Francis the Talking Mule 05/14/22
7 Film Collection. Universal’s ongoing franchise used tricks to make a mule talk (with the voice of Chill Wills) providing Donald O’Connor with steady work but also shoehorning him into a role unworthy of his talent — as a high-stepping dancer he was the equal of Gene Kelly any day. Universal put everybody on the contract roster in these shows: actresses Julie Adams, Piper Laurie, Lori Nelson, and one show is the official credited debut of Clint Eastwood. The final entry is a real oddity, with Mickey Rooney taking over for Donald O’Connor and Paul Frees as the Mule’s voice. Will Francis sound like Toshiro Mifune? On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.