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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cine Beaverhausen: Tony Randall & Barbara Eden in The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao & The Brass Bottle

Snowbound isn't so bad when you've got food and some great videos on hand.

I settled in with two of my fave films from my childhood. Both star Tony Randall and Barbara Eden and both are family-friendly.

The Brass Bottle is about a genie. Ms Eden is not the genie in this film made ahead of her I Dream of Jeannie tv show. That role is assayed by Burl Ives. This 1964 film also features the late, great character actor Harry Andrews.

Randall and Eden have very good chemistry to help boost this fantasy/ rom-com. It should keep kids entertained even today. On Universal's Vault Series video.

But George Pal's 7 Faces of Dr Lao is really a gem and an all-time favorite. Many years later, as an adult, I read the book it's based on: Charles Finney's Circus of Dr Lao. Although I do not consider Randall's performance as an Asian man offensive, I'd be hard-pressed to say it's politically correct by today's standards.

Ms Eden plays a young, repressed librarian in a small mid-western town. She is brunette! But, at the fantastical circus, the Greek god pan frees her from her inhibitions with a magical flute.

The film is full of great character actors, especially the hunky John Ericson (Honey West), Noah Berry Jr., Arthur O'Connell and Minerva Urecal (tv's Tugboat Annie). Great special f/x by Jim Danforth! On video from Warner Bos.' Archive Collection. Also from 1964.

A must-see for adults and children alike. Would make a great tv series with a great dramatic or comedic episode each week. Is George Takei interested?

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