The Boy Who Owned a Melephant
|The Boy Who Owned a Melephant|
|Directed by||Saul Swimmer|
|Produced by||Peter Gayle
|Screenplay by||Saul Swimmer
|Story by||Marvin Wald|
|Narrated by||Tallulah Bankhead|
|Distributed by||Universal International|
After seeing his first circus, young Johnnie (Brockman Seawell) asks for an elephant to keep as a pet. To placate him, his mother (Molly Turner) whimsically "gives" him the elephant in the local zoo. The boy's classmates resent his pride in "owning" the pachyderm, and the boy learns to share, making his peers equal "owners".
Shortly after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, future feature-film director-producer Saul Swimmer directed the half-hour children's short "The Boy Who Owned a Melephant". Co-written by Swimmer and Tony Anthony, adapting a story by Marvin Wald, it was produced by a team credited as Gayle-Swimmer-Anthony, which included frequent collaborator Peter Gayle. It was released by Universal Pictures on October 6, 1959 or November 9, 1959 (sources differ). Narrated by actress Tallulah Bankhead, it starred her godson, Brockman Seawell, actress Eugenia Rawls' son, and played the Palace Theatre in New York City.
The film screened at the 1959 San Francisco International Film Festival, and won a 1959 Gold Leaf award at the Venice International Children's Film Festival. On March 19, 1967, it was paired with the 1952 French short "White Mane" as an episode of the television anthology series The CBS Children's Film Festival.
- "A Cavalcade of Short Subject Reviews Part 23: 1958-1963". TCM.com based on reviews in Boxoffice magazine. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012.
- The CBS Children's Film Festival 1967 (fan site). Archived from the original on April 24, 2012.
- Carrier, Jeffrey L. (1991). Tallulah Bankhead: A Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0313274527.
- Kilgallen, Dorothy (September 13, 1960). "Voice of Broadway". (Syndicated column) via the Schenectady Gazette.
The youngest film producers in the United States — 22-year-old Peter Gayle, Saul Swimmer and Tony Anthony — are negotiating for the film rights to Arthur Miller's '[A] Memory of Two Mondays'.
- "The Boy Who Owned a Melephant". San Francisco International Film Festival. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Universal Pictures Co. Inc., 'The boy who owned a melephant' motion picture pressbook". Catalog of Copyright Entries. Third Series: 1959: July-December. (listing) The Library of Congress.