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The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin

4.4 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

On Disney DVD for the first time, Boston proper meets the Wild West as Roddy McDowall, Suzanne Pleshette, and Karl Malden star in a fish-out-of-water comedy for everyone! To restore his family's lost wealth, a young Boston lad stows away on a ship bound for the California Gold Rush. When their very proper butler gives chase, all roads lead to nonstop adventure, wild and woolly characters, and a lucky punch that leads to a bonanza of belly laughs! You'll discover a fortune of family fun in this classic Disney film -- perfect for your collection.|This film marks Suzanne Pleshette's song-and-dance debut on the big screen. Wrote Variety: "Miss Pleshette, more often than not cast in kooky or bad-girl parts, proves (gratifyingly) that she need not be pigeonholed. Her saloon singing-dancing is a neat blend of ribaldry and dignity, which is what the part demands."|The movie is based on the 1963 book "By The Great Horn Spoon," by Albert Sidney Fleischman, which chronicled the California Gold Rush of 1849.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Roddy McDowall, Suzanne Pleshette, Karl Malden, Harry Guardino, Richard Haydn
  • Directors: James Neilson
  • Writers: Lowell S. Hawley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00077BPFA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,165 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Of those countless live-action films that Disney made and seemed to have forgotten about, this is by far one of the best - and now they're finally releasing it on DVD.

Roddy MacDowell stars as Eric Griffin, a by-the-books, remarkably canny Butler for the Flagg family. When the patriarch dies and the Flagg orphans are revealed to be destitute, Griffin must follow them to the wild west where he proves that good manners and a clever, clear head can help one overcome any situation, from poverty to bandits to bare-knuckle boxing championships. The villian of the show, played over-the-top with delicious relish by the potatoe-nosed Karl Malden, is a treat, and a great counter for MacDowell's clean, handsome Griffin.

There are laughs, great action sequences, and numerous episodic adventures, but what really makes this movie shine is a strong sense of period. The feeling that this really is the mid nineteenth century, and not a '60s recreation, is palpable, and is a must for any fan of Westerns, victoriana, steampunk, or just the good old days when "for the whole family" didn't just mean "for kids."

For similar enjoyment, check out Disney's soon-to-be-released dvd of "In Search of the Castaways", based on Jules Verne's riveting adventure "Captain Grant's Children."
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After finishing the book BY THE GREAT HORN SPOON with my 4th graders, I wanted to reward them at the end of the year with a video. I had heard there was a movie version of the book, and was thrilled to find this video. Yes, there are differences betweent the book and video, but nonetheless, my students thoroughly enjoyed "The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin" with tons of positive comments and much laughter. I am so pleased to have purchased this video as I was highly entertained myself. This is a must-have buy for any teacher who completes a unit on the California gold rush! The video was certainly a hit, but make sure you read BY THE GREAT HORN SPOON, as well! :)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THE ADVENTURES OF BULLWHIP GRIFFIN, a western comedy-rouser from Disney, gets it's long awaited DVD debut. Roddy McDowall, Suzanne Pleshette and Karl Malden (all veterans of Disney live action films) lead the impressive cast.

McDowall plays a meek butler from Boston, suddenly landed in the wild wild west, in the thick of the gold rush. Romance, adventure and comedy abound with Suzanne Pleshette an eyeful as saloon cutie Arabella Flagg. The cast also includes Harry Guardino, Richard Haydn, Hermione Baddeley, Cecil Kellaway and Joby Baker.

Disney has released THE ADVENTURES OF BULLWHIP GRIFFIN in pleasing 16:9 anamorphic. With the company in the bad habit of releasing most of their back-catalogue titles in fullscreen, this is rather a surprise. Sadly no extras, though having BULLWHIP GRIFFIN finally in digital format has been worth the wait.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this DVD for my fourth grade classroom. Students had finished studying about the California Gold Rush and reading Sid Fleischman's By the Great Horn Spoon!. Students loved the book and enjoyed the movie.
Great for California fourth graders.
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Format: VHS Tape
A series of extremely funny accidents take a butler, a boy and an independent young woman off to California for the gold rush.
They keep getting rich, and then losing it.
The whole movie is full of wonderful quotes that make you want to repeat them at random moments:
"Oh. Well, now I shall be forced to trounce the scoundrel!"
It's just an unwilling hero story, but so well done that you will always remember it. And who could pass up a butler with a theme song?
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Format: DVD
How can one resist the cast? Roddy McDowell, Suzanne Pleshette (YES, she sings! - and quite well), Karl Malden and a host of classic western stars. A very fun family film that has a fun story that takes many different directions - It will be nice on DVD, though only disappointment is that Disney NEVER does any extras at all on these old "claasics".
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
My students and I finished reading "By the Great Horn Spoon" and decided to watch this movie that is (very loosely, in my opinion) based on it.

We certainly got a kick out of it. I mean, it's definitely an older movie, so we weren't expecting amazing digital enhancement or anything, but we did enjoy a laugh or two at how silly and downright hilarious some of the attempts at cinematographic ingenuity and melodramatic acting. I think it was really good for my students to see how movies "used to be made" too, before the modern film-making techniques we have now! We also really enjoyed comparing and contrasting the differences between the movie and the book.

My kids have still been singing the theme song of "Bullwhip Griffin" even now, a few weeks later. It was a fun little movie for a Friday afternoon!
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Format: Amazon Video
BEHIND THE SCENES & TRIVIA: This film features an impressive cast including Roddy McDowell, Suzanne Pleshete, Karl malden, and Richard Haydn. Many years earlier Haydn served as the voice of the caterpillar in the animated Disney feature, "Alice in Wonderland". The screenplay is by Lowell Hawley, based on a wonderful book by Sid Fleischman titled, "By the Great Horn Spoon". Read Fleischman's autobiography to learn about his own reaction to the Disney movie. Like all adaptations to screen, there are quite a few changes to say the least. Hawley also wrote screenplays for other Disney Studio projects including some Zorro episodes, In Search of the Castaways, The Swiss Family Robinson, and A Tiger Walks. The Sherman Brothers composing team wrote 3 songs for the feature including "The Girls of San Francisco" sung by Suzanne Pleshette and the chorus girls in the saloon number. Directed by James Neilson and co-produced by Bill Anderson. The film was shot at the Disney Studio backlot and soundstages, and berms Four & Five were used to recreate the gold miners camp. The studio had built berms that were planted thick with trees so it appeared you were in the woods even while sitting in Burbank. The berms included water ponds and fake streams. Studio veterans were brought in for many aspects of the project besides the producer, composers, director, actors, and screenwriter. The inventive title sequences were created by veteran Disney animator Ward Kimball. The background score music was by veteran studio composer George Bruns, and costumes by Chuck Keehne. The film was released to theaters on March 3, 1967. That year the Disney Studio also released The Gnome-Mobile, and The Happiest Millionaire.Read more ›
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