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Doctor Dolittle

Does little. As a matter of fact, this one almost bankrupted its studio. Doctor Dolittle (Rex Harrison) is considered a nut by his neighbors. After this nuttiness leads to his arrest, Dolittle decides to avoid people and devote his life to animals since, as one who can speak all the animal tongues (he was taught 498 different languages by his parrot, Polynesia), he serves as a unique link between human and beast. With Anthony Newley, the most irritating man in show business, and the vapid Samantha Eggar at his side, the doctor sails off to find the elusive Great Pink Sea Snail and the Giant Lunar Moth in the South Seas, but no box office. Problems on the set were many, especially with the use of so many live animals--more than 1,500. Alan Jay Lerner, originally set to write the book and lyrics, attempted to write for over a year but finally gave up, whereupon Harrison wanted to leave as well. Harrison hadn't wanted to star in a children's film in the first place, and only the involvement of prestigious author-lyricist Lerner attracted him to the project. The songs by Lerner's replacement, Leslie Bricusse, pleased Harrison, so he stayed with the production. Will put the kids to sleep, but may kill you.