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DUDLEY DO RIGHT

Behind The Scenes
Dudley Do-Right is film for audiences of all ages

Dudley Do-Right is film for audiences of all ages. A slice of nostalgia for the baby-boomers and a rollicking ride complete with action, adventure-and lots of humor, for the kids.

For writer/director Hugh Wilson, the desire to bring the timeless character of Dudley to life began with a love for the television cartoon series that made him laugh most as a kid.

"Rocky and Bullwinkle and Dudley were so much funnier than the other stuff I was watching on Saturday mornings," says Wilson. "It was like they were working on two levels-one for the kids and one for the adults. There was no dumbing down and there was no condescension, and I think that's why people liked them so much."

Like the cartoon, a comical bass-toned narrator leads us through the story in a style similar to the hip, finger-in-his-ear announcer of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. As he dramatically states the obvious, he tosses in sarcastic quips of his own to spice things up.

Fraser says he accepted the role of Do-Right, a character whom Wilson laughingly refers to as "passionately stupid," because he loved the script. The star who first wooed audiences with his comedic performance in George of the Jungle and solidified his stature as a bonafide star with this summer's blockbuster hit The Mummy, is a natural for the part of Dudley. More than just an actor with universal appeal, his ability to play deadpan funny and yet remain charmingly sincere at the same time are a rarity.

"I was in Morocco shooting The Mummy, where it was hot and kind of rough going and I was somehow couriered a copy of Dudley Do-Right," Fraser explains. "It gave me the best laugh that I had had for a month and a-half. I had such a good experience having worked with Hugh on Blast From the Past, that I definitely wanted to repeat the experience.

Fraser continues, "Hugh is a gentleman and a professional and an all-around good guy. I think that the final equation was that if Hugh Wilson was going to direct it, I wanted to be in it."

To research life as a member of the RCMP, Fraser looked no further than his own family history. His great grandfather, a French Canadian, was a Mountie, and old family photos proved not only inspirational, but humorous.

"He was known as the long-armed arm of the law-it was a joke because was actually not very tall," Fraser explains. "He had short arms, but he would reach into the haystacks to make sure that they were stacked properly and that no one was cheating the government for stacking them improperly. And if, indeed, there was empty space in the middle of the hay, he would write a citation. He was the original Dudley Do-Right."

The talented stage actor Alfred Molina, nominated for a Tony Award for his outstanding performance in Art, plays Dudley's arch-rival, the sinister Snidely Whiplash. Twirling his trademark handlebar mustache, he lusts after the lascivious Nell while masterminding the gold rush scam of the century.

"When you're playing cartoon characters, the great thing is that you can be completely outrageous," says Molina. "I love a bit of shtick. I belong to the red nose and big shoes school of comedy, and that's why I go for the broad stroke."

As a cartoon character, Snidely is always tying someone to the railroad tracks. "No half-decent villain would not have a scene like that," laughs Molina. "It's like having a love story without a kiss, you know, it just wo

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