Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Miracle of the White Stallions (1963)

Miracle of the White Stallions tells the true story of the rescue of the world-renowned Lipizzan stallions (and later the mares) by the United States Army during World War II. James Franciscus plays Major Hoffman, the officer who brought the horses’ plight to the attention of General Patton, who made the stallions official wards of the US Army. This Disney production had a star-studded cast in addition to Franciscus, including Robert Taylor as Col. Alois Podhajsky, the head of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna (home of the Lippizans), Lilli Palmer as his wife, and Eddie Albert as the colonel’s right hand man.

The DVD is available on Amazon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dr. Kildare - "Jail Ward" (1963)

Franciscus plays police detective Stan Fisher, who wants cop-killer Ed Carson (Henry Silva) tried and convicted as quickly as possible. But Dr. Kildare (Richard Chamberlain) insists that Carson be treated for acute anemia. Fisher tries to goes over Kildare's head to ask his superior, Dr. Gillespie, for help.

Franciscus was the "Dr. Kildare" producers' first choice for the role of Kildare, but he couldn't take the part because of prior contractual obligations. Other actors considered for the role were William Shatner and Robert Redford - and all three men made guest appearances on the show.

James Franciscus with Richard Chamberlain, around the time of Dr. Kildare