6.2/10
8,075
52 user 24 critic

Doctor Dolittle (1967)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Family | 19 December 1967 (USA)
Trailer
1:38 | Trailer
After the animal communicating veterinarian goes too far for his clientele, he and his friends escape their hometown to the sea in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail.

Director:

Richard Fleischer

Writers:

Hugh Lofting (novels), Leslie Bricusse (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
1,118 ( 1,277)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A doctor discovers that he can communicate with animals.

Director: Betty Thomas
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Peter Boyle, Ossie Davis
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Dolittle must save a forest and a bear's life.

Director: Steve Carr
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Cedric the Entertainer, Kristen Wilson
Biography | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Danny Kaye, Farley Granger, Zizi Jeanmaire
Dolittle (2020)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A physician who can talk to animals embarks on an adventure to find a legendary island with a young apprentice and a crew of strange pets.

Director: Stephen Gaghan
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen
My Fair Lady (1964)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Snobbish phonetics Professor Henry Higgins agrees to a wager that he can make flower girl Eliza Doolittle presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries
Comedy | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After Southern belle Elizabeth Lloyd runs off to marry Yankee Jack Sherman, her father, a former Confederate colonel during the Civil War, vows to never speak to her again. Several years ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler
Stars: Shirley Temple, Lionel Barrymore, Evelyn Venable
Dr. Dolittle 3 (Video 2006)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

Lisa Dolittle sends her daughter to 'Durango', a Dude Ranch, to find herself. While there, she uses her talent to talk to the animals in order to save Durango from being taken over by a neighboring Ranch.

Director: Rich Thorne
Stars: Kristen Wilson, Tara Wilson, Kyla Pratt
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

"Cheaper By the Dozen", based on the real-life story of the Gilbreth family, follows them from Providence, Rhode Island to Montclair, New Jersey, and details the amusing anecdotes found in ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Clifton Webb, Myrna Loy, Jeanne Crain
Oliver! (1968)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis
Adventure | Family | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Johnny Tremain is drawn into the Revolutionary War, and becomes a patriot fighting to free the colonies from England. Along the way he learns about life and about himself.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Hal Stalmaster, Luana Patten, Jeff York
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Hoping to push Britain to the forefront of aviation, a London publisher organizes an international air race across the English Channel, but must contend with two entrants vying for his daughter, as well as national rivalries and cheating.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, James Fox
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rex Harrison ... Dr. John Dolittle
Samantha Eggar ... Emma Fairfax
Anthony Newley ... Matthew Mugg
Richard Attenborough ... Albert Blossom
Peter Bull ... Gen. Bellowes
Muriel Landers ... Mrs. Blossom
William Dix ... Tommy Stubbins
Geoffrey Holder ... William Shakespeare X
Portia Nelson ... Sarah Dolittle
Norma Varden ... Lady Fetherington
Edit

Storyline

Dr. John Dolittle lives in a small English village where he specializes in caring for and verbally communicating with animals. When Dr. Dolittle is unjustly sent to an insane asylum for freeing a lovesick seal from captivity, his animals and two closest human friends, Matthew Mugg and Tommy Stubbins, liberate him. Afterward, they join Emma Fairfax and set out by boat to find a famed and elusive creature: the Great Pink Sea Snail. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Learn to talk in 500 animal languages from a parrot who speaks 1000! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doctor Dolittle See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Geoffrey Holder (William Shakespeare X) received racist abuse from Rex Harrison's entourage. See more »

Goofs

When considering ways to change the course of the island, Dr. Dolittle says elephants cannot swim. Elephants are excellent swimmers, which he should know. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Matthew: Will you stop your daydreaming, Tommy Stubbins.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the general release version of the film, the songs "Where Are The Words", sung by Anthony Newley, and "Something in Your Smile", sung by Rex Harrison, were omitted. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: The Bracebridge Dinner (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Talk To The Animals
Written by Leslie Bricusse
Performed by Rex Harrison
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Oft-maligned film actually offers many delights
1 September 1999 | by philosophymomSee all my reviews

I know it goes against the general tide to praise this film (the only other place I've ever read a really positive review of it being the back of its own video cover), but I'm going to do it--and I'll even attach my name! For, in my opinion, this musical adaptation by Leslie Bricusse of Hugh Lofting's delightful "Doctor Dolittle" series succeeds in a great many respects. I was enchanted as a child when I saw it in the cinema, and I still enjoy watching it on video with my own children.

The admittedly meandering plot combines elements from various of the Dolittle books, but it essentially concerns the Victorian veterinarian's quest for the Great Pink Sea Snail, an animal whose language he hopes to add to the thousands he has already learned. Thus the first part of the movie takes Dolittle and his friends through several adventures on their way to earning the money to make the journey, while the second finds the entourage actually setting sail (on the aptly-named "Flounder") for Sea Star Island and their goal. And, even if the musical *is* so front-end-loaded with big numbers that the second half seems anticlimactic, and even if the resolution of the plot's final conflict *is* jarringly abrupt, and even if the film's direction *is* a tad slow, it is *also* the case that I find more than enough pleasures along the way to compensate for these shortcomings.

One is Bricusse's marvelous score. Besides the Academy Award-winning "Talk to the Animals," he includes two other showcase pieces for star Rex Harrison's trademark "powerful patter" delivery, the humorous "Vegetarian" and the impassioned "Like Animals." Other up-tempo winners are "I've Never Seen Anything Like It" (brilliantly put across by Richard Attenborough--the twinkle never leaves his eye!--in what amounts to an extended cameo as wily circus-master Albert Blossom) and "Faraway Places," while tender ballads "When I look in Your Eyes" and "Beautiful Things" are very affecting. And if "After Today" seems to have been pulled from the trunk of another show by mistake, the other Anthony Newly numbers--including "My Friend the Doctor" and "This is the World of Doctor Dolittle" (as well as the lovely "Where are the Words," which is on my soundtrack album but not in the video)--are spot on.

Another pleasure is the cast. As the Doctor, Harrison is wonderful, of course. The film was originally conceived as a reunion project for him and composing team Lerner & Lowe, who'd written "My Fair Lady," and it's clear that the part was written for the star. But I'm impressed that eventual Lerner & Lowe stand-in Bricusse, though he was obviously influenced by "My Fair Lady," resisted what had to be the temptation to turn the main character into Henry Higgins--and that Harrison also didn't see the gig as a mere Higgins reprise. The charming Doctor--kind to animals, children, and people from all walks of life; educated and capable but somehow sweetly clueless at the same time; gentle but rousable to anger on behalf of his charges--is a different character, and Harrison gets him right.

As for the other leads, Anthony Newly, for once, is perfect as the elfin Matthew Mugg, while child actor and "whatever-happened-to" candidate William Dix is a fine if underused Tommy Stubbins. Even Samantha Eggar, in the mis-conceived role of a tentative love-interest for Dolittle, does well with the part she's been given. And strong support is provided by the aforementioned Attenborough, Peter Bull as the beefy English squire who is the closest thing to a villain in this piece, and Geoffrey Holder as Willie Shakespeare, head of a quirkily-PC group of island natives encountered during the voyage.

Finally, there's the appearance of the film: it's beautiful. If you find you can't enjoy a musical unless it's shot on a soundstage, the wide-open spaces won't work for you, but I loved all the wonderful locations.

This is a big movie, long and theatrically-structured (Overture, Act I, Entr'acte, Act II, and even Exit Music!). They don't make them like this anymore--which sounds like a straight line, but I mean it in a regretful way. :-) I recommend "Doctor Dolittle" heartily, and I think the family will enjoy it even more if, before you watch it, you read a couple of the original Dolittle books together first!

[P.S.-- don't be put off this film if you didn't happen to like the similarly-titled 1998 Eddie Murphy vehicle which billed itself as a remake. They're completely different!]


59 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 52 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed