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The Blue Bird

The Blue Bird(1940)

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Material contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library indicate that Darryl Zanuck suggested Bobs Watson for the role of "Tyltyl"; Gene Lockhart play "Daddy Tyl"; Joan Davis for "Tylette"; Jessie Ralph for Angela's mother; Anita Louise for "Light"; Zeffie Tilbury for "Granny"; George Barbier for "Grandpa"; Andy Devine for "Cold in Head"; and Burton Churchill for "Time." A Hollywood Reporter production chart adds Nancy Kelly to the cast, but her participation in the released film is unconfirmed. A contemporary article in AC notes that fifteen sound stages were used in shooting this picture, and the filming of the red room scenes presented difficulties as far as Technicolor process was concerned. News items in Hollywood Reporter add that the film was shot on location around Lake Arrowhead, CA. A news item in Hollywood Reporter noted that the film was budgeted at $2,000,000. The picture received Academy Award nominations in the Cinematography (Color) and Special Effects (Photographic Effects, Fred Sersen, Sound Effects, E. H. Hansen) categories.
       An unidentified contemporary source in the AFI Library noted that Disney also bid for the rights to the Maeterlinck play. In 1918, Famous Players-Lasky Corp. made another version of the Maeterlinck play, directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Tula Belle and Robin Macdougall (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.0394), and in 1976, George Cukor directed Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda and Eva Gardner in a Russian-American version also entitled The Blue Bird.