers, et al? The response was that they felt that The Music Man looked fine as it was. Nice to know that haineshisway is also in agreement with me and that I am not alone, on this score.

  15. Virgoan

    Of interest to cinephles (I think): Turn to your Blu ray of "Midnight Cowboy". When Joe Buck gets to New Yotk and checks into a hotel, he looks out a window. There, on the side of a building, is the HUMONGOUS marquee for "Doctor Dolittle"!!!!!

    *watches X-rated film to catch brief glimpse of ad for G-rated film*

    Hey, wait a minute!

  16. PMF

    Over a year ago, I wrote a quick note to Warner's concerning The Music Man.
    At the time of their initial BD release, I told them that I thought MM looked really great. But I also questioned, with all of the technological advances that have since taken place, if they had any plans for new scans or transfers, et al? The response was that they felt that The Music Man looked fine as it was. Nice to know that haineshisway is also in agreement with me and that I am not alone, on this score.

    I think it's a mess. I can't watch it!

  17. Jonathan Perregaux

    *watches X-rated film to catch brief glimpse of ad for G-rated film*

    Hey, wait a minute!

    You think that's odd? In Rosemary's Baby, there's a glimpse of the Radio City Music Hall marquee as well. The film playing there during shooting was The Happiest Millionaire. With movies shot in New York City, it's easy to tell when they were shot, especially films that have Broadway marquees or ads in them.

  18. Jonathan Perregaux

    *watches X-rated film to catch brief glimpse of ad for G-rated film*

    Hey, wait a minute!

    I believe Midnight Cowboy has been re-rated R
    Per Wikipedia
    "Upon initial review by the Motion Picture Association of America, Midnight Cowboy received a "Restricted" ("R") rating. However, after consulting with a psychologist, executives at United Artists were told to accept an "X" rating, due to the "homosexual frame of reference" and its "possible influence upon youngsters". The film was released with an X.[16] The MPAA later broadened the requirements for the "R" rating to allow more content and raised the age restriction from sixteen to seventeen. The film was later rated "R" for a reissue in 1971. The film retains its R rating.[16][17]"
    [​IMG]

  19. The Music Man has been mentioned and indeed is an older scan with issues but it has considerable detail and is less yellow overall than for example Hello, Dolly!

    I wanted to bring this up as Warner probably will not release a new version for some time to come so it is what it is and what is cannot be considered perfect but at least watchable, including its colors so don't miss out. Hello, Dolly! is a title that many musical lovers should own so if that one is fine with you with regard to its color timing I'd say The Music Man will be, too.

    Short of buying it is probably best to have a look at screen caps with regard to the general color timing of a movie on Blu-ray as they give a very good impression of a paused frame of the movies, best to watch on a calibrated monitor or even better the TV that you watch your movies on, download the jpgs and there you go:

    The Music Man:
    http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Music-Man-Blu-ray/7513/#Screenshots

    Hello, Dolly! :
    http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Hello-Dolly-Blu-ray/66015/#Screenshots

    Or grab your two Blu-rays and compare them which is what I just did 😀

    Hello, Dolly! has a lot more detail but imo colors and contrast look a bit strange and not like the 70mm prints I saw theatrically. So if one is fine with those colors I would say The Music Man should be fine, too as indeed it looks a bit warm but more balanced than Hello, Dolly! Imo it leans more to the reddish side vs Hello Dolly! having more of a yellowish tint but I would not discourage anybody who appreciates the added detail that goes with a Blu-ray from buying.

    My first candidate for a large format re-release from Warner is still Mutiny on the Bounty as there is just so little detail in the Blu-ray compared to what could be, it just doesn't have the feel of a large format production with such low resolution, the improvement over the DVD is among the lowest I have seen for a movie shot on 65mm:
    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=727&y=276&d1=534&d2=533&s1=5419&s2=5407&l=0&i=1&go=1

    Now back to Dr. Dolittle that gives us a very nice presentation with so far seemingly nobody being unhappy with how it looks. Well done Fox and thanks TT for releasing this one 🙂

  20. Robin9

    . . . along with Gigi, Rio Bravo and The Searchers!

    Can't comment on Gigi but Rio Bravo looks like an old brownish film print with not very much detail improvement over the DVD, I would hope that it can look better than that with regard to both color and detail. The Searchers indeed has some kind of yellow tint, I always forget about that one, it also has magnificent VistaVision cinematography so Warner revisiting this would be very nice.

    It is a bit of a shame that my favorite three Duke westerns all suffer from some kind of problem on Blu-ray:

    The Seachers: yellowish tint
    Rio Bravo: brownish, low detail levels
    El Dorado: sharpening, noise reduction

  21. OliverK

    My first candidate for a large format re-release from Warner is still Mutiny on the Bounty as there is just so little detail in the Blu-ray compared to what could be, it just doesn't have the feel of a large format production with such low resolution, the improvement over the DVD is among the lowest I have seen for a movie shot on 65mm:
    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=727&y=276&d1=534&d2=533&s1=5419&s2=5407&l=0&i=1&go=1

    Such a great film and the great Trevor Howard

    We need Russell Crowe to star in the re make , and warner may bother with something other than a 35 mm ip

  22. Many of those early studio films that initially received an X rating including Midnight Cowboy, Myra Breckinridge, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and A Clockwork Orange were later re-rated R. Doesn't The Devils still have an X?

  23. willyTass

    Such a great film and the great Trevor Howard

    Indeed, Trevor Howard is very good in this and I also like the way Brando plays his role a lot. Perhaps he makes the movie more funny at times than it should be but I enjoy it a lot. Not a real masterpiece but I dare to say that it should not have less fans than Dr. Dolittle and Dolittle got the deluxe treatment!

    willyTass

    We need Russell Crowe to star in the re make , and warner may bother with something other than a 35 mm ip

    That would be a good idea and please give the new version some classic cinematography not the style that makes even movies with classic stories look like they werre shot with a GoPro.

  24. OliverK

    […]My first candidate for a large format re-release from Warner is still Mutiny on the Bounty as there is just so little detail in the Blu-ray compared to what could be, it just doesn't have the feel of a large format production with such low resolution, the improvement over the DVD is among the lowest I have seen for a movie shot on 65mm:
    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=727&y=276&d1=534&d2=533&s1=5419&s2=5407&l=0&i=1&go=1

    Now back to Dr. Dolittle that gives us a very nice presentation with so far seemingly nobody being unhappy with how it looks. Well done Fox and thanks TT for releasing this one 🙂

    I sincerely doubt that what I am about to Post will be of any influence on Warner, be here we go:

    1) Mutiny on the Bounty DOES need a re-do.
    2) Warner needs to take a look at Dr. Dolittle to compare the majesty of what TT has given us over Warner's existing transfer of Mutiny on the Bounty, as both films have two very important things in common.

    a) Both are 70mm: Dr. Dolittle in Todd-AO and Mutiny on The Bounty in Ultra-Panavision.
    b) Both were nominated and shot by the great cinematographer Robert Surtees;​

    As a matter of fact, Robert Surtees was also nominated for his 70MM work on "Oklahoma!"; which, like Dr. Dollitle, looks and sounds exquisite on BD.
    Mutiny on the Bounty seems to be the only hold-out.

    When it comes to 70mm excellence, Warner should take their cues as established by Fox, FotoKem and Twilight Time.

  25. To add to this: Warner has already released one anamorphic 65mm title lensed by Mr. Surtees in rather good quality, it is a bit more popular than Mutiny on the Bounty and called Ben-Hur 😉

    He is Mr. anamorphic 65mm and incredibly enough he shot a total of 4 and the first 3 movies in that format which is probably a feat that will never be repeated.

    So there is also his work on Raintree County and The Hallelujah Trail that is not available to us on Blu-ray, we are missing out on some of his best looking work.

  26. OliverK

    To add to this: Warner has already released one anamorphic 65mm title lensed by Mr. Surtees in rather good quality, it is a bit more popular than Mutiny on the Bounty and called Ben-Hur 😉
    […]

    I forgot about Ben-Hur, because it remains Warner's one and only, sole and single 70mm fare that did look good, before the advent of Auntie Mame on BD.

    Wait, what are we doing here? Why are we talking about Warner?
    This is a celebration thread for the work that was done on "Doctor Dolittle".
    This is a thread about the excellence of Fox/FotoKem and most of all, our good friends from Twilight Time.

    Phew, I lassoed and corralled this topic back on course; just in the Nick of Time.;)

  27. OliverK

    To add to this: Warner has already released one anamorphic 65mm title lensed by Mr. Surtees in rather good quality, it is a bit more popular than Mutiny on the Bounty and called Ben-Hur 😉

    He is Mr. anamorphic 65mm and incredibly enough he shot a total of 4 and the first 3 movies in that format which is probably a feat that will never be repeated.

    So there is also his work on Raintree County and The Hallelujah Trail that is not available to us on Blu-ray, we are missing out on some of his best looking work.

    Leon Shamroy shot these TODD-AO films– SOUTH PACIFIC — CLEOPATRA —- AGONY AND ECSTASY— PORGY AND BESS.

  28. trajan007

    Leon Shamroy shot these TODD-AO films– SOUTH PACIFIC — CLEOPATRA —- AGONY AND ECSTASY— PORGY AND BESS.

    Shamroy, yes. But, Robert Surtees shot the first 70mm with "Oklahoma!". And he shot the first Ultra-Panavision. But, most of all, Surtees was twice nominated in 1967 for "The Graduate" and yes, you guessed it right…"Doctor Dolittle".

  29. QUOTE="PMF, post: 4556288, member: 400627"]Shamroy, yes. But, Robert Surtees shot the first 70mm with "Oklahoma!". And he shot the first Ultra-Panavision. But, most of all, Surtees was twice nominated in 1967 for "The Graduate" and "Doctor Dolittle".
    Shamroy was nominated in 1963 for both CLEOPATRA and THE CARDINAL

  30. The Cardinal is an excellent film that needs to be on Blu-ray. Simply beautiful photography capturing excellent acting, and a lot of the story is still timely today.

    PMF

    When it comes to 70mm excellence, Warner should take their cues as established by Fox, FotoKem and Twilight Time.

    Let's hope their new boss learns a few things from them as well.

  31. MatthewA

    You think that's odd? In Rosemary's Baby, there's a glimpse of the Radio City Music Hall marquee as well. The film playing there during shooting was The Happiest Millionaire. With movies shot in New York City, it's easy to tell when they were shot, especially films that have Broadway marquees or ads in them.

    During the opening credits for the HBO series The Deuce set in the 1970's, they show movie theatre marquees with x-rated titles. But they also show "This is Cinerama" playing at the Warner Theatre from the 1950's.

    [​IMG]

  32. RolandL

    During the opening credits for the HBO series The Deuce set in the 1970's, they show movie theatre marquees with x-rated titles. But they also show "This is Cinerama" playing at the Warner Theatre from the 1950's.

    [​IMG]

    I believe that "This is Cinerama" was re-released in the 1970's. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  33. RolandL

    Yes, This is Cinerama was re-released in the 1970's but by then, the Warner Theatre had been triplexed and looked like the following:

    [​IMG]

    Not that you're saying differently but for those interested in history, that photo is most likely from May 1980.

  34. PMF

    I believe that "This is Cinerama" was re-released in the 1970's. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    You are right but only in 70mm using a 65mm negative made from a "presentation" of the film in the 1970's. This is well documented. I don't think it played for a long time or in many places, I did see it myself at the Stanley Warner in Hollywood in 1973.

    The 3-panel version of TIC had some showings in the early 60's. Dye-transfer prints were actually struck. This was a part of the winding-down of the 3-panel process that appeared after HTWWW and before Mad World.

    The sign in the photo also says "3rd Year", which could only have been during the first release beginning 1952. The other playdates hardly ran as long as 3 years. TIC actually opened at the Broadway Theater on 9/30/1952 (one of the most important dates in motion picture exhibition history), which had been converted to Cinerama, but TIC moved to the Warner Theater in 1953 so that the Broadway could continue with legit productions. TIC had not been expected to run that long, but it broke many records.

    The Warner Theater was known as the Warner Cinerama Theater for some years and was converted to 70mm Cinerama beginning with "Mad World". The Broadway still exists but the Warner is long gone. All 3-panel theatres disappeared during the 60s, only reappearing recently as archival showplaces.

    The only time that makes sense for this photo is 1955.

  35. I ordered this because everyone said it looked and sounded so great. I got as far as the circus and turned it off. I can't seem to bring myself to finishing the movie. I had the same problem with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When they went to the Bavarian castle, I was ready for The End to come on the screen.

  36. bigshot

    I ordered this because everyone said it looked and sounded so great. I got as far as the circus and turned it off. I can't seem to bring myself to finishing the movie. I had the same problem with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When they went to the Bavarian castle, I was ready for The End to come on the screen.

    I recorded it from TCMHD last night. When we finished watching one of our recorded TV shows, Doctor Dolittle was at the Circus scenes. Seemed OK, we will watch it later. I also have the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Blu-ray but have not watched it.

  37. I recorded it too, but it It looked rather weak. No Todd-Ao credit in the titles so I guess this is the old dvd transfer. What really gave me pause—as the overture was playing TCM showed card which read "Entre'Act". Someone was asleep at the wheel.

  38. bigshot

    I ordered this because everyone said it looked and sounded so great. I got as far as the circus and turned it off. I can't seem to bring myself to finishing the movie. I had the same problem with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When they went to the Bavarian castle, I was ready for The End to come on the screen.

    I have the opposite problem with Chitty.
    Barely keep awake during the first half, but like the second with a mad Robert Helpmann running around trying to murder the children.Unfortunately, he never succeeds!

  39. john a hunter

    I have the opposite problem with Chitty.
    Barely keep awake during the first half, but like the second with a mad Robert Helpmann running around trying to murder the children.Unfortunately, he never succeeds!

    Ah yes, the actual Roald Dahl written part

  40. rsmithjr

    You are right but only in 70mm using a 65mm negative made from a "presentation" of the film in the 1970's. This is well documented. I don't think it played for a long time or in many places, I did see it myself at the Stanley Warner in Hollywood in 1973.
    .

    For the 70mm This Is Cinerama, deeply curved screens were installed in many theatres that had never shown a Cinerama title. Listed below are some of the theatres that it played at:

    Beverly Hills Fox Wilshire
    Birmingham Eastwood
    Boston Beacon Hill
    Des Moines River Hills
    Detroit Northland
    Eugene Oakway Cinema
    Hartford Cinerama
    Honolulu Cinerama
    Houston Windsor
    Indianapolis Eastwood Theatre
    Kansas City Empire
    Las Vegas Cinerama
    Los Angeles Cinerama Dome
    Milwaukee Southgate
    Minneapolis Cooper Cinerama
    Montclair Bellevue
    New York Ziegfeld
    New Orleans Martin Cinerama
    Omaha Indian Hills
    Phoenix Cine Capri
    Portland Hollywood
    Rochester Panorama
    Salt Lake City Villa
    San Diego Cinerama
    Santa Clara Cinema 150
    Seattle Martin Cinerama
    St. Louis Trans-Lux
    Tampa Palace
    Toledo Cinema 1
    Upper Montclair Bellevue
    Wichita Uptown

  41. A common grammatical error to describe Samantha Eggar’s gowns as each more gorgeous than the next. Think about it. Her first gown is better than the next gown and so forth. That means her last gown would be the worst in the film. The phrase should be ‘more gorgeous than the former’ or ‘previous’. This would show a progression rather than a regression. Everybody does it.

  42. TravisR

    Not that you're saying differently but for those interested in history, that photo is most likely from May 1980.

    RolandL

    Yes, This is Cinerama was re-released in the 1970's but by then, the Warner Theatre had been triplexed and looked like the following:

    [​IMG]

    RolandL

    From 1968:

    [​IMG]

    More pictures of the NY Warner theatre can be found here

    This was the beginning of the end for this fine 70mm house. First visited the Warner to see
    Preminger' long and talky EXODUS. Great projection and sound system. Was amazed upon viewing the huge seamless screen for Mad World. Home of many Roadshow films. What great presentations.

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