Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What was playing at the Tivoli on Sept. 21, 1966?

Fred Flintstone looks a little like Inspector Gadget to me in this ad.
Fifty years ago today, Lorain moviegoers heading for the Tivoli could expect to see a fun double bill with an espionage theme: The Man Called Flintstone, and Birds Do It starring our old pal Soupy Sales in his only starring vehicle. The ad above ran in the Lorain Journal on Sept. 21, 1966.

Here's the ad that ran in the paper the previous day. I wonder if any moviegoers who saw Modesty Blaise came back the next day to see Fred and Soupy?
The Man Called Flintstone was the big screen debut of the popular Flintstone gang. The movie was a parody of the popular James Bond spy thrillers, with Fred (Alan Reed) pressed into service as a secret agent.

Here are the stylishly designed credits from the beginning of the movie. Not exactly Saul Bass, but still fun to look at.

Although my parents took my siblings and me to most of the Walt Disney feature cartoons (I remember watching Dad fall asleep during The Jungle Book), I don't recall seeing The Man Called Flintstone in the theater. I know we saw it on TV later, probably during one of those day-after-Thanksgiving cartoon marathons. But like Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear, there were too many songs for us fidgety kids.

(I've mentioned Fred Flintstone before on this blog, including here.)

As for the other half of the double bill, Birds Do It featured Soupy Sales as a janitor in a NASA facility who accidentally gets involved in an anti-gravity experiment with the result that he can fly!

Here’s a few lobby cards to give you an idea of the comic hijinks.

I’m a little too young to have watched Soupy’s TV shows; I remember him more from his various game show appearances in the 60s and 70s.

I was really hoping that I could post the movie trailer or the movie itself, but for some reason there’s not a scrap of Birds Do It online (for free anyway). Sorry about that, Soupy fans. I guess I’m going to have to wait until it shows up on Turner Classics!

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