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Swiss Family Robinson (1940) DVD

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Swiss Family Robinson (1940)


 Edward Ludwig


 C. Graham Baker, Walter Ferris


 Thomas Mitchell, Edna Best, Freddie Bartholomew
Johan David Wyss' novel Swiss Family Robinson had been in print for nearly fifty years before the first film version was made by RKO in 1940. Thomas Mitchell is top-billed as the patriarch of the Robinson family, who, as in the book, are shipwrecked on a tropical island and compelled to bring the edicts and values of civilization to their tiny patch of the world. To give the story a bit of topicality, screenwriters Walter FerrisGene Towne andGraham Baker contrive to depict the Robinsons as refugees from a foreign war (Napoleonic rather than Hitler-inspired). Produced independently by The Play's the Thing Productions and released by RKO, Swiss Family Robinson was completely withdrawn from circulation on the occasion of the 1960 Disney remake. Side note: The 1940 version represented the feature film debut of Orson Welles, who functioned as offscreen narrator.

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  1. Better than the 1960 version 5 Star Review

    Posted by on Jan 8th 2017

    Thomas Mitchell cannot be bettered in this type of film. Saw this as a kid and then it disappeared. Thank you Walt D. Because of Zeus, I have been able to share this rare old film with my Wife of 53 years, who had never seen it.

  2. Decent 4 Star Review

    Posted by on May 22nd 2016

    It doesn't follow the book much but fun to see Thomas Mitchell and Freddie Bartholomew in one of his few movies.

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