Doctor Dolittle

Romance · 
Comedy · 
Fantasy · 

Release Date: December 5, 1967

Status: Released

Running time: 2h 32m

Content Rating: G

Budget: $18,000,000

Revenue: $9,000,000

Filming Locations: California, United States of America

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20th Century Fox
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A veterinarian who can communicate with animals travels abroad to search for a giant sea snail.

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Doctor Dolittle (also known as Dr. Dolittle) is a 1967 American musical comedy film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley, and Richard Attenborough. It was adapted by Leslie Bricusse from the novel series by Hugh Lofting. The screenplay primarily fuses three of the books, The Story of Doctor Dolittle (1920), The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1922), and Doctor Dolittle's Circus (1924).

Various attempts to adapt the Doctor Dolittle series began as early as the 1920s. In the early 1960s, actress-turned-producer Helen Winston acquired the film rights in an attempt to produce a film adaptation to no success. In 1963, producer Arthur P. Jacobs subsequently acquired the rights and recruited Alan Jay Lerner to compose the songs and Rex Harrison to star in the project. After numerous delays, Lerner was fired and replaced by Leslie Bricusse. The production was continuously delayed by setbacks caused by poorly chosen shooting locations, creative demands from Harrison, and numerous technical difficulties inherent with the large number of animals required for the story. The film exceeded its original budget of $6 million threefold.

Doctor Dolittle premiered in London on December 12, 1967, where it eventually recouped $9 million during its theatrical run, earning only $6.2 million in theatrical rentals and becoming a box-office bomb. The film received negative critical reviews, but through the studio's intense lobbying, it earned nine Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, and won awards for Best Original Song and Best Visual Effects. The film eventually became a cult classic.

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