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Mr. Ed and Arthur Lubin

Mr. Ed and Arthur Lubin

December 1962: Film and television director Arthur Lubin gets a kiss from the equine star of  “Mr. Ed,” a show about a  talking horse.

Arthur Lubin was a director and producer on the “Mister Ed” television series. This portrait accompanied a Dec. 9, 1962 Hollywood Profile of Lubin. Los Angeles Times writer Ary Ryon reported:

Arthur Lubin, who directs those off-beat movies starring talking mules and cats and horses, wants to do a picture about a man in love with a steam shovel.

Lubin, a chunky, energetic, 45-year-old fellow, made the “Francis” movies – all five of them.

Remember Francis, the talking mule who “discovered” Donald O’Connor?

That was back in 1950.

Then, he made “Rhubarb.”

Rhubarb was a cat that inherited $1 million and a baseball team.

Lubin had seven stand-ins for Rhubarb. After all, who can tell one millionaire black cat from another unless he’s playing second base?

Lubin was once an actor and denies the report that he was a lousy one. After all, he played opposite Fay Bainter in the two-character Broadway hit, “Jealousy.”

“Every director,” he insists, “should have acting experience. You can talk their language. You know the problems. You know how a scene should be acted. Too many directors are former writers. They have a scene in their minds, but they don’t know what the actor has to do to interpret it.”

Lubin hasn’t been exclusively an animal man.

His directional credits included such movies as “Eagle Squadron,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves,” ” Night in Paradise,” “New Orleans” and “Impact.”

He also has directed segments of such television series as “Maverick,” “77 Sunset Strip” and “Bonanza.”

At the moment, however, he has a talking horse on his hands – “Mr. Ed.”

Lubin also directed a story about a fish, “The Incredible Mr. Limpet.” It’s about a henpecked husband who falls off a Coney Island pier and turns into a fish. As a very smart fish, he leads Allied naval units through Nazi mine fields off the Normandy beaches.

It’ll be released next spring.

This story Lubin wants to film about a man in love with a steam shovel is tentatively titled – wouldn’t you know it? – “The Digger.”

This guy likes steam shovels, see? So he buys one and brings it home. He puts it in his back yard and keeps digging and filling all the time. Well, the neighborhood is split by dissension. But the guy and his steam shovel unite them and there’s a big happy ending –  I guess.

Lubin also want to do “The Ghost of Drury Lane,” a story of ghosts who inhabit London’s famous theater. The screenplay is being written by Mrs. Wallace Reid, widow of the matinee idol of yesteryear.

There’s even a cat ghost in it.

That figures.

“The Ghost of Drury Lane” and “The Digger” were never filmed.

Lubin was known to fib about his age. In 1962 he was 64, not 45 as reported in the above story. In his 1995 Los Angeles Times obituary — Arthur Lubin; Director of ‘Phantom,’ Other Classics  — a friend of Lubin’s said he lied about his age because “this is Hollywood.”


  1. June 9, 2013, 3:07 pm

    Good story, but, uh, no quote from Mr. Ed?

    By: rrykken
  2. September 8, 2014, 6:01 pm

    That lie he told about his age was huge! You can obviously tell from the pic he was no 45! Why would he say he was 19 years younger than he was when he could have been less obvious about it and said he was 8 or 9 years younger instead? lol

    By: Alma

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