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Faerie Tale Theatre - Jack and the Beanstalk


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Editorial Reviews

A boy sells the family cow for five magic beans which, when planted, grow into a tremendous beanstalk and lead him to a place in the clouds where a giant lives surrounded by gold.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dennis Christopher, Elliott Gould, Jean Stapleton, Katherine Helmond, Mark Blankfield
  • Directors: Lamont Johnson
  • Writers: Mark Curtiss, Rod Ash
  • Producers: Shelley Duvall, Bridget Terry, Fred Fuchs
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starmaker II
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00061UHWO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,236 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Faerie Tale Theatre - Jack and the Beanstalk" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 25, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK is a fine installment in the FAERIE TALE THEATRE series, though it's hardly one of the best. Dennis Christopher leads the cast as the young lad with big dreams and a handful of magic beans.

Jack (Dennis Christopher) lives with his loving-but frazzled mother (SOAP's Katherine Helmond) in near poverty. The only thing left of value for them to sell is Jack's beloved cow Spot. Reluctantly, Jack sets off to market with the cow when he meets a strange old man who offers him 5 magic beans in exchange for the animal. When Jack returns home, his mother chides him for his foolishness and the beans are tossed outside...where they sprout into an enormous beanstalk that leads to a castle in the sky owned by an evil Giant (Elliott Gould). Jack's adventures have only just begun!

Jean Stapleton and Mark Blankfield fill out the cast. Katherine Helmond is wasted in the role of Jack's mother, though Jean Stapleton makes the role of the disgruntled Giantess into a scene-stealer. Jerry Hall briefly appears as the face inside the magical harp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Koenig on August 19, 2011
Format: DVD
"Jack and the Beanstalk" is one of the better installments of Faerie Tale Theatre, as it utilizes the light-hearted approach that usually works better than the faithful retellings. All the characters will resonate as "real" with children, and the acting from the guest stars will hook in the adults.

The primary guest stars in this episode are Jean "Edith Bunker" Stapleton, Dennis Christopher, Elliot Gould, and Katherine Helmond.

There's no reason to skip this effort in the series!
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I don't think this is the greatest Jack and the Beanstalk out there but it was OK .
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By Mark L Oberhaus on July 22, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As advertised. Watched as a kid all the time!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gregory N. Perkins on January 15, 2010
Format: DVD
SPOILERS FOLLOW

Many years ago, the actress Shelley Duvall created and co-produced a series for Showtime Television called Faerie Tale Theatre. The quality of most of these stories are first-rate and feature many stars of the 1970's and '80's, quite a few of whom are still working today.

This is one of the worst movies in Faerie Tale Theatre's largely ingenious stable of titles. The impressive list of stars in this, including Elliott Gould, Jean Stapleton and Katherine Helmond are wasted on a meandering, silly script that falls far short of the creativity it was attempting.

Elliott Gould's Giant is written as extremely dumb, hearkening to the caveman stereotype and immediately short-circuiting any potential suspense in the rivalry between he and Jack. Mr. Gould is such a fine actor that I wish Faerie Tale Theatre had utilized the inventiveness evident in so many of their other productions, and made the Giant smart. This would make him a worthier adversary for Jack, and increase audience enjoyment of the story.

Jean Stapleton is similarly hampered by a script which eliminates the actress's intelligence and simply makes her Giantess a kinder version of her brutish husband. Utilize as many of the gifts that the actors possess. Trust them and the original tale rather than let misguided alterations ruin a fine story.

Katherine Helmond is extremely good in this as Jack's Mother. So good, in fact, that a decision could have been made to mute a forgettable Dennis Christopher, and make her the center of the story. That may seem like a stretch, but I guarantee you that the overall results would have been better.

Overall, though, she cannot save a rare misfire in the vaunted Faerie Tale Theatre series. I do recommend seeing this, as part of the series. However, do not start with this, as it will ruin your mood for what is really a classic series.
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