Thursday, February 26, 2009

Roddy "Ariel" McDowall?

The Tempest. Dir. George Schaefer. Perf. Maurice Evans, Richard Burton, Roddy McDowall, Tom Poston, Liam Redmond, and Lee Remick. 1960. Videocassette. Films for the Humanities, 1983.
Roddy McDowall has been in just about everything, so we probably shouldn't be surprised to find him playing Ariel opposite Richard Burton's Caliban in the 1960 made-for-TV production of The Tempest.

McDowall's Ariel looks like a cross between the Sewer Urchin (from the animated version of The Tick—in one episode of which, Roddy McDowall played a villain named "The Breadmaster," by the way), an echidna, and . . . um . . . Roddy McDowall.

Yes, it's a little hard to imagine.  Fortunately, you can let us on your imaginary forces work.  Think, when we talk of Roddy McDowall as Ariel, that you see him in the clip below, singing "Where the bee sucks, there suck I" with occasional slapstick orchestral punctuation:

video

Links: The Film at IMDB.

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest