The Brass Bottle


1h 29m 1964
The Brass Bottle

Brief Synopsis

A benevolent genie offers his help to a young architect.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Houston opening: 12 Feb 1964
Production Company
Scarus, Inc.; Universal Pictures
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Brass Bottle by F. Anstey (London, 1900).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Synopsis

Architect Harold Ventimore buys an antique brass bottle as a gift for his future father-in-law, Anthony Kenton, an Egyptologist, but he decides the bottle is a fake and keeps it for himself. He breaks the seal, thereby releasing a genie, Fakrash, who is ready to serve him. Almost immediately, Fakrash obtains for Harold a multimillion-dollar housing contract from tycoon Sam Wackerbath. When, Harold's fiancée, Sylvia, comes to dinner with her parents, Fakrash turns Harold's house into a sultan's palace complete with dancing girls. The guests are outraged, and Harold blames Fakrash for alienating Sylvia, whereupon the genie gives him a gift of Tezra, a houri. Harold cannot rid himself of Tezra, and matters are further complicated when Fakrash performs more tricks, such as producing a herd of elephants at rush hour to distract a policeman from giving a summons to Harold. When Harold explains to authorities the reasons for the unusual occurrences, he is restrained with a straight-jacket. Fakrash then tries to explain to a government panel that he is a genie, but his words fall on unbelieving ears until he demonstrates his power by miniaturizing the panel members. Fakrash also succeeds, at Harold's request, in erasing all that he has done, including the very memory of his existence. Sam Wackerbath comes to Harold's office to hire him and introduces him to his new partner and the partner's wife--Fakrash and Tezra!

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Houston opening: 12 Feb 1964
Production Company
Scarus, Inc.; Universal Pictures
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Brass Bottle by F. Anstey (London, 1900).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Articles

The Brass Bottle


Tony Randall, who was one of the most reliable comic supporting actors of the 1950s and 1960s, before headlining the hit 1970s sitcom version of The Odd Couple with Jack Klugman, took one of his few leading man roles in this 1964 comedy about an everyman architect who buys an antique brass bottle and inherits a magical djinn or genie.

Based on a novel written by F. Anstey and published in 1900 and previously twice adapted to the screen (Maurice Tourneur directed the 1923 version featuring the towering Ernest Torrence as the genie), this version updates it to 1960s life. The young, unconventional architect Horace Ventimore is now Harold Ventimore, a junior member of a prestigious architecture firm, and the novel's British society beauty Sylvia Futvoye becomes the American Sylvia Kenton (Barbara Eden), daughter of a college professor whose specialty is Egyptian antiquities.

Burl Ives, who won an Oscar for The Big Country and dominated his scenes in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (both 1958), plays Fakrash-el-Aamash, the magical creature released from his bottle prison after 3000 years and, devoted to pleasing his master, wreaks havoc as he brings his ancient understanding of society to modern life. Ives chews the scenery with an impish smile while Randall, ostensibly playing straight man to the chaos unleashed by the overeager djinn, holds his own as he attempts to explain the craziness to his fiancée, his future in-laws, and the police.

Barbara Eden is decidedly mortal in this film but she became a genie in her own right a year later in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, freed by an astronaut who finds her long-lost bottle after his capsule washes ashore on a desert island. While the series is not a remake or spin-off in any official way, the movie was an inspiration, from the absolute devotion of the genie to its master and the way the magical "help" backfires to the exotic ancient world art design and harem girl aesthetic of Jeannie's genie culture.

Director Harry Keller, a contract director at Universal Studios who graduated from the editing room to directing B-movies and TV shows (including episodes of The Loretta Young Show and The Millionaire), also shot two Tammy sequels with Sandra Dee and earned a footnote in film history for directing reshoots on Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1958). Though Welles was not involved in these scenes, he gave his approval to the footage in a memo to Universal Studios and Keller's work became a part of all three cuts of Touch of Evil that exist today, including the "definitive" edition posthumously reedited in accordance with Welles' suggestions to Universal studios.

Sources:
AFI Catalog of Feature Films
IMDb

by Sean Axmaker
The Brass Bottle

The Brass Bottle

Tony Randall, who was one of the most reliable comic supporting actors of the 1950s and 1960s, before headlining the hit 1970s sitcom version of The Odd Couple with Jack Klugman, took one of his few leading man roles in this 1964 comedy about an everyman architect who buys an antique brass bottle and inherits a magical djinn or genie. Based on a novel written by F. Anstey and published in 1900 and previously twice adapted to the screen (Maurice Tourneur directed the 1923 version featuring the towering Ernest Torrence as the genie), this version updates it to 1960s life. The young, unconventional architect Horace Ventimore is now Harold Ventimore, a junior member of a prestigious architecture firm, and the novel's British society beauty Sylvia Futvoye becomes the American Sylvia Kenton (Barbara Eden), daughter of a college professor whose specialty is Egyptian antiquities. Burl Ives, who won an Oscar for The Big Country and dominated his scenes in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (both 1958), plays Fakrash-el-Aamash, the magical creature released from his bottle prison after 3000 years and, devoted to pleasing his master, wreaks havoc as he brings his ancient understanding of society to modern life. Ives chews the scenery with an impish smile while Randall, ostensibly playing straight man to the chaos unleashed by the overeager djinn, holds his own as he attempts to explain the craziness to his fiancée, his future in-laws, and the police. Barbara Eden is decidedly mortal in this film but she became a genie in her own right a year later in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, freed by an astronaut who finds her long-lost bottle after his capsule washes ashore on a desert island. While the series is not a remake or spin-off in any official way, the movie was an inspiration, from the absolute devotion of the genie to its master and the way the magical "help" backfires to the exotic ancient world art design and harem girl aesthetic of Jeannie's genie culture. Director Harry Keller, a contract director at Universal Studios who graduated from the editing room to directing B-movies and TV shows (including episodes of The Loretta Young Show and The Millionaire), also shot two Tammy sequels with Sandra Dee and earned a footnote in film history for directing reshoots on Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1958). Though Welles was not involved in these scenes, he gave his approval to the footage in a memo to Universal Studios and Keller's work became a part of all three cuts of Touch of Evil that exist today, including the "definitive" edition posthumously reedited in accordance with Welles' suggestions to Universal studios. Sources: AFI Catalog of Feature Films IMDb by Sean Axmaker

Quotes

Trivia

Served as the inspiration for "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965).

Notes

A previous film version of the Anstey novel was released by Associated First National Pictures in 1923.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1964

Released in United States 1964