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Updated: May 05, 2024

"Dear Brigitte" ( 1965 )


"This family comedy stars James Stewart as Dr. Robert Leaf, a college professor who dislikes science and tries to instill in his children a love of art and music. So Robert and his wife Vina ( Glynis Johns ) are dismayed to discover that their eight-year-old son Erasmus ( Billy Mumy ) is tone-deaf and color-blind; what's worse, he has a genius-level talent for mathematics. Robert isn't sure what to do about Erasmus, but while his older sister Pandora ( Cindy Carol ) puts his skills to work by getting him to do her homework, his older friend Kenneth ( Fabian) has a better idea. Kenneth and Erasmus come up with a foolproof plan for picking the winners in horse racing so foolproof that it draws the attention of two con men, Upjohn ( John Williams ) and Argyle ( Jesse White ), who want to use Erasmus's skills to clean up at the track.

Robert at first refuses, and then relents only when they agree to use a cut of the proceeds to endow a humanities scholarship, though Robert is about the only one surprised when the men prove not to be good to their word. Meanwhile, Erasmus is head over heels in love with French screen siren Brigitte Bardot so much so that he's been writing her love letters. In return, the lucky boy has received an invitation to come meet her, and Robert and Erasmus use some of their racetrack winnings to fly to Paris and take her up on her offer. Nunnally Johnson, who received no credit, contributed to the screenplay; Miss Bardot, of course, plays herself ( who else could? ).


One of the best child actors of the 1950's and 1960's, freckled-faced Billy Mumy performed with a directness and sincerity that put many an adult performer to shame. Before he was even ten years old, Mumy had played two of the most unforgettable juveniles in TV history: Malevolently telekinetic Anthony Fremont on the 1961 Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life," and the pistol-toting protagonist of "Bang! You're Dead," an incredibly suspenseful 1962 installment of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, directed by Hitchcock himself. In films from 1963, Mumy's finest cinematic hour-and-a-half was as Erasmus Leaf, an 8-year-old math genius with an all-consuming crush on Brigitte Bardot, in 1965's Dear Brigette. From 1965 to 1968, Mumy appeared as Will Robinson on the popular TV sci-fi fantasy series Lost in Space. As Mumy matured, he found roles harder to come by, though he was given generous screen time in the 1971 Stanley Kramer production Bless the Beasts and Children and was a regular on the 1975 TV weekly Sunshine. He kept busy in the 1980s on the sci-fi convention lecture circuit and as a scriptwriter; he also played cameo roles in remakes of "It's a Good Life" ( the middle section of the 1983 Twilight Zone feature film ) and "Bang! You're Dead" ( one of the components of the 1985 TV revival of Alfred Hitchcock Presents ). The many fans of Bill Mumy's previous work in the realm of "fantastic television" were delighted in 1995 to find him playing the recurring role of Lennier on the syndicated TVer Babylon 5.

A recording artist from age 14, 1950's teen-idol Fabian rose to stardom with such Doc Pomus / Mort Shuman compositions as "Hound Dog Man" and "Turn Me Loose." Fabian functioned best under the careful tutelage of Bandstand producer Dick Clark and with the benefit of the songwriting input of Pomus and Shuman. Many of his earliest film appearances North to Alaska ( 1960 ), Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation ( 1962 ) indicated that Fabian could be an appealing screen personality with the proper guidance. His popularity suffered a severe setback when he guest-starred as a psychopathic killer on the 1961 TV series Bus Stop; the episode, "A Lion is in the Streets," was considered so reprehensibly violent that it prompted a congressional investigation. While he continued to make records and film appearances, Fabian's career peaked in the early 1960's and went downhill thereafter. Billing himself as Fabian Forte from 1970 onward, the singer / actor has continued to work in cheap horror films and cycle flicks, and has made a few moderately successful TV guest appearances.

Cindy Carol ( born October 11, 1944 in Los Angeles, California ) is an American actress. She was credited as Carol Sydes before her starring role as Gidget in Gidget goes to Rome ( 1963 ). Her first recorded role was as an uncredited schoolgirl in Good Morning, Miss Dove ( 1955 ). Under the name of Carol Sydes, she made a guest appearance in an episode of Medic that same year. This was followed by guest appearances in seven episodes of Leave It to Beaver in the years 1957-1960, four of them in the role of Alma Hanson, the other three ( one uncredited ) in various other roles. Following a single guest appearance in My Three Sons in 1961, in 1962 she played the roles of Betty in the film Cape Fear and Binkie Massey in the television series The New Loretta Young Show. In 1963, taking the new stage name of Cindy Carol, she starred as the second blonde Gidget in the third and final Gidget film Gidget goes to Rome. The role had been played by Sandra Dee and Deborah Walley in the two previous films. Carol subsequently made a single guest appearance in Vacation Playhouse in 1964. Then in 1965 she appeared as Susan in the television series Never Too Young, and starred as Pandora Leaf in the film Dear Brigitte, in a strong cast including Brigitte Bardot who played herself.

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