Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. (1966)

110 mins | Comedy, Adventure | 25 June 1966

Director:

Byron Paul

Producers:

Bill Walsh, Ron Miller

Cinematographer:

William Snyder

Production Designers:

Carroll Clark, Carl Anderson

Production Company:

Walt Disney Productions
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HISTORY

The 4 Jan 1965 LAT listed the picture among upcoming Walt Disney Company projects “in preparation.” Although location shooting took place on Hawaiian island of Kauai, the 26 Mar 1965 DV reported that Disney temporarily considered filming exclusively at his Burbank, CA, studio, explaining that the available sets were “equally effective.” According to the 19 May 1965 Var, the picture had a sixty-day shooting schedule and a budget exceeding $2 million. The studio was focusing its efforts on plotlines that combined fun and adventure, as they were the most profitable. The original story was written by Walt Disney, who was credited on screen as Retlaw Yensid. Principal photography began 3 May 1965, as noted in 21 May 1965 production charts.
       On 19 May 1965, DV reported that second-unit cameraman King Baggot, Jr., drowned the previous day off the coast of Kauai, after the catamaran from which he was filming overturned. The 21 May 1965 DV announced the memorial service, held the following day, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Northridge, CA. The 25 May 1965 DV stated that the cast and much of the crew had left Kauai, while the second unit remained “to do pickup shots.”
       Although the 18 Jul 1965 LAT claimed that lead actor Dick Van Dyke was finishing work on the picture, the 29 Jul 1965 DV revealed that the final month of production coincided with the filming of The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS, 3 Oct 1961 – 1 Jun 1966), which occupied the actor ... More Less

The 4 Jan 1965 LAT listed the picture among upcoming Walt Disney Company projects “in preparation.” Although location shooting took place on Hawaiian island of Kauai, the 26 Mar 1965 DV reported that Disney temporarily considered filming exclusively at his Burbank, CA, studio, explaining that the available sets were “equally effective.” According to the 19 May 1965 Var, the picture had a sixty-day shooting schedule and a budget exceeding $2 million. The studio was focusing its efforts on plotlines that combined fun and adventure, as they were the most profitable. The original story was written by Walt Disney, who was credited on screen as Retlaw Yensid. Principal photography began 3 May 1965, as noted in 21 May 1965 production charts.
       On 19 May 1965, DV reported that second-unit cameraman King Baggot, Jr., drowned the previous day off the coast of Kauai, after the catamaran from which he was filming overturned. The 21 May 1965 DV announced the memorial service, held the following day, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Northridge, CA. The 25 May 1965 DV stated that the cast and much of the crew had left Kauai, while the second unit remained “to do pickup shots.”
       Although the 18 Jul 1965 LAT claimed that lead actor Dick Van Dyke was finishing work on the picture, the 29 Jul 1965 DV revealed that the final month of production coincided with the filming of The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS, 3 Oct 1961 – 1 Jun 1966), which occupied the actor four nights per week. Because Wednesday was his only available weekday, Van Dyke was not expected to complete his role for another three months.
       The 19 May and 20 Jun 1966 DV announced the 25 Jun 1966 world premiere in San Diego, CA, aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, which also served as a set for the production. A simultaneous screening was scheduled on the U.S.S. Constellation, docked in the South China Sea. Because the ships were in different time zones, the latter screening would occur at noon on 26 Jun 1966. Later that week, the 24 Jun 1966 DV reported that actors Fred MacMurray, Suzanne Pleshette, Annette Funicello, and Barbara Feldon, among others, would be transported by air to San Diego. Van Dyke and Disney drove to the event, as did actors Dean Jones, Buddy Ebsen, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Jackie Cooper, who was also a captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve. The 25 Jun 1966 LAT noted that portions of the premiere would be telecast that night on KNBC in Los Angeles, CA. As stated in the 27 Jun 1966 DV, Van Dyke imprinted his hands and feet in cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA, shortly before leaving for San Diego.
       Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. opened 29 Jun 1966 in Los Angeles to lukewarm reviews. Audiences responded with more enthusiasm, evidenced by the 12 Jul 1966 DV, which reported receipts totaling $145,000 during the second week of release. Months later, the 4 Jan 1967 Var listed the film among the highest rentals of the previous year, with earnings of $7.5 million.
       The 16 Mar 1966 Var noted that the film would be serialized in Disney’s weekly color comic strip, “Treasure of Classic Tales.” A novelization of the screenplay was published by Grosset & Dunlap.
       The 23 June 1965 Var credited former actor Frank “Junior” Coghlan as U.S. Navy liaison for the production.
The 4 Jan 1965 LAT listed the picture among upcoming Walt Disney Company projects “in preparation.” Although location shooting took place on Hawaiian island of Kauai, the 26 Mar 1965 DV reported that Disney temporarily considered filming exclusively at his Burbank, CA, studio, explaining that the available sets were “equally effective.” According to the 19 May 1965 Var, the picture had a sixty-day shooting schedule and a budget exceeding $2 million. The studio was focusing its efforts on plotlines that combined fun and adventure, as they were the most profitable. The original story was written by Walt Disney, who was credited on screen as Retlaw Yensid. Principal photography began 3 May 1965, as noted in 21 May 1965 production charts.
       On 19 May 1965, DV reported that second-unit cameraman King Baggot, Jr., drowned the previous day off the coast of Kauai, after the catamaran from which he was filming overturned. The 21 May 1965 DV announced the memorial service, held the following day, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Northridge, CA. The 25 May 1965 DV stated that the cast and much of the crew had left Kauai, while the second unit remained “to do pickup shots.”
       Although the 18 Jul 1965 LAT claimed that lead actor Dick Van Dyke was finishing work on the picture, the 29 Jul 1965 DV revealed that the final month of production coincided with the filming of The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS, 3 Oct 1961 – 1 Jun 1966), which occupied the actor four nights per week. Because Wednesday was his only available weekday, Van Dyke was not expected to complete his role for another three months.
       The 19 May and 20 Jun 1966 DV announced the 25 Jun 1966 world premiere in San Diego, CA, aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, which also served as a set for the production. A simultaneous screening was scheduled on the U.S.S. Constellation, docked in the South China Sea. Because the ships were in different time zones, the latter screening would occur at noon on 26 Jun 1966. Later that week, the 24 Jun 1966 DV reported that actors Fred MacMurray, Suzanne Pleshette, Annette Funicello, and Barbara Feldon, among others, would be transported by air to San Diego. Van Dyke and Disney drove to the event, as did actors Dean Jones, Buddy Ebsen, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Jackie Cooper, who was also a captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve. The 25 Jun 1966 LAT noted that portions of the premiere would be telecast that night on KNBC in Los Angeles, CA. As stated in the 27 Jun 1966 DV, Van Dyke imprinted his hands and feet in cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA, shortly before leaving for San Diego.
       Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. opened 29 Jun 1966 in Los Angeles to lukewarm reviews. Audiences responded with more enthusiasm, evidenced by the 12 Jul 1966 DV, which reported receipts totaling $145,000 during the second week of release. Months later, the 4 Jan 1967 Var listed the film among the highest rentals of the previous year, with earnings of $7.5 million.
       The 16 Mar 1966 Var noted that the film would be serialized in Disney’s weekly color comic strip, “Treasure of Classic Tales.” A novelization of the screenplay was published by Grosset & Dunlap.
       The 23 June 1965 Var credited former actor Frank “Junior” Coghlan as U.S. Navy liaison for the production.
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Mar 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
26 Mar 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
19 May 1965
p. 1, 19.
Daily Variety
21 May 1965
p. 3, 8.
Daily Variety
25 May 1965
p. 7.
Daily Variety
29 Jul 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 May 1966
p. 3, 10.
Daily Variety
19 May 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Jun 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
27 Jun 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1966
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jan 1965
Section B, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
10 Jun 1966
Section D, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
14 Jun 1966
Section C, p. 19.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jul 1965
Section K, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
25 Jun 1966
Section B, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jun 1966
Section D, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jul 1966
---
Variety
19 May 1965
p. 5.
Variety
23 Jun 1965
p. 28.
Variety
16 Mar 1966
p. 27.
Variety
1 Jun 1966
p. 67.
Variety
4 Jan 1967
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Walt Disney Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost
SOUND
Sd supv
Sd mix
Music ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Anim supv
ANIMATION
Anim styling
Anim eff
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 June 1966
Premiere Information:
San Diego premiere: 25 June 1966
Southeast Asia premiere: 26 June 1966
Los Angeles opening: 29 June 1966
Production Date:
3 May--late October 1965
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
10 May 1966
Copyright Number:
LP32535
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
110
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Navy pilot Lt. Robin Crusoe, on a routine flying mission, is forced to parachute into the Pacific. After drifting for days without food or water, he is washed up on a desert island. Mysterious footprints lead him to a beached Japanese World War II submarine where he discovers Floyd, an astrochimp that survived a misadventure in space. Joining forces, the pair make life more comfortable by building everything from a pagoda-style bamboo hut to a golf course. Then one day they are joined by a native girl whom Robin nicknames Wednesday. She explains that her tyrannical father, the chief on a nearby island, banished her for refusing to marry a man of his choice. Before long Wednesday is joined by other women seeking independence. Robin organizes them into an army, and when the chief and his warriors invade, the native suffragettes stage a freedom rally. Using equipment from the beached sub, Robin and Floyd make it appear that the island's stone idol is displeased with the chief and his men. As the women are celebrating their victory, Robin does a little dance with Wednesday; and when he learns that this ritual is interpreted as a marriage proposal, he and Floyd flee to the beach as a Navy helicopter comes to the rescue. The helicopter lands on a carrier to a hero's ... +


Navy pilot Lt. Robin Crusoe, on a routine flying mission, is forced to parachute into the Pacific. After drifting for days without food or water, he is washed up on a desert island. Mysterious footprints lead him to a beached Japanese World War II submarine where he discovers Floyd, an astrochimp that survived a misadventure in space. Joining forces, the pair make life more comfortable by building everything from a pagoda-style bamboo hut to a golf course. Then one day they are joined by a native girl whom Robin nicknames Wednesday. She explains that her tyrannical father, the chief on a nearby island, banished her for refusing to marry a man of his choice. Before long Wednesday is joined by other women seeking independence. Robin organizes them into an army, and when the chief and his warriors invade, the native suffragettes stage a freedom rally. Using equipment from the beached sub, Robin and Floyd make it appear that the island's stone idol is displeased with the chief and his men. As the women are celebrating their victory, Robin does a little dance with Wednesday; and when he learns that this ritual is interpreted as a marriage proposal, he and Floyd flee to the beach as a Navy helicopter comes to the rescue. The helicopter lands on a carrier to a hero's welcome. +

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

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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.