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The Beatles

  1. Craig Douglas, The Painted Smile (US: Midnight Can Be Deadly), 1962.     Routine little, 60 minute UK gangster tale that needed a song in a nightclub scene. Considering it was merely a supporting feature, it was  cheeky of  director Lance Comfort  to offer the spot to the boys from Liverpool. His producer balked – “they're too young.” Douglas was no older.  But he was a solo - therefore, cheaper.

  2. Chad Stuart, Lord Tim Hudson, Digby Wolf, J Pat O’Malley, The Jungle Book, 1966.
    For what proved his final toon (one of his finest), Walt Disney inaugurated the idea of using celebrity voices. He won over Sebastian Cabot, Phil Harris, Louis Prima and George Sanders for Bagheera, Baloo, King Louie and Shere Khan. But John Lennon was annoyed by the invitation for the arris, Llouis Prima, Georeg SaNDERS) AND Mop Tops to Liverpoolise four vultures.       And then, so it goes…. Disney asked Elvis to be the vulture group’s leader, Flaps. Hmm!         So then, who would have been the others - three of the Jordanaires? Or was Uncle Walt suggesting he’d settle for three Beatles plus Presley and Lennon could go off in a dream… Yes, Disney also wanted Louis Armstrong for King Louis - but Elvis!!! Have some doubts about this story being true, but it’s far too good to leave out…However, Flaps, Dizzy, Ziggy and Buzzie remained Liverpudlian in chat and song (That’s What Friends Are For) thanks to: Stuart, of the UK pop duo, Chad and Jeremy; Hudson, future manager of English cricket icon Ian Botham; UK comic Digby Wolf; and, as Buzzie, the Burnly-born veteran of 217 Hollywood movies, J Pat O’Malley, already voicing elephant chief Colonel Hathi. His wife, Disney veteran Vera Felton (Dumbo, Cinderella, etc) was Mrs Hathi. She died on December 14, 1966, one day before Disney’s demise.

  3. The Rolling Stones, One Plus One,  1968.     French auteur Jean-Luc Godard lambasted  the Fab Four's refusal. “People with  money and  influence  should  be  trying  to  blow  up The Establishment, not joining it.”
  4. Topol, Judd Hamilton, Derek Nimmo, Max Showalter,  A  Talent  For Loving,  1969.     Author Richard Condon remembers  telling John  Lennon  the Western story over “caviar butties and fois gras sarnies” in St Moritz.  “The Beatles bought the rights - full payment, not an option.” Then, they felt:  “Too obvious.  Like that other old standby” - The  Three  Musketeers.
  5. Graham Faulkner, Leigh Lawson, Kenneth Cranham, Michasel Feast,  Fratello sole, sorella luna/Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Italy, 1972.       Franco  Zeffirelli had already asked McCartney to be his pretty Montague in Romeo and Juliet, 1968.  Now, the Italian director wanted the boys to support Paul  as St Francis - patron saint of  hippies, it looked like - completely ignoring the salient fact that there were not enough roles to go around (Lennon as Pope  Innocent III?) and none of equal length or importance. Pity, as their music would have been tons better than  Donovan's banal dirges.
  6. Michael York, Richard Chamberlain, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay, The  Three  Musketeers, 1974.      They rejected  the  “other old standby” in 1967. It lost the boys but won their director: Richard Lester.
  7. Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2001-03.




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