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Clifton Webb as Lynn Belvedere


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*You can put him into any situation with any assortment of odd characters, and he stands out spectacularly. There were hundreds of other situations they could have thrown him into, and when you think about it, the Belvedere franchise could've gone on as long as Blondie if Fox had chosen to do so.*

 

Don't think 20th didn't try. All sorts of scenarios were apparently worked out for more installments, but after the relatively poor reception of RINGS THE BELL, both commercially and critically, they didn't really try as hard. One other entry was announced in 1952, but not done. 1953's MR. SCOUTMASTER feels like it had started life as a Mr. Belvedere film, once more putting him with children, then revamped as another character and given a wife, among other things.

 

*I wish they would've made a fourth one, where he goes back to Hummingbird Hill and interacts with the original family again, with the kids now older with newer problems.*

 

There had been plans to film a new Belvedere entry where he's again with Maureen O'Hara and Robert Young's characters (at least) in 1955, but this didn't happen either. It would have been interesting, if only because would've used Cinemascope and Techni-(Deluxe-?)Color.

 

What probably happened, other than the continuing fear of the law of diminishing returns, was that Webb was successful in so much more, as mentioned by others here, although always as a variation of the same type of superior being.

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*How can anyone in their right mind believe that Mr Belvedere is 46 years old in Mr Belvedere Rings the Bell? At the time Clifton Webb was about 62 years of age. I guess in Hollywood anything is believable. Great movie though, I really enjoyed it. I am 60 years old and I am rapidly approaching elderly status. The older actors really made the movie work. I especially enjoyed the elderly identical twin brothers.*

 

Speaking of ageism, Clifton Webb was originally scheduled to do AS YOUNG AS YOU FEEL, also 1951. Monty Wooley (another basically character actor that had a -very fleeting- stab at stardom in the early 40s) did so instead. If Webb had done it, he would have been costarred with Thelma Ritter (among others). The following year, 20th again almost costarred them, in a remake of THE LATE CHRISTOPHER BEAN (Ritter would do this a few years later as a TV movie at 20th). Of course, they were both featured in TITANIC.

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About the age of Clifton Webb's character in MR. BELVEDERE RINGS THE BELL...

 

I thought he told them he was in his 70s. I went and found some trivia about the stage play, on which this film is based (the Broadway version starred Jose Ferrer). This is what it said:

 

Mr. Belvedere Rings The Bell is an adaption of a recent Broadway play, The Silver Whistle which Jose Ferrer starred in on Broadway for 219 performances during the 1948-49 season. Ferrer finds a birth certificate of a man who would have been 77 years old and through this gains entrance to a senior citizen home run by a church. He brings quite a bit of change to their lives while there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

An entertaining sidebar about Clifton Webb. MGM asked Fox if they would loan him out to play the part of the producer in The Band Wagon (1953). Fox agreed, but Webb, now a leading man, did not want to play second fiddle to Astaire, so he recommended his good friend, British actor Jack Buchanan, who was supurb. This goes back to Webb's roots as a dancer on Broadway, and he would have been just as great.

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> {quote:title=MyFavoriteFilms wrote:}{quote}

> About the age of Clifton Webb's character in MR. BELVEDERE RINGS THE BELL...

>

> I thought he told them he was in his 70s. I went and found some trivia about the stage play, on which this film is based (the Broadway version starred Jose Ferrer). This is what it said:

>

> Mr. Belvedere Rings The Bell is an adaption of a recent Broadway play, The Silver Whistle which Jose Ferrer starred in on Broadway for 219 performances during the 1948-49 season. Ferrer finds a birth certificate of a man who would have been 77 years old and through this gains entrance to a senior citizen home run by a church. He brings quite a bit of change to their lives while there.

 

Mr Belvedere is supposed to be only 46, according to his agent, Zero Mostel(I think he was the one who said it) I laughed at that thought too!

 

Even though older actors were at least allowed big parts in films in the 30's and 40's, ever notice that if their age is mentioned, it's usually 5-10 years less than their real age???

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