Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday's Film Adaptions: A Garden of Cucumber by Poyntz Tyler

William Montague Buckmaster is the head of Miss Victoria Custis Woodhull's household staff. She was bequeathed the home in 1914 by her father, S. Taylor Thorndyke Woodhull, but is completely broke. Buckmaster began robbing people to support the household during the Great Depression, and the entire household is involved in shoplifting, with Miss Woodhull notoriously unaware as she works on a dictionary for bad spellers called Inquire Within. To this end, she hires a secretary, who is also a bad speller, Phyllis Langdon, who isn't even sure how to spell her first name.

Claude Renfrew Fitzwilliam, head butler for Mrs. Van Wyck, has fallen in love with Juliet Blake Armistead, a maid in the Woodhull household, and, Mrs. Van Wyck being in a similar situation to Mrs. Woodhull, is about to take a $2.13 an factory job in Flushing in order to marry her. Miss Woodhull and and Mr. Buckmaster have been the closest things she has had to family since her parents died, and Mr. Buckmaster offers Mr. Fitzwilliam a position on the household staff. Mr. Fitzwilliam, being a former Boy Scout, is quite morally minded, and needs to be convinced that what he is doing is not so bad, and the fact that Mr. Buckmaster gives away illegally appropriated Bibles to the bereaved certainly helps.

C. Chatsworth Garland, B.A., B.D. is the head of the Platypus Patrol of the Boy Scouts of America, and as a member of the Woodhull staff, their antics must be consistently kept hidden away from the boys, or presented in a way such they do not appear to be crime and theft.

Jean Jacques Pierre de Beauchamp is the household chef. He is an anarchist who placed a bomb in the food of the First Minister of the Third Republic, but anisette sauce leaked into the bomb and caused it to fail. Now he wants to get caught in a relatively minor crime in the United States so he can't get extradited back to France and spend the rest of his life in prison.

These are only the key members of the staff of Miss Victoria Custis Woodhull 's mansion at 964 5th Avenue in New York City.

When an aging philanthropist goes broke, her butler robs from the rich so she can give to the poor.
Release Date: December 20, 1967
Release Time: 102 minutes

Dick Van Dyke - Claude Fitzwilliam
Barbara Feldon - Juliet Nowell
John McGiver - Albert
Edith Evans - Miss Victoria Woodworth
Harry Townes - Mr. Nowell
John Fiedler - Mr. Morton Dunne
Anne Seymour - Grimsby
Norman Fell - Oberblatz
Cecil Kellaway - Buckmaster
Stephen Strimpell - Byron Casey
Helen Kleeb - Mrs. Mortimer
Paul Reed - Prettikin
Albert Carrier - Pierre
Nelson Olmsted - Simmons
Dennis Cooney - Assistant D.A. Elliot Adams
Noam Pitlik - Charles
Anthony Eustrel - Garland
Sam Waterston - Oliver
Billy Halop – Restaurant Owner (uncredited)

Author Bio:
Poyntz Tyler was educated at the Agassiz School in Fargo, North Dakota, where his father was the Episcopal bishop, the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He was on the debate team in high school. He worked for various magazines and newspapers, as well as for Westinghouse, United Cerebral Palsy, and the U.S. Army. He lived on East 57th Street in New York City in 1960 and claimed to be an honorary Sioux. His 1960 novel, A Garden of Cucumbers was the basis for Delbert Mann's 1967 film Fitzwilly, starring Dick Van Dyke. The novel was republished as Fitzwilly Strikes Back as a tie-in with the film.



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