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Hans Christian Andersen (2012)

Danny Kaye , Farley Granger , Charles Vidor  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Danny Kaye, Farley Granger, Jeanmaire
  • Directors: Charles Vidor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2013
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AATV050
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,441 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The incredibly multi-talented Danny Kaye stars as Hans Christian Andersen, a young cobbler with a special gift for storytelling. Nominated for six Academy Awards, this wonderful musical will enchant both young and old. Year: 1952 Director: Charles Vidor Starring: Danny Kaye

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
129 of 134 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) was an Ugly Duckling. He lived in the third largest town Odense, in Denmark. The son of a cobbler he was poverty ridden and a failure as an actor and it wasn't until he moved to Copenhagen and won the patronage of Frederick VI, through his poetry, that he wrote his fairy tales and developed into a swan. Like many artists he wasn't particularly happy, and never did marry, although he was very fond of Jenny Lind (1820-87) the Swedish Nightingale a soprano given the name by P.T. Barnum during her tour of the United States between 1850-52.) Charles Vidor's film does state at the beginning, This is not the story of Hans Christian Andersen but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales. The Danes objected to the way Hans Christian Andersen was portrayed even though Goldwyn had rejected 21 previous manuscripts, so the film company inserted this statement in the credits.
Danny Kaye with his chiselled features does resemble H.C.Andersen when looking at his profile, but apart from this facial feature that's where it stops. Kaye had dark hair but Hollywood soon changed that and he became a blonde, Andersen also had dark hair but he kept it that way.
Unlike some earlier musicals, this film does have a strong story line with loads of songs written by "Baby, It's Cold Outside", Frank Loessen, such as Thumbelina, Ugly Duckling, No Two People, and of course Wonderful Copenhagen. The scenery is very clever, the backgrounds look like illustrations from fairy tale books, but as the camera zooms in to the foreground the buildings and props become three dimensional similar to a pop-up-book.
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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
With all due respect, Leonard Maltin just doesn't get it with regard to this movie, and I hate to think his negative comments might prevent someone from seeing it. This was one of the most memorable movies from my childhood -- and I can only have seen it twice at the most, because there were no videos in those days. We had the soundtrack album and those glorious and, yes, melodic, songs burned themselves into my consciousness. I could not wait until my daughter was old enough to share this movie with, and now that we are watching it together (she is three), it is a joy to see her, too, respond to the magic and music of Danny Kaye's charming performance. For the past three months it has been her most requested video, and when we aren't watching it, she wants me to sing the songs, and when I can't do that, she sings them herself! And now that she is familiar with the musical versions of the fairy tales, she wants them read to her, and is thereby learning to listen to much longer and more complex stories than before.
This really is a special movie. No, it's not an accurate portrayal of Anderson's life, and it doesn't pretend to be. In fact it says right there in the opening frame, "This is not the story of his life, but rather a fairy tale about this spinner of fairy tales." And yes, the plot is a little limp. So as a movie it only gets four stars, not five. But it doesn't matter. There is so much charm and magic and wonderful music here, that the experience of watching it, even over and over again, is a five-star experience that makes for lifelong memories.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN presents a fanciful, fictionalised re-telling of the famed storyteller's life, highlighted by Frank Loesser's beautiful score and the perfect casting of Danny Kaye in the central role.

As the film opens, cobbler Hans is entertaining the children of Odense, Denmark, with yet another fantastic tale, much to the consternation of the schoolmaster who feels the children are having their time wasted when they should be studying. This seems to be the opinion of most of the townspeople, so Hans is politely told to leave town...for a while anyway. Hans and his young assistant travel to the bright lights and bustle of Copenhagen for a fresh start, but old habits die hard and soon Hans is entertaining a new group of children with his amazing storytelling talents. When Hans is engaged to make slippers and toe-shoes for the city's ballet troupe, he becomes entranced by the prima ballerina Doro (Zizi Jeanmaire in her film debut) not knowing that she's married to the troupe's tough choreographer Niels (Farley Granger). His story of "The Little Mermaid", inspired by Doro, becomes the ballet's new work, but discovering the truth, Hans returns to Odense a hero, his storytelling now famous all over Europe.

Danny Kaye is just was is called for in the role of Hans. His natural warmth, fatherly air and ability to combine pathos and heart serves him well in his performance. Zizi Jeanmaire as the glamorous Doro likewise is perfect casting (although Moira Shearer from "The Red Shoes" was first choice, pregnancy prevented her from doing the film). Having shot to fame in husband Roland Petit's ballet version of "Carmen", Jeanmaire adds a European beauty and elegance to her role, and Petit staged all the ballet numbers in this film too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Gift
Great gift for grandchildren.
Published 2 days ago by Jon Mosby
5.0 out of 5 stars A childhood memory
This film was made when films had moral value as well as entertainment value. This light fantasy was as delightful as it was decades ago when I first saw it. Read more
Published 17 days ago by ReaderOne
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping it wrapped
Had tried to get it on dvd but the prices went sky high within same calendar year it was listed at a reasonable price. Read more
Published 22 days ago by SR Willia
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment
Absolutely love watching Danny Kaye. He is an excellent comedian and wonderful actor. Absolute fun for the whole family, young and old alike.
Published 26 days ago by Ladybug
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Danny Kaye is definitely one of my all time favorite actors and commedians. I got this movie as a gift and she loved it!
Published 1 month ago by Tim Schumacher
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful movie
This is a classic...Danny Kaye does a wonderful job as Hans Christian Anderson. This movie is full of morals and great character lessons.... Warning: .... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Happy Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Great family movie
I watched this film growing up and upon buying a collection of HCA's stories for my daughter was curious to watch this with the kids. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Chris McCooey
5.0 out of 5 stars Lifelong favorite
Danny Kaye was the master of heartfelt comedy. I loved this movie as a child, shared it with my children, and now plan on passing on the inspiration to my grandchildren. Read more
Published 1 month ago by B. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Danny at his best
Danny Kaye is wonderful in this role, and the songs stay with you forever. Now, everyone, go out and read the stories.
Published 1 month ago by E. Bullen
5.0 out of 5 stars Companion to Book
I took my granddaughters to see "Frozen" and told them Hans Christian Andersen had written the story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by marygme
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