The Brass Bottle (1964 film)

The Brass Bottle is a 1964 American fantasy-comedy film about a modern man who accidentally acquires the friendship of a long-out-of-circulation Genie[1]. It was inspired by the 1900 novel of the same title by Thomas Anstey Guthrie.

The Brass Bottle
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHarry Keller
Produced byRobert Arthur
Written byOscar Brodney
Based onThe Brass Bottle
by Thomas Anstey Guthrie
StarringTony Randall
Burl Ives
Barbara Eden
Music byBernard Green
CinematographyClifford Stine
Edited byMilton Carruth
Ted J. Kent
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • May 20, 1964 (1964-05-20)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film starred Tony Randall, Burl Ives and Barbara Eden. Eden's role was instrumental in getting her cast as the star of the TV series I Dream of Jeannie, even though she did not play a genie in this film.[2]


Architect Harold Ventimore (Tony Randall) buys a large antique container that turns out to imprison a genie named Fakrash (Burl Ives), whom Harold inadvertently sets free. Fakrash is effusively grateful for his release, and persistently tries to do favors for Harold to show his gratitude. However he has been in the brass bottle for a long time, and Fakrash’s unfamiliarity with the modern world causes all sorts of problems when he tries to please his rescuer. Harold ends up in a great deal of trouble, including with his girlfriend, Sylvia Kenton (Barbara Eden).

Jinn and genie

Though the word genie is used in the film exclusively, author F. Anstey makes a distinction in the novel The Brass Bottle as djinn (originally published in 1900) which provides the basis of the film.



The New York Times critic A. H. Weiler dismissed it as "one of the duller fantasies dreamed up by Hollywood's necromancers."[3]

Home media

The Brass Bottle was released on DVD for Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only) as part of the Universal Vault Series in January 2010.[4] It will be released everywhere on July 4, 2017.

Other versions

Two prior versions of Anstey's novel were filmed. Both were silent and bore the same name. They were released in 1914 and 1923.

This film was remade in Tamil by Javar Sitaraman as Pattanathil Bhootham (or Ghost in the City) in 1967, and was a critical and commercial success.

See also


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