Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

Swiss Family Robinson (1960) “This is my good luck piece here,” Uncle Walt said to Hedda Hopper, his arm around the young Tommy Kirk. But that was before Kirk was caught having sex with a boy in a Burbank public pool. In this film, one of the last he was allowed to make for Disney, Kirk plays an adolescent girl-crazy kid, shipwrecked with his family on an island in the Caribbean.  Ken Annakin directed a remarkably talented ensemble. going way over budget catering to every fantasy that Uncle Walt had about how a good family would pull together to survive in the wilderness. Lions, tigers, snakes, and ostriches were imported into Tobago, and what would an adventure film be without pirates?  What remains miraculous, however, is that tree house, designed and constructed by Wolfgang Reitherman and Bill Martin as the most eccentric piece of architecture a boy could ever dream of — transplanted into the Magic Kingdom two years after the film’s release.  In 2006 the Disney Corporation named Tommy Kirk a Disney Legend, but has declined to reveal the cause of his death.

 

Belittled, bewitched, and demeaned from birth,

Nothing he ever did was good enough.

To pass in this business, he posed pure bluff.

Movies rarely gave him any self-worth.

 

Caregiver on the beach of shameful love,

One of the Hardy Boys, a mystery

Guilt crippled him with sly duplicity,

And drugs kept him safe, sad, and high above.

 

Gone were the raves of playing fast and loose,

Dancing with the boys in Costa Rica.

Past sixty now, he tipped the barista,

Unpacked his bags, perhaps took out a noose.

 

“He had a bad day,” the family said.

T

Those Mickey Mouse Club ears fell from his head.

[Disposable Poem October 30, 2021]

Dr. Mike

 

 


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