Fitzwilly


1h 42m 1967
Fitzwilly

Brief Synopsis

When an aging philanthropist goes broke, her butler robs from the rich so she can give to the poor.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Crime
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York opening: 20 Dec 1967
Production Company
Dramatic Features; Mirisch Corp.
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel A Garden of Cucumbers by Poyntz Tyler (New York, 1960).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Victoria Woodworth is a kindly elderly dowager who lives in a plush Manhattan brownstone. Although she frequently donates large sums of money to charities, the fact that she is actually penniless is concealed from her by her staff of faithful domestics. Her well-mannered but larcenous butler, Fitzwilliam (or Fitzwilly, as he is called by his friends), has been able to run Miss Vickie's household in the black and keep ahead of her charitable contributions by organizing the other servants into a ring of smalltime crooks. One day Miss Vickie hires a part-time secretary, Juliet Nowell, to help with the dictionary she is writing for people who can't spell. Although Juliet inevitably catches on to Fitzwilly's maneuvers, she finds herself too attracted to him to notify the police. Events reach a climax when one of Miss Vickie's over-generous contributions escapes Fitzwilly's attention, and drastic measures are called for to cover the deficit. With the reluctant help of Juliet, an elaborate plan is worked out to rob Gimbel's department store on Christmas Eve. Miss Vickie's staff joins in the caper, and everything goes off on schedule, with the haul amounting to $190,000. One small hitch develops, however, when Albert, the conscience-stricken footman, confesses to the police. Since Albert refuses to name his accomplices, Miss Vickie is summoned. Unperturbed, she volunteers to write Gimbel's a check for $190,000, thereby leaving the frustrated Fitzwilly with no choice but to deposit the stolen money in Miss Vickie's bank account. But all ends happily when Miss Vickie announces that she has sold her unique dictionary, much of which is an amusing biography of her late father, to a movie producer for $500,000.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Crime
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York opening: 20 Dec 1967
Production Company
Dramatic Features; Mirisch Corp.
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel A Garden of Cucumbers by Poyntz Tyler (New York, 1960).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Fitzwilly


Fitzwilly (1967) is a caper comedy with a definite 'sixties style.' Dick Van Dyke stars as Claude Fitzwilliam, the butler to Miss Victoria Woodworth (Dame Edith Evans of Tom Jones (1963) fame), a dowager unaware that her wealth has dwindled. Van Dyke leads the household staff in Robin-Hood style larceny, preserving her lifestyle and philanthropy. All's well until a new secretary, Juliet, (Barbara Feldon of television's Get Smart in her debut film role) catches on. Her romance with Fitzwilly and an energetic Christmas Eve raid on Gimbel's department store lead to a frenzied finale. Feldon is not the only newcomer in Fitzwilly; Sam Waterston (The Killing Fields, 1984) makes his first feature film appearance as the chauffeur.

Van Dyke is beloved by film, television and stage audiences for his affable comedy routines. He won a Tony Award for his work in Bye Bye Birdie (1963), starred six seasons as Rob Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66), and has appeared in dozens of motion pictures including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and the dual roles of Bert the Chimney Sweep and Mr. Dawes, senior, in Mary Poppins (1964). As for Fitzwilly, Variety praised Van Dyke's performance as "charming as usual."

Released on December 20, 1967, Fitzwilly is based on the novel, A Garden of Cucumbers by Poyntz Tyler. The lyrics to the theme song "Make Me Rainbows" were written by the prolific songwriting team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman ("The Way We Were"). "Make Me Rainbows" was later performed at the 1979 Montreux Jazz Festival by Ella Fitzgerald and the Count Basie Orchestra.

Director: Delbert Mann
Producer: Walter Mirisch
Screenplay: Isobel Lennart, based on the novel by Poyntz Tyler
Cinematography: Joseph Biroc
Editor: Ralph E. Winters
Art Direction: Robert F. Boyle
Music: John Williams
Cast: Dick Van Dyke (Claude Fitzwilliam), Barbara Feldon (Juliet), John McGiver (Albert), Edith Evans (Miss Victoria Woodworth), Harry Townes (Mr. Nowell).
C-103m. Letterboxed.

by Jessica Handler
Fitzwilly

Fitzwilly

Fitzwilly (1967) is a caper comedy with a definite 'sixties style.' Dick Van Dyke stars as Claude Fitzwilliam, the butler to Miss Victoria Woodworth (Dame Edith Evans of Tom Jones (1963) fame), a dowager unaware that her wealth has dwindled. Van Dyke leads the household staff in Robin-Hood style larceny, preserving her lifestyle and philanthropy. All's well until a new secretary, Juliet, (Barbara Feldon of television's Get Smart in her debut film role) catches on. Her romance with Fitzwilly and an energetic Christmas Eve raid on Gimbel's department store lead to a frenzied finale. Feldon is not the only newcomer in Fitzwilly; Sam Waterston (The Killing Fields, 1984) makes his first feature film appearance as the chauffeur. Van Dyke is beloved by film, television and stage audiences for his affable comedy routines. He won a Tony Award for his work in Bye Bye Birdie (1963), starred six seasons as Rob Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66), and has appeared in dozens of motion pictures including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and the dual roles of Bert the Chimney Sweep and Mr. Dawes, senior, in Mary Poppins (1964). As for Fitzwilly, Variety praised Van Dyke's performance as "charming as usual." Released on December 20, 1967, Fitzwilly is based on the novel, A Garden of Cucumbers by Poyntz Tyler. The lyrics to the theme song "Make Me Rainbows" were written by the prolific songwriting team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman ("The Way We Were"). "Make Me Rainbows" was later performed at the 1979 Montreux Jazz Festival by Ella Fitzgerald and the Count Basie Orchestra. Director: Delbert Mann Producer: Walter Mirisch Screenplay: Isobel Lennart, based on the novel by Poyntz Tyler Cinematography: Joseph Biroc Editor: Ralph E. Winters Art Direction: Robert F. Boyle Music: John Williams Cast: Dick Van Dyke (Claude Fitzwilliam), Barbara Feldon (Juliet), John McGiver (Albert), Edith Evans (Miss Victoria Woodworth), Harry Townes (Mr. Nowell). C-103m. Letterboxed. by Jessica Handler

Quotes

Trivia

The working title for this picture was "The One With The Fuzz."

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter December 1967

Screen debuts for Sam Waterston and Barbara Feldon.

Released in United States Winter December 1967