Welcome to Buckles Blog. This site is for the discussion of Circus History all over the world.
3/26/2017 05:43:00 AM
Ever since I saw Dr. Dolittle as a kid, I've wanted to ride a giraffe. Oh well. Next time.
Among the iconic promotionals for DR. DOLITTLE appeared on the September 30, 1966 cover of LIFE magazine. There is Rex Harrison atop one of our two Jungleland giraffes, both saddle-broke for the picture by Dave Hall. These guys were rather unimaginatively named Hi-Boy and Lo-Boy. Less than an adventurous soul, and entirely comfortable as the effete snob, Harrison loathed working with animals, and was appalled when asked to ride a giraffe. The harried producer, Arthur P. Jacobs, and Director Richard Fleischer begged him for weeks to mount long enough for at least the still shots. He adamantly refused to climb the ladder for Hi-Boy, and David made it easier when he substituted Lo-Boy in the stall. The chute was concealed by the studio greensmen, and the ladder only vanished for these few precious seconds. Once the cameras flashed, Harrison shrieked his demands to be rescued. That in itself was something to see. We all nearly died trying not to laugh at him. The images obtained, with Harrison's urgently forced smile, circulated widely heralding this ideal casting as the Doctor who spoke to the animals.
Oh, the reality of movie making... well, I sure would have been a far more willing participant!
Didn't Harrison also ride a black rhino at Jungeland. Would love to see a photo of that.
This poster is from the Hungarian National Circus and shows the spectacular act performed by Jozeph Ricter.
RICHARD: Yes, Sir Rex, who wasn't "Sir" yet, was hurriedly photographed aboard our black rhino, Mary Beth, also trained by David Hall, mentioned above. Thankfully, Mary Beth was a good girl, who ambled along peacefully in the same "jungle path" chute used for Harrison's abbreviated ride on the giraffe Lo-Boy. I have photos of these rides, but this new laptop doesn't allow scanning. Once that's overcome, I'll share.
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