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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The whimsy world of Wonderland
This British film version of the Lewis Carroll classic "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is without a doubt the most faithful adaption to date! (except for the addition of the Looking-Glass twins, Tweedle Dee and Dum.). A surperb cast, lead by the talented Fiona Fullerton, who makes a splendid Alice, is supported by some of Britain's finest actors as the...
Published on July 20, 2000 by David Demoreski

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106 of 110 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Favorite ALICE, Lackluster DVD
This is my favorite production of the ALICE books. I love the sets, songs, and casting. It's also very British, which I think adds another great element to the mix.

However, skip this DVD edition. I got it, excited to see ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND in widescreen and, perhaps a better print than what's previously been available.

No such...
Published on January 4, 2005 by Matt Howe


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106 of 110 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Favorite ALICE, Lackluster DVD, January 4, 2005
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This is my favorite production of the ALICE books. I love the sets, songs, and casting. It's also very British, which I think adds another great element to the mix.

However, skip this DVD edition. I got it, excited to see ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND in widescreen and, perhaps a better print than what's previously been available.

No such luck.

The DVD appears to be struck from the same crappy VHS version that's been out there for ages. Faded colors. Pan-and-scan. In this age of DVD, quality like this is such a shame.
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting all-star British adaptation, but DVD transfer is unwatchable, September 30, 2006
This is a very interesting adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, featuring a plethora of major British actors from the time this movie was made. Note that today's younger audience, weened on an MTV diet of rapid cuts and incredible CGI, may find this slow. But if one can get beyond that, it's most definitely worth a watch.

That said, this DVD transfer is basically UNWATCHABLE. It's not clear what source they used for the transfer, but there are TERRIBLE audio pitch problems throughout the movie, with wow and flutter horribly apparent. This is particularly problematic for a movie like this with a significant orchestral and vocal score. If you have any sense of pitch, you'll find yourself pulling your hair out listening to the off-key strings! The video quality is pretty horrible, as well--worse than standard cable. A real travesty.
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie - Lousy quality, December 20, 2004
By 
Norbert Evans (Nine Mile Falls, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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I bought this DVD and got it brand new sealed. However it is from a company called DIGIVIEW PRODUCTIONS and the quality of the picture is absolutely horrible. There is almost no color and there are many spots where it appears it was dropped to 15 frames a second or less. The movie itself is very good but this copy totally sucks. This DIGIVIEW copy was produced in Taiwan and it is the worst quality DVD I now own. I would be embarrassed to loan it to anyone.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The whimsy world of Wonderland, July 20, 2000
By 
David Demoreski (Perth Amboy, New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
This British film version of the Lewis Carroll classic "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is without a doubt the most faithful adaption to date! (except for the addition of the Looking-Glass twins, Tweedle Dee and Dum.). A surperb cast, lead by the talented Fiona Fullerton, who makes a splendid Alice, is supported by some of Britain's finest actors as the inhabitants of Wonderland; Sir Ralph Richardson as the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, Michael Crawford as the ever-tardy White Rabbit, Dame Flora Robson as the head-hunting Queen of Hearts and Peter Sellers and Dudley Moore as the mad March Hare and his sleepy sidekick, the Doormouse. The American popularity of he last two mentioned actors is why the film was shown overseas here in the United States. Miss Fullerton may seem a bit too old for the title role, but I don't think a child actress would had enough scope to play Alice so well. (If you don't think so, imaging if Sherley Temple won the role of Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz". YIKES! ), but I digress. The musical score is beautifully haunting and so is the final song "The Me I Never Knew". This song and "Curiouser And Curiouser" are the only two songs that really stand out. Most of the other songs are corny little ditties with no sense of what the characters are thinking or feeling. The sets look like cardboard cut outs at times and the fast speed photography during the Lobster Quadrille and quick cut shots at the mad tea-party look campy and thus the overall British feel of the movie is lost. Despite all my negative insights, I found this film version of "Alice" filled with the wonderful, whimsical flavor that only Lewis Carroll himself could have provided. A must see for all fans of the famous book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical musical, October 25, 2000
By 
J. BARROW (United States) - See all my reviews
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When I first saw this film as a child, I was captivated. Even as an adult I'm still enchanted by the whimsy of Wonderland. This film isn't like the more commercially successful versions, but it's worth adding to your personal library!
Fiona Fullerton is a charming Alice. Most other versions of the film shows us a very young Alice. I don't think any other Alice could have portrayed the character quite like Fiona. She's a bit older, but possesses the ability to act the part very well, something I don't think many younger actors could do.
The musical sequences are at times breif and essential to the story. The film is rather old, and transfer to video was rather poor. There's some very conspicuous flaws in the video, but despite this, the story is just as wonderful and magical as ever. For a low budget and a superb cast (Dudley Moore, Ralph Richardson, et al) "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is a delight.
The sets were not extravagant, but very well done. Some of the backgrounds reminded me very much of "The Wizard of Oz".
I'm glad to have found this version of "Alice in Wonderland" since it was the first I'd ever seen. It will always be the version I compare others to, and despite the fact that this isn't a more commercially successful film, it won me over heart and soul.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Spooky But Definitive Live-Action Version Of Alice In Wonderland, July 26, 2006
By 
Ian Phillips (Bolton, Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
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The wonderful Victorian classic, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland was very first published in 1865. Written by acclaimed author, Lewis Carroll (real name - Charles Dodgson), this fantasy-adventure story has been adapted to the stage and screen countless times.

There's the familiar, misreably underated Walt Disney animated classic of Alice In Wonderland whilst there are a listless number of live-action adaptations that have largely failed to truly capture the spirit and flavour of Lewis Carrolls vivid vision of Wonderland.

This 1972 adptation is something of an exception and stands out as the best live-action version of the book. Director William Sterling, shrewdly manages to encapsulate the dark, frightening vision of Wonderland as dreamed up by Lewis Carroll.

Fiona Fullerton heads the cast making a pleasantly bland Alice. What Fullerton succeeds in doing is taking with you with her on a magical journey, allowing you to view the strange adventures through her eyes, evoking a feeling of

being drawn into a childs dream that escalates into a nightmare.

Fiona Fullerton is not least given noble support from a stellar cast that were some of the best of that era. The multi-talented Michael Crawford assumes the role of the jittering White Rabbit. Crawford playes the White Rabbit with a certain flair, relying mostly (and appropriately) on his inimitable comic skills.

Sir Robert Helpmann (who is more well known for his famous role as the child catcher in another excellent classic childrens movie, Chitty,Chitty, Bang, Bang) shines as the notorious Mad Hatter during the manic Mad Hatter's tea party sequence. Helpmann's comic facial expressions and

spirited playing makes the sequence work extremely well. Helpmann shares the spotlight in this madcap scene with Peter Sellers who gives a fine supporting turn as the March Hare whilst Dudley Moore causes some amusement as the poor, put-upon Dormouse.

Sir Ralph Richardson delivers a fairly adequate performance as the Catepillar in a very vivid scene whilst Davy Kaye as the Mouse during the dreamy Caucus Race Sequence, playes the role with a degree of subtelty. Much more effective though is Dame Flora Robson, putting in a fantastic intepretation of the ferocious Queen Of Hearts

who is both comical and scary in the role.

Michael Jayston appears in the opening scene as Dodgson (Jayston) and Duckworth (Hywel Bennett)sit on a river bank one hot summers afternoon. It is here where Dodgson begins telling Alice the story of Alice's adventures underground.

The nightmarish Duchess and Cook sequence is ignited by a fittingly off-beat performance from Peter Bull as the Duchess. Patsy Rolands as the demented, pepper-loving, plate-throwing Cook takes this role to fabulous new heights!

The sullen, ever-crying Gryphon is played marvelously by Spike Milligan whilst Michael Hordern is equally excellent as the Mock Turtle. This fun sequence where Alice, the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle are seen running and dancing

their way round a deserted beach, is speeded up at points to add to its comical and magical effect. This scene is also accompanied by one of the very few effective songs of the saccharine soundtrack, Will You, Won't You Join The Dance?

Roy Kinnear is fabulous as the permanently grinning Cheshire Cat whilst other notable players in the more than capable cast include Dennis Price in a small but efficent role as the King Of Hearts, Rodney Bewes as the bumbling

Knave Of Hearts, Julian Chagrin as Bill The Lizard (seen during the scene where Alice has grown large and is stuck in the White Rabbit's house - Bill the Lizard attempts to slide down the chimney into the house but Alice then swiftly kicks him back up again), Freddie Earlle as Guinea Pig Pat (also seen during the White Rabbit's house scene), Ray Brooks as 1 of Spades, Dennis Waterman as 2 of spades and of course not forgetting twin brothers Frank and Freddie Cox who make the definitive Tweedledee and Tweedledum (characters that were taken from a segment in

Lewis Carroll's sequel, Through The Looking Glass And What Alice Found There - most stage and screen versions often tend to draw large segments from both Alice books).

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (1972) draws on a somewhat dreamy, hazy-like effect that largely gives the film an intentionally dark, scary edge. It strikes an even balance between moments of fun, magical comedy to more frightening settings.

Most of the film is engaging and totally enchanting. the surreal sequence at the beginning of the adventure is one of the scenes that really stands out in my mind as it is doen so effectively. Alice wakes up in a giant story book

garden and spots the White Rabbit gazing at his waist watch. Alice proceeds to follow the White Rabbit into a long, dark tunnell. Keeping up with the whole familiar ethos of Alices In Wonderland's famous catchphrase, "curiouser and

curiouser", Alice continues following the White Rabbit unaware of the danger lying in front of her and then finds herself tumbling down a large rabbit hole which leads to the whimsical, topsy-turvy world of Wonderland. The score during this sequence is masterful and hauntingly

atmospheric.

The Pool Of Tears sequence also works incredibly well where Alice finds herself in a large hall full of doors. A small door, to her delight, leads into a beautiful garden. It is here where she discovers potions and cakes that alternately make her shrink or grow large. At one point, Alice grows large and begins crying which subsequently leads to her shrinking and swimming in her own pool of tears.

Alice is washed ashore from the pool of tears and finds herself indulging in the Caucus Race with a mouse, dodo, owl, magpie, frog, duck and an eagle in a vastly trippy sequence! I've heard (as i'm sure you all have) various myths that Lewis Carroll was high on LSD at the time of writing the book. I have no idea whether this is true or not but you certianly can see peoples notions on this when you watch all the bizarre goings on in Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. I put it all down to a bizarre but great imagination on Lewis Carroll's part and this film merely reflects that. Even so theres something that distinctley gives me the creeps when watching scenes such as The Pool Of Tears and the Caucus Race.

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (1972) is even more disturbingly surreal later on in the film such as the scene in the forest where a torrential storm occurs and a a giant black crow emerges from the gloomy sky ready to attack Alice.

The Duchess and Cook sequence also used to really give me the creeps when I first watched this at 4 years old back in 1983. There was just something eerie and nightmarish about the whole scene but again this ties in closley with the book. The Trial of the Knave Of Hearts is where it gets most off the wall and at the close of this scenes there are lots of swirling, hallucegenic close-ups of the characters. Alice, of course, then wakes up on the riverbank to discover it was all just a dream.

What compliments the mesmerising, hypnotic vibe of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland is a bewitching, hauntingly atmospheric score by BAFTA-winning, John Barry. The film also boasts maginificent cinematography from Geoffrey Unsworth which sticks closely to the original illustrations of the book. Some of the cardboard-like sets look far more suited for a stage production but many are eye catchingly beautiful.

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (1972) is an extremely faithful adaptation that's most noble in its loyalty to the book. In that fact it deserved far greater recognition than it has, perharps, received. Widely regarded as the best live-action screen version by lovers of the book, it was still unfairly slated by critics of the day where some claimed it was too long, tedious and boring. To a point I can see where they're coming from so you really have to be in the right mood to take this film on. On the right day it proves a thrilling, almost hypnotic viewing experience (even though i'm 26 years old!).

In an attempt to ignite the films fortunes, Fiona Fullerton was being promoted as the new Julie Andrews (though Fullerton is a remarkable actress in her own right, this was something of an overstatement) but this did little to help the films fate. Making matters worse was Peter Sellers who blatantly criticised the film to the media before it had even opened at cinemas! Sadly Alice's Adventures In Wonderland did not endure the high Box Office turn over as anticipated.

It's true that Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (1972) is too slow and bland at points but on casting its shortcomings (which you can over-look) aside, it's most definitely worth a look. Fans of Alice In Wonderland that have not yet had the delight of watching this charming, atmospheric version, will be thoroughly enthralled.

Ian Phillips

July 2006
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fine musical adaption by John Barry, March 21, 2005
By 
Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood) - See all my reviews
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ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND is a lush and lavish musical version of Lewis Carroll's book, with a haunting score by John Barry. The cast reads like a Who's Who of British acting talent.

Alice herself is played by a teenage Fiona Fullerton, a charming musical theatre performer, who gives the role a spirit and wonderment which is perfect for the character. Michael Crawford plays the White Rabbit, with other key roles filled by Sir Robert Helpmann as the Mad Hatter, Peter Sellers as the March Hare, Dudley Moore as the Dormouse and Dame Flora Robson as the Queen of Hearts.

The score is quite haunting, in particular Alice's "Curioser and Curioser" and the final number "The Me I Never Knew". John Barry's score has become quite admired over the years, and copies of the original soundtrack LP have been known to fetch large sums of money.

If you can, try to see the film in it's original Todd-AO/Super Panavision 70 proportions. My DVD is presented in the original aspect ratio (though lacks 16:9 enhancement).

Highly-recommended.
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41 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scott Walker did a cover of the end credits song, which might be why Jarvis Cocker likes him so much, January 29, 2001
This 1972 version of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland is unbalanced, hazy and ponderous, and does a far better job of capturing the essence of Lewis Carroll's fiction than any other film I've seen. Except Caligula.
This movie relies largely on a cast of VERY established UK actors (Flora Robson as the Queen of Hearts, Peter Sellers at the March Hare and Ralph Richardson ... my absolute favorite even though he only has about four lines ... as the Caterpillar) and contains some of the most haunting music ever written by John Barry. The sets are beautiful, the costumes and makeup creepy/cool and the script in most ways adheres to the books upon which it is based. As if I know what I'm talking about. Amazon reviews are great!
As for the DVD transfer, it's crap. Looks like someone taped it off TV with a camcorder and posted to YouTube.
But it's worth buying just to see Peter Bull nail the Duchess (not as dirty as it sounds).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WHIMSICAL, WEIRD AND FAITHFUL TO LEWIS CARROLL's ORIGINAL WONDERLAND, March 10, 2010
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Fiona Fullerton is surrounded by a gallery of British character actors in this 1972 musical film adaptation of "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland." Yes, I will add my voice to the chorus of Amazon customers who rightfully say that the quality of the picture and sound on the DVD release leave much to be desired. The picture on this Screen Media release is clearer than my old VHS copy. Still, this version deserves a quality restoration. Having said that, having this "Alice" on DVD is better than not having it at all; and my review will now focus on the film itself:
This version begins on that famous Summer's day in the 1860's when Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll (Michael Jayston) took Alice, Lorina, and Edith Liddell on a boat ride on the river. As he begins to tell the story we now know as "Alice In Wonderland", Alice falls asleep. Suddenly, the very real river-bank she was resting on is replaced by an environment of over-sized flowers. Thus, the fantasy begins shortly before Alice falls down the large rabbit-hole. By including this perfect preface scene with Charles Dodgson, director/screenwriter William Sterling clearly shows that his intention is to be faithful to the original book. For the most part, he is successful. Other film-makers have failed to recognize that, while Alice's adventures are a pointed satire on Victorian society, the point of the book is really to have no point at all. Therefore, they force Alice must learn a lesson or, as in the case of Tim Burton's disappointing 2010 film (which disregards Lewis Carroll almost completely) she must go on a life-saving mission. Sterling, on the other hand, is smartly content to let Alice's adventures be whatever they are; or whatever the viewer wants them to be. The film features appropriately surreal/theatrical sets. The tone of the film, like the book, alternates between being whimsical and weird, and murky and nightmarish. Nearly every chapter from the book is included; with the addition of the popular characters Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Frank and Freddie Cox) from the 1872 sequel "Through The Looking-Glass". The film runs 95 minutes, but still drags in spots. The scenes involving the Duchess (Peter Bull) and the Gryphon and The Mock Turtle (Spike Mulligan and Michael Horden) could, and should, have easily been omitted.
Fifteen year old Fiona Fullerton makes Alice genuinely curious, and she more than holds her own on screen in a large cast that includes Michael Crawford ("Hello!, Dolly!", "Barnum," "The Phantom Of The Opera"), Ralph Richardson ("Long Day's Journey Into Night"), Robert Helpmann ("The Red Shoes," "Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang"), Peter Sellers ("Lolita," "The Pink Panther"), Dudley Moore ("10", "Arthur", "Santa Claus: The Movie") and Flora Robson ("Fire Over England," "Wuthering Heights").
The songs by John Barry and Don Black (including "Curiouser And Curiouser", "You've Got To Know When", "The Last Word Is Mine", and "The Pun Song") may not find favor with all viewers, but they are completely in keeping with Carroll's whimsical word-play in the book. In the "Curiouser and Curiouser" department, the DVD cover picture shows Alice, seen from behind, as a womanly blonde. In the movie, Fiona Fullerton's Alice is a teen-age brunette. The DVD has NO extras, interactive menus, or booklet.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better quality than previous DVD releases - but still needs!, February 6, 2005
By 
This is the best version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, starring Fiona Fullerton as Alice, on DVD. The previous editions were VERY shoddy - yet the film is so great that even those were watchable despite the fading colors and graininess. This new (2005) edition has had the colors brought back which really is nice. The graininess could still use some work though and it would be REALLY WONDERFUL if a major studio would buy the rights to this film and do a proper restoration. There is also music and an important scene that were cut from this film - two songs never made it to the theatrical release and one scene where Alice meets the Cheshire cat in the tree was cut before the original release - a very curious thing to do as that was a very popular scene in the book! It would be great if the next DVD release of this film could have a proper restoration AND ALSO include some special features. Many of the actors in this film went on to become major stars (ex - Michael Crawford of Phantom fame) Special features could include the deleted scene if it still exists and the original soundtrack recording as well as some interviews with the stars - like what has been done for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Willy Wonka. Don't expect any special features on this edition - there aren't any -- more surprisingly there is NO MENU at all - Bare bones, but still a classic and important film for Alice lovers - much more reminiscent of Lewis Carrols books and characters than the Disney film!
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