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RipMurdock

7 Faces of Dr. Lao

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The wife woke me up to watch this saying I was watching too many action films with Stephen Seagal. I was tired but perked up when I saw Barbara Eden was in it. It was actually one of the best films I've seen in a long time. A great George Pal fantasy put on film with wonderful special effects and we particularly liked the Medusa section. Good to see the multi-versatile Arthur O'Connell playing a nasty sort too. Tony Randall was amazing and the make-up effects by Tuttle definitely deserved the Academy Award.

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The wife woke me up to watch this saying I was watching too many action films with Stephen Seagal. I was tired but perked up when I saw Barbara Eden was in it. It was actually one of the best films I've seen in a long time. A great George Pal fantasy put on film with wonderful special effects and we particularly liked the Medusa section. Good to see the multi-versatile Arthur O'Connell playing a nasty sort too. Tony Randall was amazing and the make-up effects by Tuttle definitely deserved the Academy Award.

 

I wasn't planning on watching the film, but once I started I stayed with it and I'm glad I did.   

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I ran into this film on a Sunday in 1972 in Gainesville when things were not going well for me.  I almost didn't watch but with nothing else catching my attention I stuck with it.  

 

My situation had my feelings all damned up but by the time the movie ended I was laughing and crying at the same time and for a while after.  Why it drew this out of me I don't know but I never forgot it.  I taped the movie and am watching it later wondering how I'll react this time.

 

Perhaps Peter Sellers would have made a good "Dr. Lao" but I can't see anybody else but Tony Randall in the role.  This is after I almost dismissed the movie because I couldn't imagine him being believable as an Asian-times-7.  This is what I first though of when I heard he'd died.  Thank you, Sir, for proving me wrong and providing me, and hopefully many others, with wonderful entertainment.

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I ran into this film on a Sunday in 1972 in Gainesville when things were not going well for me.  I almost didn't watch but with nothing else catching my attention I stuck with it.  

 

My situation had my feelings all damned up but by the time the movie ended I was laughing and crying at the same time and for a while after.  Why it drew this out of me I don't know but I never forgot it.  I taped the movie and am watching it later wondering how I'll react this time.

 

Perhaps Peter Sellers would have made a good "Dr. Lao" but I can't see anybody else but Tony Randall in the role.  This is after I almost dismissed the movie because I couldn't imagine him being believable as an Asian-times-7.  This is what I first though of when I heard he'd died.  Thank you, Sir, for proving me wrong and providing me, and hopefully many others, with wonderful entertainment.

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Perhaps Peter Sellers would have made a good "Dr. Lao" but I can't see anybody else but Tony Randall in the role.  This is after I almost dismissed the movie because I couldn't imagine him being believable as an Asian-times-7.  This is what I first though of when I heard he'd died.  Thank you, Sir, for proving me wrong and providing me, and hopefully many others, with wonderful entertainment.

 

You couldn't put Peter Sellers in a kids' movie and expect he'd play along.  You'd be doomed to even try.

 

Never caught it on TV as a kid, but my dad kept telling me about the Loch Ness Monster scene--When I finally managed to catch a local-station showing, my reaction was that if that this had been a Charles Schneer/Ray Harryhausen movie, it would have been magic, but as a George Pal movie, thought it was a bit......weird.   :wacko:

The Puppetoons just didn't have what Dynamation had, and the snake that talks to the town's corrupt mayor comes off more just plain freaky than whimsical.  And Tony Randall as Medusa, 'nuff said.

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Saw it when it came out.  Kind of appealed to my 13 year old tastes, but still like it after all these years.  And my particular "circle" loved it as a late night feature while sampling exotic South American smoking preparations.  ;)

 

Too late for me when TCM had it on, but luckily I have it on DVD and can view it when I wish.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Here is an interesting movie clip for fans of the film.

It is the Pan (John Ericson) dance scene. The rehearsal track for the scene is played, followed by the scene as shown in the film.

 

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Remember, Randall is Pan until Eden is more deeply under the spell of Pan's flute and after a few quick spin arounds, then changes to Ericson, then back to Randall when other circus patrons start coming into the exhibit.

 

Oddly, WIKI lists MINERVA URECAL as Kate Lindquist, who gets turned to stone by the Medusa.  But further down the list credits MARJORIE MAIN as the "Medusa victim".  ????

 

Seems I'n not the ONLY one who's confused those two before.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Remember, Randall is Pan until Eden is more deeply under the spell of Pan's flute and after a few quick spin arounds, then changes to Ericson, then back to Randall when other circus patrons start coming into the exhibit.

 

Oddly, WIKI lists MINERVA URECAL as Kate Lindquist, who gets turned to stone by the Medusa.  But further down the list credits MARJORIE MAIN as the "Medusa victim".  ????

 

Seems I'n not the ONLY one who's confused those two before.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Funny when I first saw the actress that was turned to stone I believed it was Main,  but after seeing her more realized it wasn't.

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I worked with Tony a couple of times and got to know him a little. Lovely man, he had recently remarried, three years after the death of his first wife, to whom he had been married for more than 50 years. He was so proud of his children -- one had recently been born. I met Heather, his second wife.

 

We were in a cab together (1999), and I told him how much I liked Dr. Lao when it came out and that it rarely shows up anywhere. He said he really enjoyed making the film. I'm sure he'd be delighted to know it's not such a rarity anymore.

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Funny when I first saw the actress that was turned to stone I believed it was Main,  but after seeing her more realized it wasn't.

S'okay.  MANY people, me included, often did and STILL confuse Minerva with Marjorie and vice-versa.

 

As a kid, I used to watch the TV show "Tugboat Annie", which starred Minerva, but I thought WAS Marjorie main as Annie.  I WAS only 6 when the show aired, and was familiar with Marjorie Main from some old movies, so that kind of mistake was excusable. 

 

In fact, could be a DANDY idea for another thread.......

 

 

Sepiatone

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I worked with Tony a couple of times and got to know him a little. Lovely man, he had recently remarried, three years after the death of his first wife, to whom he had been married for more than 50 years. He was so proud of his children -- one had recently been born. I met Heather, his second wife.

 

We were in a cab together (1999), and I told him how much I liked Dr. Lao when it came out and that it rarely shows up anywhere. He said he really enjoyed making the film. I'm sure he'd be delighted to know it's not such a rarity anymore.

Great to hear from someone who actually knew Randall. What a gifted actor in comedy and dramatic parts. I do remember him on the Tonight Show once with Alex Karras when they almost came to blows over a cigar I think it was. He is really good in this film with all the different voices and attitudes. Thanks for this personal remembrance of him.

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I ran into this film on a Sunday in 1972 in Gainesville when things were not going well for me.  I almost didn't watch but with nothing else catching my attention I stuck with it.  

 

My situation had my feelings all damned up but by the time the movie ended I was laughing and crying at the same time and for a while after.  Why it drew this out of me I don't know but I never forgot it.  I taped the movie and am watching it later wondering how I'll react this time.

 

Perhaps Peter Sellers would have made a good "Dr. Lao" but I can't see anybody else but Tony Randall in the role.  This is after I almost dismissed the movie because I couldn't imagine him being believable as an Asian-times-7.  This is what I first though of when I heard he'd died.  Thank you, Sir, for proving me wrong and providing me, and hopefully many others, with wonderful entertainment.

As my wife said, there are many more profound moments in this seemingly mere fantasy film than many others which pretend to be so high-faluting. She is a lot smarter than me as you can tell since I would have chosen an action movie over this one initially.

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Here is an interesting movie clip for fans of the film.

It is the Pan (John Ericson) dance scene. The rehearsal track for the scene is played, followed by the scene as shown in the film.

 

My wife kept saying she was finding the eroticism in this part of the film quite eye-opening. Reminded her of James Dean on the stage in his type of Pan incarnation. It seemed the satyr kept changing too from one person to another as the scene went on which was amazing.

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Remember, Randall is Pan until Eden is more deeply under the spell of Pan's flute and after a few quick spin arounds, then changes to Ericson, then back to Randall when other circus patrons start coming into the exhibit.

 

Oddly, WIKI lists MINERVA URECAL as Kate Lindquist, who gets turned to stone by the Medusa.  But further down the list credits MARJORIE MAIN as the "Medusa victim".  ????

 

Seems I'n not the ONLY one who's confused those two before.

 

 

Sepiatone

Is kind of a resemblance but Minerva is a bit more sour usually than good old Marjorie.

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