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Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1957 Television Production)

190 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In this enchanting musical delight from the legendary team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, beautiful young Cinderella (Julie Andrews) finds her life of drudgery at the hands of her stepmother and two wicked sisters changed forever in one evening, thanks to a fairy godmother and a handsome prince. Lost for years, this first television production of this enduring classic remains a rollicking, tune-filled delight for young and old alike! One of the most beloved entertainers of all time, Academy Award«-winner Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music) appeared in theaters this year in the smash hits Shrek 2 and The Princess Diaries 2. The much-revered musical team of Rodgers & Hammerstein produced such family favorites as The King and I, The Sound of Music, Carousel, South Pacific, State Fair and more! One of home video's most highly requested titles, Cinderella has been officially unavailable since its initial airing on March 31, 1957! This single performance spectacular was viewed by over 115 million people, a television milestone! Musical performances include beloved favorites "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible" and "Do I Love You (Because You're Beautiful)!" In 1957, Broadway's reigning songwriters and Broadway's brightest new star joined forces to create a new musical version of Cinderella; it's one-night-only broadcast on CBS-TV was viewed by more than 115 million people - the largest audience in the history of the planet! - and an instant legend was born. Julie Andrews, the toast of Broadway for her performance in My Fair Lady, played the title role, joined by a stellar cast of Broadway and television all-stars. Providing a new take on the timeless tale as well as a bounty of beautiful ballads, comedy numbers and waltzes, was the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, already at the top of their game thanks to such musicals as Oklahoma, South Pacific and The King and I. Though Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella has gone through several TV remakes and hundreds of stage productions, the original, magical version vanished after its initial broadcast, never to be seen again. Until now.


The DVD era has unearthed another treasure. For the first time ever, Julie Andrews's performance in the title role of the original 1957 television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is available to the public on home video. Cinderella was created as a Broadway-style television production with an original score from the creators of Oklahoma! and Carousel, featuring such songs as "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible," "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful," and "Stepsisters' Lament." Cast in the title role was the 21-year-old Andrews, at the time starring on Broadway in My Fair Lady (another Cinderella story of sorts), and the cast was filled out by a talented bunch of stage veterans (including Kaye Ballard, Edie Adams, Dorothy Stickney, and Stickney's husband, writer Howard Lindsay). On March 31, 1957, a then-record 120 million homes saw the program as it was broadcast, live and in color, but it was preserved only in black-and-white kinescope, i.e., by aiming a camera at a monitor during the broadcast. While this version probably looks better than we have any right to expect, the picture is still fuzzy black-and-white, which makes it a tougher sell for kids than the later color versions, 1965 with Lesley Anne Warren and the 1997 Disneyized version. But give older kids (say, 8 or so) credit for being able to look past the black-and-white picture and primitive effects and enjoy the charming songs, the excellent performances, and the prospect of seeing one of their favorite actresses play one of their favorite princesses.

Fortunately, the DVD has also received the attention it deserves, with a new introduction by Andrews, a 20-minute featurette about the production, including interviews with many of the principals; Rodgers and Hammerstein's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show a week before the broadcast; and a gallery of color photos of the production as well as promotional material, which included paper dolls of Andrews. --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • Exclusive, newly recorded DVD introduction by Julie Andrews
  • Brand-new documentary featuring all-new interviews with stars Julie Andrews, Edie Adams, Kaye Ballard and Jon Cypher
  • Never-before-seen behind-the-scenes photo galleries
  • Extensive galleries of rare color photos and advertising art
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show prior to the airing of Cinderella
  • Collector's booklet: "Impossible Things Are Happening Every Day: The Making of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella!"

Product Details

  • Actors: Julie Andrews, Ilka Chase, Edie Adams, Howard Lindsay, Dorothy Stickney
  • Directors: Ralph Nelson
  • Writers: Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers
  • Producers: Richard Lewine
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • 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: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2004
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00068NVG6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,595 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1957 Television Production)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on January 19, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At last, the original version of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is available. Originally aired only once on live television in 1957, this classic has, until now, been lost to history. I grew up on the 1965 version (Lesley Ann Warren) but have always wanted to see the Julie Andrews version ever since I learned of it.

For those familiar with the 1965 version, there are some surprises here. There were apparently many changes between the two. The original opens up right with "The Prince is Giving a Ball". There is no scene were Cinderella meets the Prince prior to the ball. At home the Stepmother and Stepsisters (Portia and Joy) do a much better job of belittling Cinderella and making her do all of the work.

The Godmother (no mention of fairy) is far more mischievous in the original. Even her involvement in the story's conclusion is quite different not only from the 1965 version, but from most tellings of the fairy tale. We see a little more of the King and Queen and even have a musical number about preparing the Ball. There are even quite a few scenes that, at least when compared to later versions, could be considered somewhat risque.

For fans of the 1965 version, you should watch this one as well. It is sufficiently different to be just as entertaining. First timers to the Rogers and Hammerstein story will be entranced by this fun tale. Watch it by all means.
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130 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Jim Jr on December 7, 2004
Format: DVD
It is amazing that some people seem to prefer Lesley Ann Warren's performance over Julie Andrews. There is absolutely no comparison. This Cinderella was written for Julie and she is magnificent in every way. No one has the voice or the charm that she injects into this character. Her version of "In My Own Little Corner" is enchanting, but also has a sadness that is absolutely right. Miss Warren is too worldly and gives the impression that she could easily be a "West Side Story" gang member rather than Cinderella. She simply does not have the ravishingly beautiful voice that Julie has. She is marvelous in many roles - just compare her performance in "Victor/Victoria" which shows the "real" Lesley Ann. (But even in that film Julie Andrews outshines her!)

This version of "Cinderella" is the best version with the comic numbers and fantastic supporting cast absent from others. Edie Adams is a scene stealer as the Godmother. The king and Queen have much more to do and have a delightful comic song that was cut from subsequent productions. No one can top Kaye Ballard and Alice Ghostly as the step sisters - comic gems!

What is also amazing about this production is that it was telecast LIVE and was not a film or tape as were other "Cinderella" productions. Today everything is recorded with none of the spontaneity that comes only from a live show.

Even though the only remaining record of this telecast is in black and white (and at the time of the original broadcast most viewers only had black and white sets), it is a must have record of the TRUE version of the work.
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74 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Cybele A. Baker VINE VOICE on December 14, 2004
Format: DVD
I love that one reviewer says JA looks too old to be Cinderella in this version..I believe she is 18 in this production. What Julie has that Leslie Ann Warren and Brandy couldn't come close to is a simple sophistication and a charming sense of self that only enhances her role as Cinderella. She also has a far superior voice to either of the other versions Cinderellas.

I do not like the 1965 version but I do think the Brandy version is cute but not as good as the original cast. But for me the Julie Andrews version, the woman that this show was written for will always be the best Cinderella for this particular Cinderella musical. The supporting cast in this production is also steller and much better than the 1965 version.

Don't let that fact that it is in black and white keep you from seeing this show. Some of the best movies of all time are in black and white.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By P. Augustine on December 7, 2004
Format: DVD
What can one say about the opportunity to view the premiere performance of a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical starring Julie Andrews at the start of her illustrious career? Impossible? Not any more. As the song states, "Impossible things are happening every day!"

This is truly an historic disc. Broadcast live in 1957 and until now never broadcast again or available to the public at large, this is a remarkable performance. This is Cinderella as written by Rodgers & Hammerstein. You can debate the merits of Julie Andrews' performance vs. Lesley Ann Warren's vs. Brandy's, but what is not debatable is that this version of the show is the one written by the masters themselves, not pieced together by a later production team.

And the production itself is truly enchanting, even in a sometimes blurry black and white. It is a delight to hear the dialogue that was cut from later editions. The song "Impossible" makes sense for the first time because it flows from a conversation between Cinderella and her godmother in which the godmother at first mocks Cinderella's "impossible" wishes, before revealing her true identity as a fairy godmother in the song.

For my money, Julie Andrews gives the definitive performance as Cinderella. She is charming, spirited, and beautiful, and she clearly revels in this performance. Of course, her voice is luminious, but her acting is simply breathtaking as well. She perfectly expresses the hope and longing of a young girl trapped in dire circumstances without wallowing in self-pity and hopelessness. And the wonder of her transformation is a joy to behold.

And the supporting cast is absolutely wonderful.
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