The Disney Studios has made a film, Saving Mr. Banks, about the trials and tribulations dealing with author P.L. Travers in order to make Mary Poppins, which made a movie star of Julie Andrews.
As I write this, I'm at the WGA Theater where I just saw the film, and it was terrific. Three small quibbles -- 1) There is a scene where we see a Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed Disney toy, and they didn't exist in 1961, 2) Jason Schwartz man as Richard Sherman does his own piano playing, and they should show it. There's only one quick shot. And 3) I wish they said that Robert Sherman has a limp because he was shot in the war, not just "shot." But that's it, all incredibly minor.
By the way, given that the film deals with a writer and studio battling over a script, the WGA Theater is a great place to see this... And P.S. Paul Giamatti as P.L. Travers' studio limo driver almost steals the film. (Lesson to actors: there are no small roles.)
Anyway, it's been well-known for many decades how Warner Bros. infamously didn't hire Julie Andrews to re-create her legendary Broadway role as Eliza Doolittle when Warners made the film version of My Fair Lady. It's only become all the more galling over the years, as her career grew to be legendary -- and as rare film clips from TV have surfaced showing how great she was in the role.
Of course, that opened the door for Walt Disney to show brilliance and hire her from Mary Poppins. She tied for the Best Actress Oscar that year. And she also won the Golden Globe Award.
Now, usually I ignore the Golden Globes for the scam even it is. But sweet, endearing Julie Andrews' acceptance is just too -- well, using the Poppins vernacular -- practically perfect in every way. It's short, but spot-on. And remarkable.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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