The Brass Bottle (1964)

Genres - Comedy, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Comedy  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Make no mistake about it: The Brass Bottle is a silly and fairly predictable comedy, the kind that Hollywood was making in the early 1960s before it figured out that people were more and more getting this kind of fluff on television, where it was more at home. So, no, Bottle is not a great film, not even a great comedy. But it's a pleasant, amiable and diverting little flick, thanks in large part to its very agreeable cast. One can hardly be more agreeable, for example, than Barbara Eden, who would of course soon gain fame as a genie herself, but who here is playing one of those typical-for-the-era girl friends who doesn't have a whole lot of character. But Eden is quite lovely to look at, and she's so at home in the role that she almost makes you forget that they haven't given her a lot to do. Burl Ives is certainly agreeable, an actor with great charm and who uses that charm for all its worth here. And first and foremost, we have Tony Randall, an expert at playing people who are a tad too stuffy yet whose stuffiness is endearing rather than irritating. And it doesn't hurt that he has a mean sense of timing and takes that range from overtly double to so small as to be almost invisible. Bottle's direction is adequate, and its screenplay does provide some amusing moments, but it's the players that make it worth watching.