Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Bill Mullins » 02/23/10 08:02 PM

Just watched this DVD. I had never known that Milt Larsen was an adviser, but there he was, big as day, in the credits.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 02/23/10 08:40 PM

He was in the movie as well, as I recall, but his scene was cut. I don't know if it made it back into the DVD.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 02/23/10 08:42 PM

You might find this interesting then. From Genii May 1991 article "The 23rd Annual Academy of Magical Arts Award Show and Banquet reported by Tom Odgen":

Next a magical interlude by Bernard (TV's Doctor Bombay on "Bewitched") Fox presented a cod magic act while singing "With A
Flair" (words and music by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman) from "Bedknobs and Broomsticks. " In the movie the act had been performed by Milt Larsen, but it was unfortunately a victim of the cutting room floor.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/24/10 09:08 AM

A cod magic act? Is there a description of this act?

(let's leave the fishy joke(s) as read and keep moving okay)
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Postby Bill Mullins » 02/24/10 02:15 PM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:A cod magic act? Is there a description of this act?


cod, n. slang A joke; a hoax, leg-pull; a parody, a take-off. Also attrib. or quasi-adj., parodying, burlesque; mock.

When I first read Joe's post, I assumed he cut-and-pasted from a digitized version of the article, and that "cod" was an OCR typo for "cool".
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/25/10 09:20 AM

Was the footage restored last time they released the movie?

More dead fish or can we get a description of the act?
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Postby Bill Mullins » 02/25/10 02:19 PM

it had nothing to do with fish, or cod, or sea food of any sort. It was a joke magic act.

Jeez, just go rent the DVD.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/25/10 02:45 PM

Joe Pecore wrote:You might find this interesting then. From Genii May 1991 article "The 23rd Annual Academy of Magical Arts Award Show and Banquet reported by Tom Odgen":

Next a magical interlude by Bernard (TV's Doctor Bombay on "Bewitched") Fox presented a cod magic act while singing "With A
Flair" (words and music by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman) from "Bedknobs and Broomsticks. " In the movie the act had been performed by Milt Larsen, but it was unfortunately a victim of the cutting room floor.


Okay - was the footage taken off the cutting room floor when they rerelased the movie onto DVD a few years ago?
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Postby Bill Mullins » 02/25/10 08:01 PM

The "With a Flair" act was in the DVD and it wasn't performed by Larsen -- it was performed by David Tomlinson. IMDB IMPLIESthat Larsen was a spectator in Tomlinson's audience.

The DVD doesn't state if this sequence was a restoration or not (or if it does, I missed it). I don't know if it appeared in the original release.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 02/25/10 08:08 PM

Milt Larsen is the audience member whose hat becomes the victim of Tomlinson's "Magic." He's easy to spot when you know it's him.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/25/10 08:42 PM

Brad Henderson wrote:Milt Larsen is the audience member whose hat becomes the victim of Tomlinson's "Magic." He's easy to spot when you know it's him.


Cool, thanks Bill and Brad -I will go looking for that DVD now that I know the song and number are back in the film.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 02/25/10 09:23 PM

I don;t think the song and number were ever out of the film. I remember that number from when I saw it as a kid. (I am a big Disney nerd afterall.) Specifically I remember the amazing suitcase that opened out into a table. I wanted one of those badly. I remember buying Great Illusions of Magic by Wels in about 1980 and seeing the Hades table in the plans - which was close, but not the same. So I know I had seen that scene prior to 1980.)

I think the issue (and this is just based on a reading of these posts) was whether or not the number was included with Milt doing the magic or Tomlinson. (In truth, I can't see how it would make sense with Milt doing the magic - it would be unmotivated to the story.)

But Milt is in there. Always has been.
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Postby pixsmith » 02/28/10 04:25 PM

I can't claim the Disney knowledge that Brad has, but the number was in the original release, and then disappeared in some of the subsequent theatrical releases -- actually, it was just shortened substantially, though not cut. You can see Milt (I think) even without the benefit of digital pause. It's been a while. And I agree with Brad -- there wouldn't have been a story motivation for anyone other than David Tomlinson to do the number, unless he was originally filmed interrupting an act to take over "with a flair," which I guess might be possible.

And, great movie, too. Loads of fun.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/28/10 06:15 PM

At the time Bedknobs and Broomsticks was released, there were frequently two versions of a film: a "Roadshow" version and the version for general theatrical release. Roadshow versions were released to one theater per city and sold with reserved seats. The cuts of the Roadshow version of most films were longer. I think that may account for the fact that the number may have been in the Roadshow version, then cut (or edited down) for the general release version.
It's been very difficult to get full restorations of the many films from the 50s and 60s in their original Roadshow versions.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/28/10 06:38 PM

And for a definitive answer to the question:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066817/alternateversions
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/28/10 06:43 PM

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Postby Ryan Matney » 02/28/10 07:21 PM

Brad Henderson wrote:I don;t think the song and number were ever out of the film. I remember that number from when I saw it as a kid.

But Milt is in there. Always has been.



Well when I was a kid (the 80s) it was defintly NOT in the film. Not in the broadcasts on The Disney Channel or on the videotape I had that was an official release.

I never got a dvd of the movie but I'm pretty sure it was restored for the 30th anniversary release.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/28/10 08:20 PM

Please read the links I posted and you will see that the number in which Milt performed was severely cut until it was restored for laser disc and DVD.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 02/28/10 08:35 PM

Here is some of what Milt has to say about it, from Hollywood Illusion: Magic Castle.

I royally enjoyed playing a deadpan stooge as Tomlinson dumped a hatful of broken eggs on my head. ...

When the picture was released I was thrilled to see myself on a giant cinemascope theater screen. That was at the trade preview of the film. Naturally I told all my friends about my big screen debut. When the picture was released at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, it had to be drastically shortened to fit into their stage show schedule. Twenty minutes was cut from the movie including the entire With a Flair musical number. Seven weeks of work and my entire motion picture debut ended up on the cutting room floor. Thanks to good friend and Disney film editor, Cotton Warburton, there was one fleeting glimpse of me in the crowd but in reality my credits were on longer than I was!

Twenty-five years later in 1977, thanks to the efforts of Disney's Manager of Library Restoration, Scott McQueen, the film was restored and re-released as a special 25th Anniversary Special Edition.

---

I am guessing that means Milt was back in the special edition.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/28/10 09:34 PM

If you will READ the material in the links I posted, all of this is explained.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 03/01/10 09:07 AM

If the number "with a flair" is on the table of contents/index of the DVD, he's there - getting mesmerized and egged. Cute scene in the film.
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 03/01/10 12:29 PM

this review of the special edition, sugests that Its not going to contain the lost footage..

For this to be a so called Special Edition release of this great movie, unfortunatly it is not.
This edition has the movie cut down to the running time of 112mins, were as the previous edition of this movie runs for 134mins.
If anyone is thinking about buying this great movie, release try and track down the previous dvd release, as there is nothing special here, the movie is cut and there is less extras on this new dvd and more on the old previous edition,


however, IMDB Can identify which version has the extra footage, and musical numbers...
beedknobs and broomsticks info


It appears that this is the version with Flair...

flair version
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