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According to the 1974 biography "Barbra Streisand: The First Decade", this was originally envisioned as a three-hour "road show" extravaganza, and included many sequences of Daisy's other lives (photos of which were printed in some pre-release promotions), but director Vincente Minnelli and the studio felt it would be too long, especially since musicals had already begun to fail at the box office. In addition to all but the briefest of Jack Nicholson's scenes being cut, a musical number sung by him and Streisand, "Who Is There Among Us Who Knows?," was also cut, as well as "Wait Till We're Sixty-Five," a duet between Larry Blyden and Barbra Streisand. Producer Howard W. Koch conducted a search for the deleted footage in 1994, particularly Nicholson's song, which he wanted to showcase during the AFI tribute to the actor. Nothing turned up at Paramount. Koch asked Streisand and Minnelli's widow if they had remnants of the cut footage, but neither did. Koch determined that if the film still exists, it's probably in a mislabelled canister.
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Paramount offered Yves Montand $200,000 for the role of Dr. Marc Chabot. Uneasy about playing another French lover role, Montand made a counteroffer of $400,000, "just to see what they say". To his surprise, Paramount accepted.
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Richard Harris was briefly considered to play Marc Chabot.
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The original Broadway production of "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" opened at the Mark Hellinger Theater on October 17, 1965, ran for two hundred eighty performances and received Tony Award nominations for Best Score, Best Actor (John Cullum) and Best Actress (Barbara Harris).
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According to Yves Montand's biography, "You See, I Haven't Forgotten," some of his musical numbers were cut from the film, specifically his portion of "He Wasn't You," which was originally shot and recorded as a duet with Barbra Streisand. In the stage production, this song is sung by neither of those characters, but instead in a flashback by Melinda's husband-to-be.
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The film's soundtrack album was the poorest-selling of Barbra Streisand's career.
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Average Shot Length (ASL) = 7.7 seconds (fast for a Vincente Minnelli film)
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Owing to its highly original storyline, this is one of very few Hollywood musicals wherein the two main characters do not kiss each other.
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One of the few films with a one hundred percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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Vincente Minnelli's preferred version of the film ran for two hours and twenty-three minutes.
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John Cullum was nominated for the 1966 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Musical for "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" as Dr. Mark Bruckner. He had succeeded Louis Jourdan, who left the production during pre-Broadway development.
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According to Marc Elliot's "Nicholson: A Biography", Jack Nicholson only accepted the role because of the money and his desire to act in something more mainstream than the films he was doing (at the time, Easy Rider (1969) was in the editing process). The role he plays, Tad, does not appear in the original play. Studio head Robert Evans had insisted upon adding a counter-culture character to the film version, and his only choice for the role was Nicholson. The actor accepted the role but didn't enjoy the experience.
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The opening flower sequence includes tulips (red and creme), geraniums (red), hyacinths (pink), irises (purple), roses (red), and daffodils (yellow).
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The only film Vincente Minnelli ever made for Paramount, although he had had a contract with that studio when he first arrived in Hollywood some thirty years earlier (they dropped his option). It was one of five hugely expensive films made by the studio in 1969-70, the others being "Paint Your Wagon", "Catch-22", "Darling Lili" and "The Molly Maguires". Something like $80,000,000 was invested in these five films; all of them lost money.
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Mabel Albertson (Mrs. Hatch) and Barbra Streisand would appear together again only two years later in What's Up, Doc?, directed by Peter Bogdanovich in 1972.
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In the French language audio version done in Paris, Yves Montand does not dub himself. Michel Gatineau dubs M. Montand's character, even though Montand's native language is French.
Although Paramount decided not to release the film as a road show engagement, the souvenir programs had already been printed, but they weren't released widely to cinemas and are thus difficult to come by today.
While director Vincente Minnelli admirably opened up the stage play's environs for film, particularly in his colossal reimagining of "Come Back to Me," he came under critical attack for confining Streisand's cathartic solo "What Did I Have That I Don't Have?" to the cramped quarters of Marc's office.
Vincente Minnelli's bravura, utterly cinematic staging of "Come Back to Me" was a high point of the film, bringing the plot full circle in a way that could never have been achieved on stage. However, the surreal nature of the sequence became a post-production nightmare; it was editor David Bretherton's gargantuan task to align the lip movements of multiple actors and actresses, each of them lip-synching to Yves Montand's prerecorded voice on the soundtrack. All of the footage had been captured on location, in mid-shot or close-up, and some of the actors were less than expert in their lip-synching -- including a four-year-old child, a miniature poodle, and a newscaster singing from inside a TV! Bretherton craftily cut to Barbra Streisand's overwhelmed facial reactions at just the right moment to cover portions he could not adequately line up.
For reasons he never explained, Alan Jay Lerner conceived the character of the psychiatrist as a Frenchman. Louis Jourdan, for whom Lerner had written Gigi (1958), was his first choice for the role on Broadway, but Jourdan was let go during the show's out-of-town tryout, replaced by John Cullum. Four years later, when Lerner started work on the screenplay, he returned to the idea of Marc being a Frenchman, this time casting Yves Montand. Ironically, most film historians and critics labeled Montand as miscast (even the liner notes for the soundtrack album remarked that "at first glance, Yves Montand might strike you as too sexy to play a psychiatrist"), but this had in fact always been Lerner's vision for the character.
In the orphanage sequence, director Vincente Minnelli achieved the effect of Streisand looking like a child by casting all of the adults with actors and actresses over six feet in height.
One song from the Broadway show was discarded, "When I'm Being Born Again". This was from a scene where the benefactor who validates Marc's research into the paranormal (who is only spoken of in the movie) sings about inheriting his money from this life in his NEXT life. "Wait Till We're Sixty-Five" was shot and recorded, but deleted in order to tighten the movie, once the decision was made not to present the film as a road show engagement. Three songs were utilized by Nelson Riddle as background scoring: "Tosy and Cosh" (during the initial Melinda flashback), "On the S.S. Bernard Cohn" (during Marc's and Daisy's date) and "Don't Tamper With My Sister" (during Robert's and Melinda's casino scene). Meantime, Lerner and Lane composed three songs expressly for the film version, "Love With All the Trimmings," "Go to Sleep" and "Who Is There Among Us Who Knows?," the last of which was also deleted to tighten the running time.
In translating his stage play to film, Alan Jay Lerner deleted the role of Sir Hubert Insdale, and with it the song Insdale sang, "Don't Tamper With My Sister." However, Lerner cast the actor who played the role on stage, Byron Webster, in the film as the prosecuting attorney in the regression sequence.
Alan Jay Lerner worked simultaneously on the scripts for this film and Paint Your Wagon (1969), and in both cases he radically shifted the storyline, cast of characters and song structure of the original stage plays. In the case of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970), the character of Tad (Jack Nicholson) was invented from scratch, while the character of Edward Moncrief was rechristened Robert Tentrees. The song he sang on stage, "She Wasn't You," was substantially rewritten as a duet for Daisy and Marc, ultimately shorn further to a solo for Daisy. In the film version, the character of Robert (John Richardson) emerged as a non-singing role.
Originally planned as the latest in a long line of late-1960s road show movie musicals, Paramount decided at the eleventh hour to dispense with the conceit -- as nearly all since The Sound of Music (1965) had failed -- and release the film minus overture, intermission and exit music. As such, the studio was faced with substantially reducing the running time, which resulted in the loss of fourteen minutes of film. The excised footage consisted of two musical numbers, "Wait Till We're Sixty-Five" and "Who Is There Among Us Who Knows?"; the duet portion of "He Isn't You"; a flash-forward fantasy sequence that catapulted Daisy into the future; and a good deal of Jack Nicholson's scene work.
Despite all the tinkering Alan Jay Lerner did in translating his stage play to film, all of Marc's songs remained intact: "Melinda," "Come Back to Me" and the title song.
At the end of the movie, Daisy says that she and Dr. Chabot are married, living in Virginia, in 2038. Assuming that both of them were at least twenty-five when married in 2038, then they would have to have been born in 2013. Daisy also states that she's twenty-two at the time of the movie, so, presumably born in 1945. Therefore, Daisy would have had to have died by 2012, at just 64 years old.
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