Doctor Dolittle

  • U
  • Richard Fleischer (1967)
  • US
  • 138 min
Doctor Dolittle
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Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Children will revel in this fun adventure based on Hugh Lofting's stories, but in its day it was an infamous and costly disaster that almost killed off 20th Century-Fox. Its longevity belies a thumpingly leaden affair, in which Rex Harrison is squeakily embarrassing as the dotty doc. There are some good tunes, including the Oscar-winning Talk to the Animals, and the special effects also won an Academy Award, but overall it is rather a bore - to adults, that is. Another curious example of a film that bombed at the box office in its day, but refuses to lie in its celluloid grave.

Plot Summary

Musical fantasy adventure starring Rex Harrison. As a result of his treatment by his neighbours, which leads to his arrest, Doctor Dolittle decides to abandon his surgery for humans in favour of a practice that solely treats animals. He learns nearly 500 animal dialects from his parrot, Polynesia, and becomes the proud possessor of a pushmi-pullyu. But his greatest ambition is to travel to the South Seas in search of the elusive great pink sea snail and the Giant Lunar Moth.

Cast and crew


Doctor John Dolittle
Rex Harrison
Matthew Mugg
Anthony Newley
General Bellowes
Peter Bull
Tommy Stubbins
William Dix
Sarah Dolittle
Portia Nelson
Emma Fairfax
Samantha Eggar
Albert Blossom
Richard Attenborough
Mrs Blossom
Muriel Landers
Willy Shakespeare
Geoffrey Holder
Lady Petherington
Norma Varden


Richard Fleischer

Other Information

Available on video and DVD
Certificate U
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment