Trivia / The Blue Bird

1976 version

  • All-Star Cast: Both on the American and Russian sides of the equation, but this does mean some Billing Displacement.
  • Billing Displacement: Tyltyl and Mytyl (Todd Lookinland and Patsy Kensit) are billed ninth and tenth in the opening credits, and after the title to boot. Moreover, while Elizabeth Taylor's top billing makes sense (given her Loads and Loads of Roles and their relevance to the plot), and U.S. viewers of the time would certainly recognize her fellow American actresses in important supporting roles, the four Russian performers credited before the title all play much smaller roles. (Oleg Popov, as "The Clown" at the Palace of Luxury, is just The Cameo played up because he was the star of the Moscow Circus.) Given the nature of the production, this was probably mandated so that the Russian side of it would not be marginalized.
  • Box Office Bomb: Grossed less than $1 million in the U.S. against a $12 million budget. Financial figures for the production became a state secret in Russia!
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: No legit U.S. video release as yet, and unscreened on television for 20+ years before Fall 2011, when Fox Movie Channel (now FX Movies) began occasionally airing it.
  • The Other Marty: Shooting started with James Coco as Tylo, but he suffered a gallbladder attack and was replaced with George Cole.
  • Playing Against Type: Shirley Temple playing a girl who starts out as outspoken and spiteful and gradually learns her lesson was something audiences were not comfortable with.
  • Troubled Production: On the American side, several of the actresses caused problems ranging from illness (Elizabeth Taylor) to a feud with the director (Cicely Tyson), while on the Russian side the crew and equipment weren't up to the technical standards the production needed. The translators weren't skillful enough to bridge the language gap, the American and Russian composers hired couldn't agree on the musical style to use for the songs, etc.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/TheBlueBird