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Roadshow!The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s$
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Matthew Kennedy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199925674

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199925674.001.0001

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The Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom

(p.37) Chapter 3 The Animal Kingdom

Matthew Kennedy

Oxford University Press

Chapter three moves to 20th Century-Fox, with chief Darryl Zanuck expressing great confidence in the roadshow format. Among his projects is a musical film version of Doctor Dolittle. Producing the film is former press agent Arthur Jacobs, with young Leslie Bricusse as composer. Rex Harrison agreed to star after substantial negotiating, and Richard Fleischer, who had no musical credits, was to direct. Sidney Poitier was also cast, but withdrew before production. Dolittle was generously budgeted, and soon became logistically challenging, with dozens of live animals to be used in the film. There were further difficulties with uncooperative weather and various illnesses among cast and crew on location in England and the Caribbean. Universal Studios meanwhile produced the light roadshow musical comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie starring Julie Andrews and Carol Channing, who was enjoying tremendous success in the stage musical Hello, Dolly! Despite bitter conflicts between director George Roy Hill and producer Ross Hunter, Thoroughly Modern Millie was a financial success. It confirmed Hollywood’s belief that roadshow musicals were in high demand by the public.

Keywords:   Doctor Dolittle, Arthur Jacobs, Rex Harrison, 20th Century-Fox, Leslie Bricusse, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Julie Andrews, George Roy Hill, Ross Hunter, Universal Studios

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