Dear Brigitte


1h 40m 1965
Dear Brigitte

Brief Synopsis

An absent-minded poet with a prejudice against the sciences is forced to face the fact that his son is a math prodigy with little artistic talent of his own.

Film Details

Also Known As
Erasmus With Freckles
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1965
Premiere Information
New York opening: 27 Jan 1965
Production Company
Fred Kohlmar Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Sausalito, California, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Erasmus With Freckles by John Haase (New York, 1963).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System), Stereo
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Robert Leaf, poet and professor teaching at a California college, lives on an old ferryboat with his wife and family and is devoted to the arts but detests science. Unnerved when he discovers that his 8-year-old son, Erasmus, is both tone-deaf and colorblind, he is further horrified to learn that Erasmus is a mathematical genius, and Leaf does his best to keep this a secret. Leaf's daughter, Pandora, begins having her brother do her homework, and she and her boyfriend Kenneth soon have Erasmus handicapping horses for them. They begin to pile up money while Erasmus saves the fees he charges them for a trip to Paris to meet Brigitte Bardot, to whom he has written many letters. A con man calling himself Dr. Peregrine Upjohn makes a proposition to Leaf that they finance a Leaf Foundation to set up scholarships for students of the arts and humanities by having Erasmus handicap horses, and Leaf agrees. The foundation's assets soar until Erasmus refuses to perform his function unless he can accept an invitation he has received to visit Brigitte Bardot in Paris. Leaf takes him to Paris, where he actually meets Bardot, and while they are gone Upjohn plans to abscond with the money. An Internal Revenue agent claims the money from Upjohn, but Leaf and Erasmus arrive in time to inform the agent that the foundation is nonprofit and therefore tax exempt. Leaf takes the money, and life on the ferryboat returns to its usual pattern.

Film Details

Also Known As
Erasmus With Freckles
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1965
Premiere Information
New York opening: 27 Jan 1965
Production Company
Fred Kohlmar Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Sausalito, California, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Erasmus With Freckles by John Haase (New York, 1963).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System), Stereo
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Dear Brigitte -


Brigitte Bardot was the sex symbol of 1950s France. Her appeal was still strong in 1965 when 20th Century-Fox released Dear Brigitte . The film starred James Stewart as Robert Leaf, a college arts professor and poet with a hatred of science, who lives on a 19th Century ferryboat in San Francisco with his family, including an eight-year-old son named Erasmus (Billy Mumy) who is a mathematical genius with a gift for handicapping horses, and an obsession with Brigitte Bardot, to whom he writes letters. When the money from the horses begins piling up and word gets out, a con man (John Williams) convinces Robert to use the money to create a foundation to fund scholarships for humanities students. Erasmus realizes how important his skills are and declares that he won't continue with it unless he can go to Paris and meet Bardot. Also in the cast were Glynis Johns as Stewart's wife, Cindy Carol as daughter Pandora, Fabian as Pandora's boyfriend, and 1960s reliable character actors Jack Kruschen, Alice Pearce, and Jesse White, along with legendary comedian Ed Wynn and future star James Brolin.

The film was directed by Henry Koster from a script by Hal Kanter, based on John Haase's 1963 novel, Erasmus With Freckles , which was the original working title. However, Bardot's name was thought to be better box office, despite the fact that she her contract demanded that her name not be listed in the credits or used for publicity. According to writer Dick Klein, this resistance didn't extend to her co-workers. Klein reported that Bardot's relationship with her co-stars "was great. And apparently the feeling was mutual. She liked working with American techniques and American crews." Bardot had originally demanded that Henry Koster use her own personal cameraman for her brief cameo, but was persuaded to let Hollywood veteran Lucian Ballard try for a day. When she saw the rushes, she was so delighted with how she photographed that she immediately tried to sign Ballard to shoot her next film.

Dear Brigitte was shot on location in Sausalito, California, Paris, France, and at the Fox lot in Los Angeles, where journalist Lawrence J. Quirk had lunch with the cast and crew. He later wrote that "Stewart was warm, amusing, quizzical, kidding with Fabian, and keeping young Billy Mumy in stitches with his wisecracks. I ventured to ask Mumy his eight-year-old's impression of Bardot, and his four-letter rejoined was 'keen!'"

When the film was released in January, 1965, Variety called the film "an entertaining comedy with something for everyone [...] James Stewart is perfect."

SOURCES:

The Internet Movie Database
Kleiner, Dick "Show Beat: Guess Who is 'Dear Brigitte'?" Park City Daily News 23 Sept 64
Quirk, Lawrence J. James Stewart: Behind the Scenes of a Wonderful Life
http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/72598/Dear-Brigitte/
Thomas, Tony A Wonderful Life: The Films and Career of James Stewart
Variety "Dear Brigitte" 31 Dec 64

By Lorraine LoBianco
Dear Brigitte -

Dear Brigitte -

Brigitte Bardot was the sex symbol of 1950s France. Her appeal was still strong in 1965 when 20th Century-Fox released Dear Brigitte . The film starred James Stewart as Robert Leaf, a college arts professor and poet with a hatred of science, who lives on a 19th Century ferryboat in San Francisco with his family, including an eight-year-old son named Erasmus (Billy Mumy) who is a mathematical genius with a gift for handicapping horses, and an obsession with Brigitte Bardot, to whom he writes letters. When the money from the horses begins piling up and word gets out, a con man (John Williams) convinces Robert to use the money to create a foundation to fund scholarships for humanities students. Erasmus realizes how important his skills are and declares that he won't continue with it unless he can go to Paris and meet Bardot. Also in the cast were Glynis Johns as Stewart's wife, Cindy Carol as daughter Pandora, Fabian as Pandora's boyfriend, and 1960s reliable character actors Jack Kruschen, Alice Pearce, and Jesse White, along with legendary comedian Ed Wynn and future star James Brolin. The film was directed by Henry Koster from a script by Hal Kanter, based on John Haase's 1963 novel, Erasmus With Freckles , which was the original working title. However, Bardot's name was thought to be better box office, despite the fact that she her contract demanded that her name not be listed in the credits or used for publicity. According to writer Dick Klein, this resistance didn't extend to her co-workers. Klein reported that Bardot's relationship with her co-stars "was great. And apparently the feeling was mutual. She liked working with American techniques and American crews." Bardot had originally demanded that Henry Koster use her own personal cameraman for her brief cameo, but was persuaded to let Hollywood veteran Lucian Ballard try for a day. When she saw the rushes, she was so delighted with how she photographed that she immediately tried to sign Ballard to shoot her next film. Dear Brigitte was shot on location in Sausalito, California, Paris, France, and at the Fox lot in Los Angeles, where journalist Lawrence J. Quirk had lunch with the cast and crew. He later wrote that "Stewart was warm, amusing, quizzical, kidding with Fabian, and keeping young Billy Mumy in stitches with his wisecracks. I ventured to ask Mumy his eight-year-old's impression of Bardot, and his four-letter rejoined was 'keen!'" When the film was released in January, 1965, Variety called the film "an entertaining comedy with something for everyone [...] James Stewart is perfect." SOURCES: The Internet Movie Database Kleiner, Dick "Show Beat: Guess Who is 'Dear Brigitte'?" Park City Daily News 23 Sept 64 Quirk, Lawrence J. James Stewart: Behind the Scenes of a Wonderful Life http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/72598/Dear-Brigitte/ Thomas, Tony A Wonderful Life: The Films and Career of James Stewart Variety "Dear Brigitte" 31 Dec 64 By Lorraine LoBianco

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film is Erasmus With Freckles.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1965

Released in United States on Video May 1988

Nunnally Johnson asked that his name be removed from the credits.

Scope

Released in United States 1965

Released in United States on Video May 1988