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  • Lay Off The Chimney Sweep, Guv’nor

    Scott Kurtz linked to this brief CNN interview with Dick Van Dyke in honor of the 45th anniversary of the Disney version of Mary Poppins. I’ve always been a big fan of DVD’s, and the Sherman Brothers score for the movie is in constant rotation in our house, especially if my son has anything to say about it.

    right you are, mary poppinsh

    Of course he has to take the usual heat for his accent in the movie, to which I say Enough Already. If he’d done a real Cockney no one would have understood him. And no one gives Audrey Hepburn flak for her Eliza Doolittle voice -of course, that it sounded harsh was the point. He’s playing the accent up for the kids, not trying to do an honest look into the life of an East Ender. Notice he does the 100 year old bank president quite well. A lot of people may have done a perfect voice, but they wouldn’t have danced with penguins half as good. It sticks out less to me than when he uses no accent in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and then is noticeably un-British compared to his family. (That always bugs me- all they had to do was make Grandpa the father of his missing wife and explain that he was American, but then there wouldn’t have been the name confusion for the Vulgarian Spies to act upon).

    Anyway, it’s a fun little dialogue with interesting production facts, have a read.


    Comment from Eric
    Time: January 27, 2009, 6:52 pm

    He did such a good job as the bank president that I DIDN’T REALIZE IT WAS HIM until I was a legal adult.

    Something else you should have playing in your house:

    Over the rooftops! Over the rooftops! LINK YOUR ELBOWS!

    Comment from Parker
    Time: January 27, 2009, 9:16 pm


    But dang, I can’t imagine Louis Prima singing “Sister Suffragette.” My favorite song is “Fidelity Fiduciary Bank.”

    Comment from Edward Liu
    Time: January 29, 2009, 8:52 am

    Supposedly, in one of the extra features on the new DVD, Van Dyke says that the Brits forgive him for the accent. If you have the 40th anniversary DVD, he probably says it there, too, since the 45th DVD seems to be the same thing with extra stuff about the stage play.

    Glorious, glorious movie, although I have to admit I’ve felt vaguely ashamed for thinking, “Damn, Julie Andrews is totally cute in this movie” when I rewatched it recently. Feels like something you’re not supposed to think about Mary Poppins or Maria, even if it’s objectively true. Perhaps the wee boys will be thinking the same thing about Amy Adams when they re-discover “Enchanted” as adults.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: January 29, 2009, 9:09 am

    She is cute in it. One of my studio mates told us about a friend whose dad had a fixation on Julie Andrews. When she was a little girl, if she heard the Sound of Music album playing from the bedroom, she knew her folks were Getting Down. So she really has a different reaction to hearing any of the songs than the rest of us.