Lord Love a Duck (1966)

109 mins | Satire | 26 January 1966

Director:

George Axelrod

Producer:

George Axelrod

Cinematographer:

Daniel L. Fapp

Editor:

William Lyon

Production Designer:

Malcolm Brown

Production Company:

Charleston Enterprises
Full page view
HISTORY

The 5 May 1965 DV reported that writer-producer George Axelrod was considering comedian Mort Sahl as director. Months later, the 20 Feb 1966 NYT announced that Axelrod decided to make the film his directorial debut.
       According to the 12 May 1965 DV, lead actor Roddy McDowall was expected to begin his role 1 Aug 1965, likely forcing him to withdraw from Nevada Smith (1966, see entry).
       The 30 Jul 1965 DV noted that the production faced postponement due to threats of a strike by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Axelrod correctly predicted that a strike would be averted and began photography on 2 Aug 1965, as stated in that day’s issue of DV.
       In the 15 Aug 1965 NYT, Axelrod described his project as “a cross between Andy Hardy and Dr. Strangelove,” with a “focus on the bizarre rites of adolescents in Southern California.” Axelrod suggested that the film could have been a latent act of revenge against his teenaged children, adding that the soundtrack would be littered with rock and roll music filtered through a tinny transistor radio speaker. He also acknowledged director Richard Lester as a major influence.
       The 10 Aug 1965 DV noted that interior scenes were filmed at Samuel Goldwyn Studios in West Hollywood, CA, with location shooting in West Los Angeles, CA, and unidentified local beaches, as stated in the 6 Aug 1965 DV. On 8 Sep 1965, DV reported that the production was moving to Balboa Bay in Newport Beach, CA, the ... More Less

The 5 May 1965 DV reported that writer-producer George Axelrod was considering comedian Mort Sahl as director. Months later, the 20 Feb 1966 NYT announced that Axelrod decided to make the film his directorial debut.
       According to the 12 May 1965 DV, lead actor Roddy McDowall was expected to begin his role 1 Aug 1965, likely forcing him to withdraw from Nevada Smith (1966, see entry).
       The 30 Jul 1965 DV noted that the production faced postponement due to threats of a strike by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Axelrod correctly predicted that a strike would be averted and began photography on 2 Aug 1965, as stated in that day’s issue of DV.
       In the 15 Aug 1965 NYT, Axelrod described his project as “a cross between Andy Hardy and Dr. Strangelove,” with a “focus on the bizarre rites of adolescents in Southern California.” Axelrod suggested that the film could have been a latent act of revenge against his teenaged children, adding that the soundtrack would be littered with rock and roll music filtered through a tinny transistor radio speaker. He also acknowledged director Richard Lester as a major influence.
       The 10 Aug 1965 DV noted that interior scenes were filmed at Samuel Goldwyn Studios in West Hollywood, CA, with location shooting in West Los Angeles, CA, and unidentified local beaches, as stated in the 6 Aug 1965 DV. On 8 Sep 1965, DV reported that the production was moving to Balboa Bay in Newport Beach, CA, the following day.
       Soundtrack recording took place at United Recorders in Hollywood, CA. The score was performed by a ten-piece band and The Wild Ones, a quartet that performed regularly at “Arthur,” a New York City discotheque.
       Following the picture’s 28 Jan 1966 release, Roddy McDowall told the 9 Feb 1966 LAT that it was “a fantastic experience,” although he found both his character and the film “peculiar and difficult.” The article noted that the thirty-six-year-old actor was playing a character half his age. According to LAT, filming was completed in six weeks on a budget of $750,000. However, the 9 Feb 1966 DV reported production costs totaling $930,000.
       Reviews were mixed, although the 25 Jan 1966 DV commended McDowall on “the finest performance of his career.” The picture was an official U.S. entry to the Berlin Film Festival, screened on 29 Jun 1966, according to the 17 Jun 1966 LAT. Actress Lola Albright won the festival’s Silver Bear award for her performance.
       Casting notices included Vicki London, Phyllis Davis, and Gay Gordon (3 Aug 1965 DV); Louise Lane and Lucille Dare (5 Aug 1965 DV); Diana Hale (23 Aug 1965 DV); Wally Rose, Dale Van Sickle, and Sol Gross (27 Aug 1965 DV); Sammy Wein, Ben Rose, and Phil Rose (31 Aug 1965 DV); Kathy Janssen (1 Sep 1965 DV); Merit Bohn, Miles Shepard, Sam Schneider, and Robert Foulk (10 Sep 1965 DV); Jack Regis and Jeri Lynn (17 Sep 1965 DV).
       According to the 1 Aug 1965 LAT, Axelrod offered a role to retired minister Charles G. Duck based on his name. The filmmaker briefly considered casting himself as movie producer “Harry Belmont,” but decided instead to hire stage actor Martin Gabel, as stated in the 19 Aug 1965 LAT. The film marked the screen debuts of comic Harvey Korman and singer Lynn Carey, whose father, actor Macdonald Carey, told the 10 Sep 1965 LAT that he had reservations about her playing a nymphomaniac. Lynn Carey reportedly regretted accepting the role. The 22 Aug 1965 LAT identified a stunt performer, who appeared on screen with the seat of his pants on fire, as Bill Banker. John Blowitz was the film’s publicist, as noted in the 15 Jun 1965 DV.
Copyright length: 105 minutes. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 May 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 May 1965
p. 1.
Daily Variety
15 Jun 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Jul 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
2 Aug 1965
p. 6.
Daily Variety
3 Aug 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
5 Aug 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
6 Aug 1965
p. 11.
Daily Variety
10 Aug 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
23 Aug 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
27 Aug 1965
p. 3.
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
1 Sep 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
8 Sep 1965
p. 11.
Daily Variety
10 Sep 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
17 Sep 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
1 Dec 1965
p. 8.
Daily Variety
4 Jan 1966
p. 4.
Daily Variety
25 Jan 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
9 Feb 1966
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
1 Aug 1965
Section C, 12.
Los Angeles Times
2 Aug 1965
Section D, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
19 Aug 1965
Section C, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
22 Aug 1965
Section N, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
10 Sep 1965
Section C, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
8 Mar 1966
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
12 Jan 1966
Section C, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
28 Jan 1966
Section C, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
9 Feb 1966
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jun 1966
Section D, p. 13.
New York Times
16 Jun 1965
p. 47.
New York Times
15 Aug 1965
Section X, p. 7.
New York Times
20 Feb 1966
Section X, p. 9.
New York Times
22 Feb 1966
p. 14.
New York Times
6 Jul 1966
p. 39.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod exec
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Weld's ward
Men's ward
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Main titles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Lord Love a Duck by Al Hine (New York, 1961).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Lord Love a Duck," music and lyrics by Neal Hefti and Ernie Sheldon.
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 January 1966
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 28 January 1966
Production Date:
2 August--mid September 1965
Copyright Claimant:
Charleston Enterprises
Copyright Date:
26 January 1966
Copyright Number:
LP32599
Duration(in mins):
109
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the psychiatric ward of a prison, Alan Musgrave, who calls himself "Mollymauk" after an extinct duck-like bird, tells his story into a tape recorder. Alan and Barbara Ann Greene are both senior transfer students at Los Angeles' new, ultra-modern Consolidated High School. Under Alan's hypnotic spell, Barbara Ann reveals her desire to be popular. Alan assures her that he will make her every wish come true. First, Barbara Ann wishes to join a sorority whose members must each own a designated number of cashmere sweaters, and Alan has her persuade her father to buy the sweaters. To keep Barbara Ann from failing any courses, Alan has her use her sex appeal to obtain the job of secretary to the principal. Barbara Ann then meets wealthy and handsome college senior Bob Barnard during a sex seminar at a drive-in church, and she decides to vacation at Balboa, where Bob is to be chaperon. Alan takes her to Balboa, where he sets up a possible screen test for Barbara Ann with a producer of beach-party movies. Bob, who is in love with Barbara Ann, has problems with his zany mother, so Alan installs himself in the Barnard house and takes over the management of Mrs. Barnard by introducing her to alcohol. Mrs. Barnard discovers that Marie, Barbara Ann's divorced mother, is a bar girl and tries to end the romance. Thinking that she has ruined her daughter's life and her own, Marie commits suicide. Later, Bob and Barbara Ann marry, despite Mrs. Barnard's objections. Bob, who has graduated and become a marriage counselor, disapproves of his wife's career in movies, and Alan decides to eliminate him. Bob proves almost indestructible, ... +


In the psychiatric ward of a prison, Alan Musgrave, who calls himself "Mollymauk" after an extinct duck-like bird, tells his story into a tape recorder. Alan and Barbara Ann Greene are both senior transfer students at Los Angeles' new, ultra-modern Consolidated High School. Under Alan's hypnotic spell, Barbara Ann reveals her desire to be popular. Alan assures her that he will make her every wish come true. First, Barbara Ann wishes to join a sorority whose members must each own a designated number of cashmere sweaters, and Alan has her persuade her father to buy the sweaters. To keep Barbara Ann from failing any courses, Alan has her use her sex appeal to obtain the job of secretary to the principal. Barbara Ann then meets wealthy and handsome college senior Bob Barnard during a sex seminar at a drive-in church, and she decides to vacation at Balboa, where Bob is to be chaperon. Alan takes her to Balboa, where he sets up a possible screen test for Barbara Ann with a producer of beach-party movies. Bob, who is in love with Barbara Ann, has problems with his zany mother, so Alan installs himself in the Barnard house and takes over the management of Mrs. Barnard by introducing her to alcohol. Mrs. Barnard discovers that Marie, Barbara Ann's divorced mother, is a bar girl and tries to end the romance. Thinking that she has ruined her daughter's life and her own, Marie commits suicide. Later, Bob and Barbara Ann marry, despite Mrs. Barnard's objections. Bob, who has graduated and become a marriage counselor, disapproves of his wife's career in movies, and Alan decides to eliminate him. Bob proves almost indestructible, but by graduation time Alan has put him in a wheelchair. At Consolidated's graduation, he pursues Bob with a bulldozer, eliminating him and everyone on the speaker's platform as well. Barbara Ann goes on to Hollywood fame as the star of "Bikini Widow." In the prison, Alan tries to explain why he did it all, confessing that it might have been for love. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.