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"With a Flair"
Song by David Tomlinson
from the album Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Released 1971 (1971)
Songwriter(s) Robert and Richard Sherman

"With A Flair" is a song written by Robert and Richard Sherman for the 1971, Walt Disney musical film production Bedknobs and Broomsticks. David Tomlinson sings the song; however, the song was cut in the final cut of the motion picture. It was considered "lost and forgotten" until twenty-five years later, in 1996, when the film was reconstructed and the song was resurrected for the 1990s remastered CD. The song was also included on the original LP Soundtrack released when the film was released in 1971.

Story Placement

In the Sherman Brothers' co-autobiography, Walt's Time, the authors discuss the song's place in the film: "As thrilled as we were to have Angela Lansbury on board, we were equally delighted when the wonderful David Tomlinson accepted the role as Professor Emelius Browne. David was a great actor as we learned when he played the role of Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins. He can perform comedy brilliantly, but he can also handle the dramatic undertones a role like this one calls for. He once told us, ' There's a difference between comedians and clowns. A clown does funny things and a comedian does things funny. In 'With A Flair", we meet Emelius Browne, who is selling people on the street his dubious magic tricks. We asked our pal Milt Larsen, who, along with being a fine comedy writer, is also an expert on magic, to come in and create a comedy magic act. He taught all the tricks to David, and even has a part in the film as the stooge who gets a hatful of milk dumped on his head. To our dismay, when Bedknobs was first released, the whole 'With A Flair' sequence was cut from the film- except for a brief scene where Milt walks by, inexplicably covered in spilled milk!"

The 1971 Oscars

Another song from the film sung by Angela Lansbury; "The Age of Not Believing" was nominated for a Best Song Oscar. The Sherman Brothers' entire musical score was also nominated for an Oscar that year as well. These two nominations represent the songwriters' fourth and fifth Oscar bids respectively.

  • The reconstruction also marks the first time the film was presented in stereophonic sound. Though the musical score was recorded in stereo and the soundtrack album was presented that way, the film was released in mono sound.

Literary Sources

  • Sherman, Robert B. Walt's Time: from before to beyond. Santa Clarita: Camphor Tree Publishers, 1998.
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