Francis Covers the Big Town

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Francis Covers the Big Town
Francis Covers the Big Town FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Produced by Leonard Goldstein
Written by Oscar Brodney (story and screenplay)
David Stern (characters)
Starring Donald O'Connor
Yvette Duguay
Gene Lockhart
Nancy Guild
Distributed by Universal-International
Release dates
  • June 17, 1953 (1953-06-17)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.8 million (US)[1]

Francis Covers the Big Town is a 1953 American black-and-white comedy film from Universal-International, produced by Leonard Goldstein, directed by Arthur Lubin, and starring Donald O'Connor, Yvette Duguay, and Gene Lockhart. The distinctive voice of Francis is a voice-over by actor Chill Wills.

This is the fourth film in Universal-International's Francis the Talking Mule series continuing the misadventures Peter Stirling and his friend Francis.

Plot[edit]

Peter lands a job at a big New York City newspaper and while on assignment gets framed for a murder.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Production of the film was announced in July 1951 and was to be the third in the Francis series.[2]

Oscar Brodney was assigned to write the script.[3] David Stern reportedly also worked on the script.[4]

Filming started in August 1951 and involved ten days location shooting in New York.[5]

Francis was flown to New York and back on a cargo plane, which cost $700 plus airfares for his trainer and two handlers.[6]

At one stage of production, the film was going to be known as Francis, Racket Buster.[7][8]

Director Arthur Lubin complained during filming that he was becoming typecast as an animal director. He hoped to make The Interruption from a suspense story by W. W. Mason "just to remind producers that I can direct people too."[9]

Video releases[edit]

The original film, Francis (1950), was released in 1978 as one of the first-ever titles in the new LaserDisc format, DiscoVision Catalog #22-003.[10] It was then re-issued on LaserDisc in May 1994 by MCA/Universal Home Video (Catalog #: 42024) as part of an Encore Edition Double Feature with Francis Goes to the Races (1951).

The first two Francis films were released again in 2004 by Universal Pictures on Region 1 and Region 4 DVD, along with the next two in the series, as The Adventures of Francis the Talking Mule Vol. 1. Several years later, Universal released all 7 Francis films as a set on three Region 1 and Region 4 DVDs, Francis The Talking Mule: The Complete Collection.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954
  2. ^ U.-I. WILL PRODUCE THIRD FRANCIS FILM: Studio to Make Picture About Talking Mule and Reporter --Brodney Writing Script By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 14 July 1951: 7.
  3. ^ U.-I. WILL PRODUCE THIRD FRANCIS FILM: Studio to Make Picture About Talking Mule and Reporter --Brodney Writing Script By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 14 July 1951: 7.
  4. ^ Drama: Stars of Drama Quartet Get New Roles; Wanda Hendrix to Star at Ivar Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 July 1951: 9.
  5. ^ LADY LUCK SMILES ON MOVIE PLAYER: Arthur-Franz Gets Top Role in Kramer's 'Sniper' After He Attends Mass Interview Gomez to Sing in Film By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 28 Aug 1951: 18.
  6. ^ VIDEO HURTS FILMS, GOLDWIN ASSERTS: But, Producer Writes in Story for a Magazine, Hollywood Needs No 'Crying Towel' Houdini Story Planned By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 21 Sep 1951: 21.
  7. ^ 'Devils' on Hot Schedule; Coleen Gray in 'Models;' Laughton May Do Pirate Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 01 Jan 1952: A7.
  8. ^ How Donald Danced to Stardom: O'CONNOR Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 24 Feb 1952: c4.
  9. ^ HOLLYWOOD DIGEST: Change in Taft-Hartley Act Sought by Actors Guild--R.K.O. Survey--Addenda European Canvass Songstress Returns Out of a Rut By THOMAS M. PRYOR. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 02 Sep 1951: 57.
  10. ^ [1] (The DiscoVision Library)

External links[edit]