Bon Voyage! (1962 film)
1962 Theatrical Poster
|Directed by||James Neilson|
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Written by||James A. Herne
|Based on||novel by Joseph & Merrjane Hayes|
|Music by||Paul Smith|
|Cinematography||William E. Snyder|
|Edited by||Cotton Warburton|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
|Box office||$5.5 million (rentals)|
Bon Voyage! is a 1962 Walt Disney film directed by James Neilson and released by Buena Vista Distribution Company. Following their practice of the time, it was also issued as a comic book and an adaptation appeared in the comic strip Walt Disney's Treasury of Classic Tales. It stars Fred MacMurray, Jane Wyman, Deborah Walley, Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran as the Willard family on a European holiday. The family crossed the Atlantic Ocean on SS United States which survives today, stripped and moored at Pier 82 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The film was based on a 1956 novel by Joseph and Merrijane Hayes. Joseph Hayes had written The Desperate Hours and Bon Voyage was his second book; he and his wife wrote it after taking a trip across the Atlantic.
Film rights were bought by Universal before the book had even been published for $125,000 and it was announced the film would be produced by Ross Hunter and written by the Hayes'. Esther Williams was originally announced as star. Then James Cagney was going to play the lead. Filming dates were pushed back then Bing Crosby was linked to the project.
In early 1960, it was announced Disney had optioned the novel. Disney said it was likely Ken Annakin would direct with Karl Malden, James MacArthur and Janet Munro to star. Later Robert Stevenson was announced as director.
"It's far out for us," said Disney, "but still Disney. I'm really a gag man and missed the kind of pictures Frank Capra and Harold Lloyd used to make. Since nobody else wanted to do them, I decided to make them myself."
Eventually Fred MacMurray, Jane Wyman and Tommy Kirk firmed as the three leads. However casting the daughter proved more difficult. "You must build a picture," said Walt Disney. "You don't write it all - only part of it. And it's the light and comic picture that's toughest of all to build."
I thought Jane Wyman was a hard, cold woman and I got to hate her by the time I was through with Bon Voyage. Of course, she didn't like me either, so I guess it came natural. I think she had some suspicion that I was gay and all I can say is that, if she didn't like me for that, she doesn't like a lot of people.
Bon Voyage! was the tenth most popular film of 1962, grossing $11,000,000.
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