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I adored the "Doctor Doolittle" books as a child even though I knew they were outrageously anachronistic by the 1960s when I was reading them, racist and imperialist in equal manner. However, the twin ideas of starting an adventure by just putting one's finger on a spinning globe, and also being able to talk to the animals a la Richard Burton the explorer and his 78 languages throughout the Middle East and Africa -- well, how can you argue with that wonderment?

Which is why I never bothered to see any of the films because the translation, by all accounts, was simply wrong.

Rachel Roberts ended up being a fabulous old drunken hag in Lindsay Anderson's repertory group in his sixties and seventies art films. She's probably going to age better than Harrison in memory.


SFMike, I didn't mention it but should have--Roberts was a wonderful actress. Loved her in Foul Play and she gave a magnificent performance in Picnic at Hanging Rock as well as This Sporting Life and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. I have no idea what her demons were, perhaps she didn't either, but she had great talent.

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