The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)

98-100 mins | Adventure, Fantasy | December 1960

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HISTORY

The film's working title was Gulliver's Travels . Sep and Oct 1958 news items in HR noted that Universal-International Pictures registered the title Gulliver's Travels in early 1958, and commissioned Jack Sher, Arthur Ross and and Sy Gomberg to write the screenplay. When producer Charles H. Schneer began work on his own project based on Jonathan Swift's novel, Universal protested, but later worked out a co-production deal with Schneer's Morningside Productions. Both Sher and Gomberg worked for Universal, and although Sher is credited with the film's screenplay, the extent of Gomberg's contribution to the completed film has not been determined.
       According to a Jun 1959 HR news item, location shooting was done around Costa Brava, Spain. Publicity materials in the film’s production files at the AMPAS Library add the following Spanish locations: the walled city of Avila, the mountains of Boca del Anzo, the aqueduct in Segovia and the Palacio de Oriente in La Granga. Spanish interiors were filmed at the Sevilla Studios in Madrid. A Sep 1959 LAT article noted that after eight weeks of shooting in Spain, the company moved to London’s Pinewood Studios. Publicity materials noted that the village square at Shepperton, England was also used for location shooting. In a Sep 1959 HR news item, Schneer noted that he was unhappy with the labor problems he experienced while working in England, and added that the distrust between labor and management resulted in frequent stoppages and strikes.
       HR news items add Waveney Lee, Dandy Nichols and Richard Golden to the cast, but their ... More Less

The film's working title was Gulliver's Travels . Sep and Oct 1958 news items in HR noted that Universal-International Pictures registered the title Gulliver's Travels in early 1958, and commissioned Jack Sher, Arthur Ross and and Sy Gomberg to write the screenplay. When producer Charles H. Schneer began work on his own project based on Jonathan Swift's novel, Universal protested, but later worked out a co-production deal with Schneer's Morningside Productions. Both Sher and Gomberg worked for Universal, and although Sher is credited with the film's screenplay, the extent of Gomberg's contribution to the completed film has not been determined.
       According to a Jun 1959 HR news item, location shooting was done around Costa Brava, Spain. Publicity materials in the film’s production files at the AMPAS Library add the following Spanish locations: the walled city of Avila, the mountains of Boca del Anzo, the aqueduct in Segovia and the Palacio de Oriente in La Granga. Spanish interiors were filmed at the Sevilla Studios in Madrid. A Sep 1959 LAT article noted that after eight weeks of shooting in Spain, the company moved to London’s Pinewood Studios. Publicity materials noted that the village square at Shepperton, England was also used for location shooting. In a Sep 1959 HR news item, Schneer noted that he was unhappy with the labor problems he experienced while working in England, and added that the distrust between labor and management resulted in frequent stoppages and strikes.
       HR news items add Waveney Lee, Dandy Nichols and Richard Golden to the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Although a Jun HR item in the "Rambling Reporter" column added Joe Marston to the cast, his appearance in the film has not been confirmed.
       The process of Super Dynamation was developed by Ray Harryhausen and was first used by Schneer in his 1958 film The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (see above). Unlike that film, which combined animation with live action, The 3 Worlds of Gulliver used all live action. According to studio publicity materials, the visual effects were produced by the use of perspective, inlay photography, optical variation and split screen. Harryhausen would use as many as five strips of film to create a visual sequence, blending them together to obtain a single visual effect. For The 3 Worlds of Gulliver , Harryhausen used more than 200 trick photographic shots and spent five months processing the visual effects in the laboratory following the conclusion of principal photography.
       A Dec 1960 MPH news item noted that to promote the film, a twenty-five-foot tall helium balloon of Gulliver was entered in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then sent on a nationwide tour. Products with the Gulliver motif were featured on children's clothing and bedroom sets, and hard-and-soft covered versions of the novel were released to tie in with the film’s merchandising. A modern source adds Doris Lloyd to the cast. Although a Feb 1960 HR news item noted that a sequel titled The New Travels of Master Gulliver starring Kerwin Mathews was being planned, the sequel was never made. Swift's novel also served as the basis for the 1939 Paramount Pictures animated film Gulliver's Travels directed by Dave Fleischer. For information on that and other screen adaptations, see that entry in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Dec 1960.
---
Daily Cinema
9 Nov 1960.
---
Daily Variety
7 Dec 60
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Dec 60
p. 10.
Filmfacts
1960
pp. 322-33.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 1958
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Oct 1958
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 1959
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 1959
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 1959
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 1959
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 1959
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 1959
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 1959
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 1960
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 1960
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
22 Sep 1959.
---
MFB
1960
p. 173.
Motion Picture Herald
17 Dec 1960.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Dec 60
p. 956.
New York Times
17 Dec 60
p. 19
Variety
7 Dec 60
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Cost des
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff created by
Main titles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
STAND INS
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World by Lemuel Gulliver by Jonathan Swift (London, 1726).
SONGS
"Gentle Love" and "What a Wonderful, Wonderful Fellow Is Gulliver," music by George Duning, lyrics by Ned Washington.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Gulliver's Travels
Release Date:
December 1960
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 16 December 1960
Great Britain opening: 19 December 1960
Production Date:
13 July--11 September 1959 at Pinewood Studios, London and Sevilla Studios, Madrid
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 November 1960
Copyright Number:
LP17388
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
Eastman Color by Pathé
Lenses/Prints
Super Dynamation
Duration(in mins):
98-100
Countries:
United Kingdom, Spain, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19556
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1699 in the village of Wapping, England, Dr. Lemuel Gulliver, discontent with his life of poverty, decides to sign on as ship’s doctor aboard the vessel piloted by Capt. Pritchard, hoping to sail the world in search of wealth and fame. Once at sea, Gulliver discovers that his fiancée, Elizabeth Whitley, has stowed away on board. Gulliver insists that Elizabeth be put ashore at their first port, and as the two argue, a storm-swept wave knocks Gulliver overboard. Nearly drowned, Gulliver is washed ashore on the island of Lilliput, where his presence frightens the tiny inhabitants, who regard Gulliver as a giant. The pompous emperor of Lilliput declares that Gulliver must be an enemy because he is different from everyone else. To prove his benevolence, Gulliver disperses a drenching rainstorm with a puff of his breath. As Gulliver starts building a boat so that he can set sail and find his beloved Elizabeth, he helps the Lilliputians by clearing their forests for croplands and using his hat to scoop up fish from the sea. Gulliver envisions Lilliput as a heaven on earth until the Emperor threatens to prevent the boat from being completed unless Gulliver joins the crusade to crush the inhabitants of the nearby island of Blefscu, who have gone to war with Lilliput over their disagreement about the proper way to crack an egg. To absolve himself from blame if the Lilliputian army is defeated, the Emperor decrees that a prime minister should be elected to lead the troops into war. The candidates are Flimnap, the evil minister of defense, who wholeheartedly supports the annihilation of the ... +


In 1699 in the village of Wapping, England, Dr. Lemuel Gulliver, discontent with his life of poverty, decides to sign on as ship’s doctor aboard the vessel piloted by Capt. Pritchard, hoping to sail the world in search of wealth and fame. Once at sea, Gulliver discovers that his fiancée, Elizabeth Whitley, has stowed away on board. Gulliver insists that Elizabeth be put ashore at their first port, and as the two argue, a storm-swept wave knocks Gulliver overboard. Nearly drowned, Gulliver is washed ashore on the island of Lilliput, where his presence frightens the tiny inhabitants, who regard Gulliver as a giant. The pompous emperor of Lilliput declares that Gulliver must be an enemy because he is different from everyone else. To prove his benevolence, Gulliver disperses a drenching rainstorm with a puff of his breath. As Gulliver starts building a boat so that he can set sail and find his beloved Elizabeth, he helps the Lilliputians by clearing their forests for croplands and using his hat to scoop up fish from the sea. Gulliver envisions Lilliput as a heaven on earth until the Emperor threatens to prevent the boat from being completed unless Gulliver joins the crusade to crush the inhabitants of the nearby island of Blefscu, who have gone to war with Lilliput over their disagreement about the proper way to crack an egg. To absolve himself from blame if the Lilliputian army is defeated, the Emperor decrees that a prime minister should be elected to lead the troops into war. The candidates are Flimnap, the evil minister of defense, who wholeheartedly supports the annihilation of the Blefscuns, and the benevolent Reldresal, whose sweetheart Gwendolyn and her father, Lord Bermogg, are being exiled to Blefscu for cracking the wrong end of an egg. The contest is to be decided on the basis of which candidate performs the most feats on a tightrope, and Reldresal, who shares Gulliver’s dream of making Lilliput a paradise, teams with the giant to win the match. However, when Reldresal refuses to renounce Gwendolyn, he is arrested for treason and the Emperor threatens to execute him and kill Gwendolyn unless Gulliver agrees to go to war. To save them, Gulliver swims to Blefscu, where the inhabitants are assembling an armada to attack Lilliput. Upon reaching the harbor, Gulliver pulls up the ship’s anchor lines and tows the vessels out to sea. When Gulliver returns triumphant to Lilliput, Flimnap scoffs that you cannot win a war without suffering casualties and the Emperor, who perceives Gulliver as a threat to his power, accuses him of treason. Warned by Reldresal that the Emperor intends to execute him, Gulliver jumps into his now completed boat and rows out to sea. When he lands on the island of Brobdingnag, where he is terrified by a forty-foot-tall girl playing with Gulliver-sized dolls. The girl, Glumdalclitch, scoops up Gulliver and takes him to show the King. At the castle, Gulliver finds Elizabeth, who was washed ashore after Capt. Pritchard’s boat sank. The King beams at the tiny Elizabeth and Gulliver, whom he regards as his own special possessions, even though his sorcerer, Makovan, warns that little people are dangerous. The King appoints Glumdalclitch as the little people’s guardians and installs them in their own tiny castle. With all their needs satisfied, Gulliver renounces his earlier quest for power and importance and marries Elizabeth. They settle into a life of contentment until Makovan accuses Gulliver of witchcraft because of his knowledge of science, making Gulliver realize that the kingdom is backward and ignorant and that he and Elizabeth exist merely as amusements for the King. After the Queen develops a stomachache, Gulliver formulates a medicine to cure her, confirming Makovan’s suspicions. The King, jealous of his wife’s admiration for Gulliver, orders Glumdalclitch to take Gulliver to Makovan’s lab, where the sorcerer plans to prove that he is a witch. When Gulliver refuses to denounce medicine and science, Makovan deems him a witch, and the King, in turn, decides to feed him to his pet crocodile. Using his ingenuity, Gulliver slays the creature, after which Glumdalclitch snatches up Gulliver and Elizabeth, puts them in her basket and flees the castle with the King and his courtiers in pursuit. When Glumdalclitch stumbles and drops the basket, Gulliver and Elizabeth tumble out and run into a forest. Unable to locate the little people, the King sets fire to the brush. Elizabeth and Gulliver take refuge at the mouth of a stream, and when Glumdalclitch finds them there, she puts them into her basket and hurls it into the stream, which flows into the sea. Awakening on a beach with Elizabeth, Gulliver realizes that love is the only thing that sustains life in a fearful, uncertain world. Spotting a man walking on the beach, Gulliver asks how to reach the faraway land of Wapping, England and the man replies it is just over the hill. +

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

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