American astronaut Tony Nelson splashes down near a deserted island and finds a bottle that contains a beautiful genie named Jeannie. After helping him get rescued he sets her free, but she...
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American astronaut Tony Nelson splashes down near a deserted island and finds a bottle that contains a beautiful genie named Jeannie. After helping him get rescued he sets her free, but she prefers to come home with him. Besides she is very much in love with her handsome master and she will grant his every wish or desire no matter how much trouble he gets in.Written by
Although it looks like a beautiful sunny day, it was actually a cold December day on Zuma beach, Southern California, where the desert island scenes were filmed. Indeed, Barbara Eden has been quoted as saying that it was a good thing it was filmed in black and white as her lips were blue. See more »
General Stone and Melissa find Tony in an Arabian costume when they visit him at night. As they enter his house, Jeannie blinks his clothes back to normal, but the others don't seem to notice that his entire outfit changed in an instant while their backs were turned. They make no mention of it. See more »
Jeannie, that's marvelous. I don't know how to thank you.
[putting her arms around his neck]
I will teach thee, Master.
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Although called Anthony Nelson in the episode and in the newspaper headlines in the episode, Larry Hagman's character is identified as Anthony Wilson in the closing credits. See more »
Also shown in computer colorized version for syndication and DVD release. See more »
"The Lady in the Bottle" kicked off one of television's most beloved comedy series, supposedly inspired by the previous season's debut of ABC's BEWITCHED, but infinitely more popular due to the underlying sexual tension involved when a virile single astronaut is (not necessarily) burdened by a beautiful blonde genie (a female reversal of "The Brass Bottle," Burl Ives a decidedly nonsexual genie). Far more risqué for its time, it didn't last as long but also had fewer duds and more likable characters than the domestic idea of a spouse with magical powers. NBC was reluctant to budget the new show for color, telling creator/producer/writer Sidney Sheldon to save his money rather than pay the extra. With a pregnant Barbara Eden on board, Sheldon was able to crank out 11 scripts to film in record time, allowing for the birth of her only child with husband Michael Ansara in late August, three weeks before the series even debuted on Sept 18 1965. Her chosen co-star to play master Tony Nelson was the often difficult Larry Hagman, whose heretofore mostly untapped abilities at physical comedy made all the hardships worthwhile, with Hayden Rorke, cast as NASA colonel and psychiatrist Alfred Bellows, the voice of reason to calm things down. Rounding out the regular cast was Bill Daily as fellow astronaut Roger Healey, girl crazy and usually devising get rich quick schemes that go awry. Captain Anthony Nelson is an up and coming astronaut just splashed down from an aborted orbital mission, alive and well on a deserted island waiting for help. Finding an antique bottle on the beach, he pops the cork and finds something better than champagne, a gorgeous blonde genie known only as Jeannie, who experiences love at first sight with her new master, 2000 years a long wait inside a cramped bottle. The sexual tension is far more palpable in the opener, as Tony has a brunette fiancée and demanding general for a prospective father-in-law (this complication would quickly be eliminated, as both would only appear in one further episode). Set free by Captain Nelson, Jeannie refuses to leave, sneaking into his belongings all the way back to his Cocoa Beach home, not far from his NASA headquarters. Her first scene in the Nelson house is a stunner, walking out of the shower clad only in one of his shirts, a jaw dropping sight we'd never see again. With so much irresistible pulchritude on display, Sheldon doesn't shirk on the comedy, as Nelson's first confession to Dr. Bellows would set the pattern for many more over the years. The funniest moment comes when Jeannie has been corked into her bottle and dumped into the trash, the good doctor offering sage advice to the seemingly unhinged astronaut: "come along with us Captain, we'll buy you all the garbage you want!"
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