[About Swiss Family Robinson.]

BILL ANDERSON: I can say this without any reservation that this was, physically, the most difficult picture the studio has ever made. We had two problems with the property itself. Have you ever read the book?


BA: Few people have and there’s not much story in the property and this was one of our first problems, because we had a couple of writers on it and Walt had become rather disgusted with the development that we got as far as getting comedy into it, etc. He said, “If we don’t do something better, we’re going to have to switch it maybe to three or six TV shows.” And I got the idea—because pirates are not in this story in the book—and one guy happened to get the idea of bringing pirates back in to give us an ending, because this is what our problem was. Then Walt and I had a meeting on it and he was quite excited about the fun we could get out of it. From there, we developed it along the lines we have, and we looked for someone that could play the head of the pirates and could play it a little bigger than life and not a typical kind of a pirate, and that’s where we got the idea of Sessue Hayakawa. Everybody thought that Walt and I were kind of nuts. I had remembered Hayakawa from silent movies, and also, of course, he had been in The Bridge on the River Kwai. So we got in touch with him and sent him the script, and that developed.

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