Friday, March 20, 2009

Jeannie In A Bottle?

One of my absolute favorite TV shows, growing up, was "I Dream Of Jeannie".

"I Dream of Jeannie" was a 1960s American sitcom. Produced by Screen Gems, it originally aired from S
eptember 1965 to May 1970 on NBC. The show ran for five seasons and produced 139 episodes. The first season consisted of 30 episodes filmed in black and white. The other 109 episodes were filmed in color. The show has continued to air in reruns ever since.

Though it was not the shows main characters that I enjoyed so much. For some odd reason, it was Jeannie's bottle that always held my attention! And to this day, I still want a room decorated to match the interior of her bottle!

Jeannie's famous bottle was not created for the show. The actual bottle was a special Christmas 1964
Jim Beam liquor decanter containing "Beam's Choice" Bourbon Whiskey. It was designed by Roy Kramer for the Wheaton Bottle Company.


For years it was said that Sidney Sheldon, the shows creator, received one as a gift and thought it would be a perfect design for the series. Several people in the Screen Gems art department also take credit for finding the bottle. There is strong evidence, however, that it was first season director, Gene Nelson who saw one in a liquor store and bought it, bringing it to Sheldon.

Jeannie's bottle was left its original dark, smoke-green color, with a painted gold leaf pattern (to make it look like an antique), during the first season. The plot description of the pilot episode in TV Guide, in September 1965, referred to it as a "green bottle". In that first episode, it also looked quite rough and weathered. Since the show was originally filmed in black and white, a lot of colors and patterns were not necessary. When the show switched to color, the prop people came up with a brightly colored bottle to replace the original.

Over the years, I've collected these bottles, finding a lone one at tag sales, or a flea market, as well as obtaining a few on eBay.
Here is one of my original 1964 Jim Beam bottles, unpainted, and still has the labels on it, along with the state "tax stamp", and part of the seal.




Here is another 1964 Jim Beam bottle that has been painted to match the bottle used for the first season of "I Dream Of Jeannie" with the gold vines and leaves.
NOTE:
The first season bottle had a clear glass stopper that Tony took from a 1956 Old Grand-Dad Bourbon bottle in his home, as the original stopper was left behind on the beach where Tony found Jeannie
. These glass stoppers are extremely rare and hard to find. It's a highly sought after piece for Jeannie Bottle collectors. One such stopper recently sold on eBay for $475!



Here is another Jim Beam bottle that has been painted in the design we are all familiar with!



The Jim Beam bottle, below, was one that I tried painting myself! Not that much of an artist, I must say it wasn't too bad, though I just couldn't match up that shade of "metallic purple" used in the show.




The 2 "I Dream Of Jeannie" reunion movies, "I Dream Of Jeannie 15 Years Later (1985), and "I Still Dream Of Jeannie" (1991) again used Jim Beam bottles, but with a new, more dramatic paint job.



Not sure if it was due to the success of the show or just "repeating" past designs, Jim Beam released other bottles, similar in design to the original "Jeannie" bottle from 1964. These bottles were colored, and had a "Handle" attached to the bottle. The stoppers, though the same design, were flat on top and did not contain the "point" as the original bottle stopper did.
On the left the blue bottle contained "McGill's Canadian Whiskey", as stated on the label, and came out in 1973. The bottle on the right was "Beams Ruby Crystal Bourbon". This came out in 1980. There was also a clear glass bottle that matched the blue and red ones, with a handle. I did have one of these clear glass bottles, sealed, still containing the bourbon, but unfortunately, it was recently destroyed, by accident, as it fell from the shelf it was displayed on.



Below is a photo of another, unpainted, 1964 Jim Beam bottle. As you can see through the stopper, the bottles, though dark colored, are actually transparent.
The bottle on the right was an "eBay find". It's actually a ceramic replica of the Jim Beam bottle painted with a "Gay Pride" design. The stopper is permanently attached to this bottle.



Some more eBay finds, below left, another ceramic replica of the "purple" bottle, without a stopper. The bottle on the right was a promotional item given out at the, now defunct, Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.



Other fun "I Dream Of Jeannie Items" I've collected, below, a metal lunch box and Mattel released a limited edition "I Dream Of Jeannie" Barbie doll complete with a mini Jeannie Bottle.



Most recently Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the entire "I Dream Of Jeannie" series in a DVD Boxed set. The set includes 20 DVDs featuring all 139 episodes, as well as fun extras (note the entire first season has been "colorized" in this set). Also included is a limited edition "Jeannie bottle" that holds all 20 DVDs. The set also includes 55 collector's cards with never before seen photos, episode synopses, trivia and cast profiles!

12 comments:

  1. How interesting, John! I never knew about the Jeannie bottles! Thanks for sharing this with us and for sharing your wonderful collection with us.

    So happy to see that you are blogging!

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  2. Hey John if you like Jeannie so much you should hop on over to Idreamofjeanniefans.net and check the place out! What you need is a David Matson replica! They're beautiful. He's on the site as Salvatore & Son.

    Hope to see you!
    schnzchx

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  3. Okay, I now have the I Dream of Jeannie theme song playing in my head! I love your collection! It's always interesting to see what others collect. I wonder what Dr. Bellows would say about it? :-)

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  4. Kenn - You wanna get something really stuck in your head, the theme to "I Dream Of Jeannie" has lyrics that were never used in the series, but there's a (poor) recording of it out there online. The lyrics are fun and you'll be singing them in your head!

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  5. Elaine - Thank you! I'm just jumping on all these bandwagons, blogging, twitter, you name it! Guess I need to find a job soon! LOL!

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  6. John,

    I have an opened case of the james beam 1980 ruby glass decanter. Would you happen to know the value or be interested in one or a few for your collection?

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  7. xxbenjaminxx - I wouldn't really know what the value of the bottles are.
    I'm not really looking for anymore, but I know people are always buying them on eBay and paying a good amount!
    Are the bottles empty or do they still have the liquor in them?

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  8. can you tell me more about the ruby glass bottle? i just happened upon two, and was told they're from the 60's. everything i've read tells me they were actually released in 1980.

    thanks,

    chip

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  9. Chip - The Ruby Red Glass bottle was, in fact, released in 1980, and contained Bourbon. The bottom of the bottle has numbers that tell the release year. It may be spaced and read "19 80" The orginal smokey bottle was released in 1964, the blue glass bottle was released in 1973, the red in 1980.

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  10. Come visit :)

    www.wedreamofjeannie.com

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  11. Check this out--
    a 1956 old grand dad stopper!! eBay--
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330465475686&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

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  12. I was big fan of "I Dream of Jeannie", too, back in the day when I was a little kid (well, not so little--I was 11 years old in 1965 when the show premiered.) Always wanted to get my hands on my own "Jeannie" bottle. heard that there's a woman in the Southwest ( I think in Arizona) who makes hand-painted :Jeannie bottles for sale to the public, especially fans of the show. I'll have to search again for her website. I went to it a few times a while ago, but I've forgotten the URL.

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