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Dreamchild (1985)

Coral Browne , Ian Holm , Gavin Millar  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Coral Browne, Ian Holm, Peter Gallagher
  • Directors: Gavin Millar
  • Writers: Dennis Potter
  • Producers: Rick McCallum, Kenith Trodd, Dick Lambert
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002Y26UMO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,235 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dreamchild" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Ian Holm is children's author Lewis Carroll in this poignant fantasy-drama set in 1930s New York and populated by the fabulous special effects creatures of Muppet master Jim Henson.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History Through a Looking-Glass February 23, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
What if you were ten years old, and a genius fell in love with you?
I'm not sure what category of people I would reccomend this movie to -- the story is like nothing I've ever seen before. Half of the time it's a very dark and introspective piece, which refuses to outright *give* us the straight answers we are used to be handed during a 90 minute movie. Other times it's a funny and rather poignant tale about three unlikely friends -- two of whom happen to be in love with each other. This movie tackles a LOT for an hour and a half, and doesn't do everything it attempts well. But even when it fails, it's thrilling. The actors are also amazing. I can't give enough kudos to the performers who worked on this piece. As someone who works in theater, I have a harder-than-usual time loosing myself to the illusion, but I was *sold* on all of these characters, even if I recognized the actor from another movie.
Alice Liddel, the original little girl that so inspired Lewis Carrol, is all grown up, widowed, and turned into a crochety old woman. She is embarking on her first trip to America to receive an honarary degree from Columbia in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Rev. Charles Dodgeson's (the real name of L.C.) birthday. She travels with Lucy, her sweet-as-cream companion who Alice has (apparently) rescued from life as an orphan. As soon as they set foot on dry land, it's clear this is not ordinary trip.
America in 1930s, struggling to emerge from the Depression, is crass, commercial, and desperate for dreams. The era that embraced Shirley Temple is all about the cuteness of little girls, and to discover that the Alice of Wonderland was a *real* little girl threw the country into a frenzy.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is a raven like a writing desk? December 18, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
"Dreamchild" is a pleasant drama based on a 1967 BBC television play by Johnathan Miller. While being entirely fictional, the film drew much inspiration from the historical figures involved in developing the "Alice in Wonderland" book. At the same time, this movie features playful yet disturbing characters created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, which at the time had finished working on "The Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth."
The year is 1932. The dignified Mrs. Alice Hargreaves (Coral Browne) has arrived to New York City to receive an honorary degree from Columbia University. The institution is planning to celebrate the 100th birthday of Charles Dodgeson (Ian Holm), AKA Lewis Carroll. Upon hearing the news about her arrival, New York's hungry reporters and photographers surround the old woman like vultures, treating her like celebrity. While they are anxious to know the relationship she once had with Lewis Carroll, she doesn't understand why so much fuss is placed into her association with a children's novel. In fact, after 70 years of strict, Victorian etiquette, Mrs. Hargreaves has almost forgotton about the simple joys of childhood nonsense. In the first half of the film, she is proud in her upper-class pomposity, reprimanding any stranger who calls her by her first name. Occasionally, there is humor in the clash between British and American behaviors. Later on, Jack Dolan (Peter Gallagher), a handsome and ambitious ex-reporter from the Harold Tribune, tries to convince Mrs. Hargreaves to capitalize on her identity; to rely on her childhood memories as a method of endorsing a feature film and radio ads. For further persuasion, Jack even uses his charms to woo Lucy (Nicola Cowper), Mrs. Hargreaves fragile and obedient daughter.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Ain't the Meat, it's the (E)motion August 30, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
"Dreamchild" hypothesizes the relationship of _Alice in Wonderland"'s author Lewis Carroll (Rev. Dodson)and Alice Liddell, the little girl to and for whom he told the tale. It does this through flashbacks in the psyche of the now 80-year old Alice, en route to America to be honored in a centenary of Dodson's birth.
This movie's premise is that Alice has just plain forgotten, or deliberately put the 70-year old relationship with Dodson out of her mind, repressed it, because of the slightly sinister, decidedly unnatural spin her suspicious mother placed on it all those years ago. In the end, she realizes that "I was too young to recognize the gift" at the time it was offerred--namely, that Dodson simply loved her--and that she loved him.
I found the movie spellbinding, the hypothesis believable, and Coral Browne, Ian Holm, Jane Asher, and Amelia Shankley mesmerising; but most of all, it's the dreamy, brooding soundtrack that haunts...! I've seen this movie many times; from opening credits to final logo it reduces me to tears, and even for days afterward. Just thinking of a few bars of it has me running for tissues.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MGM'S DVD-R IS PERFECT February 4, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you read this, you're probably already taken by this weird gem so there's no use for more arguments about its unusual charms. You're considering buying the above DVD-R item issued by MGM? Well don't hesitate for a second. Image is clear (a revelation after the darkish VHS) and WIDESCREEN, formated for 16x9 TVs such as mine. DREAMCHILD looked just right on it. Hope it helps.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars acknowledged at the time as Oscar material for best foreign film
Dreamchild is a little gem, acknowledged at the time as Oscar material for best foreign film. Coral Browne won a BAFTA and was nominated for the Oscar. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Barb Angell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 days ago by C.S.
4.0 out of 5 stars Intiguing and unsettling
Low budget but well acted and good thoughtful script. Very intriguing topic. Not really a children's movie.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Nicholas J. Scudamore
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Leslie Shields
5.0 out of 5 stars A deepy rewarding fantasy
Anyone who knows Lewis Carroll's "Alice" stories probably knows that the author (in real life, the Rev. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, especially if you live Lewis Carroll
Well-acted, touching, and the Muppet-type characters fit the bill. It is shame it isn't on streaming, and has to be purchased on DVD as this reduces the potential audience. Read more
Published 8 months ago by B. F. Mooney
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cinema Art
Beautifully told story of the mate-match that could never be and the pathetic poignant puppy-love that a gifted mathematician had for a child. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ray Tilton
4.0 out of 5 stars Pluses and minuses
A good story, disturbing in parts. Surprised by inability to play on PC or DVD recorder, but got around it.
Published 17 months ago by Sharon Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars A grown up Alice reliving her Wonderland and the author's dreams
Tells the idea's that made up the story and those around her in the real world Very well done. One persons idea of what happened and a follow up to that.
Published 20 months ago by Dan Heath de Butts
3.0 out of 5 stars watched it
it was kind of dark and that made it kind of uninteresting. I love the book Alice in Wonderland and wanted to share this with my daughter
Published 20 months ago by Kimberly White
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