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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2005
I cannot too highly praise this 1974 film of "The Little Prince" produced and directed by Stanley Donen. The presentation is rather that of an American musical or a "Singspiel": spoken dialogue interspersed with musical numbers. The lyrics and music of Lerner and Loewe do not terribly impress me but they are suitable and essentially effective. To my surprise and delight, everything else works: Richard Kiley is absolutely convincing as The Pilot. His acting is first rate, he sings very well indeed, and his handsome, expressive face and athletic body present a Pilot who is at the same time very strong and very gentle. I think of the exuberance of the scene in which he and the Little Prince playfully splash about in the water of the oasis or of the final moments when his sense of loss and sorrow comes across so powerfully as he carries the Little Prince in his arms after the snake has given its gift of transformation and the essence of the child is no longer in his body. Stephen Warner somehow speaks to me as The Little Prince, Saint-Exupery's Little Prince himself, incarnate in his every word and movement, and in the costuming as well.

The irrepressible Gene Wilder brilliantly zips about as a hyper-active and most loveable fox who allows himself (indeed desires)

to be tamed at last by love. The great choreographer Bob Fosse, at the height of his career, dances a shifty, jazzy snake, even if the length of the dance is a bit self-indulgent. The visual movement back and forth between animals and human actors is very effective. The ballet of the roses is delightfuly reminiscent of a production number in a 1930s Busby Berkley musical.

I should mention, in light of an earlier review, that since very ancient times the desert viper has been seen as a creature that both takes and gives life. The snake is an agent of transformation. Two snakes entwined on the staff of Hermes (Mercury) still signify the art of the physician and the science of medicine. The Little Prince does not, in effect, commit suicide; instead, with the help of the snake he ascends to a higher plane; he returns to his beloved planet with its rose and three volcanos. I have always found that children intuitively understand this, perhaps more easily than many of us adults who have been trained to fear snakes as harbingers of evil rather than as the wonderfully beautiful, lithe and complex creatures that they are.

All in all, I find this film a source of great joy and personally prefer it to the more recent operatic version of "The Little Prince" also available on DVD.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2000
This movie captures the spirit of the book, The Little Prince. It is utterly captivating and charming. The music is outstanding, of course, Frederick Loewe. Richard Kiley is excellent as the Pilot. The direction is worthy of Broadway by Stanley Donen. Bob Fosse is amazing as the Snake. Gene Wilder sitting in the wheat field is heart-wrenching; and his dance scene with the Prince is delightful. The slightly surreal atmosphere only adds to the magic and truth of the story. The Little Prince himself is truly this little boy. What a great job everyone does! Kids will enjoy this movie, but I think it's the adults that will get the most out of it. Who has not had a childhood vision crushed by grown-ups? This movie will restore your vision and dreams.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 1999
This is one of my favorite films. I had read the book, and bought the video to share with my French classes since we do not have time to read the book. Not knowing anything about the film, I was shocked at the faithfulness of the film to the book. The little boy is stunning--he IS the Little Prince! I loved Gene Wilder as the fox, but I could have done without the LONG presentation of the snake--BLAH! My three children (7,5,2) have each been mesmerized by it several times. WARNING-Pass on the cartoon version!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2004
Kudos to Stanley Donen! His vision made this film a exhilirating experience, and gave it a heart.

It has a superbly creative cast, especially Bob Fosse and Gene Wilder, who played snake and fox respectively. Bob Fosse's snake looks and moves would be imitated (and made more popular) years later by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The snake dance is more than enough reason to watch this. Gene Wilder, as the very wise fox, is so endearing. Steven Warner, as the very young prince, is so cute and lovable, you would want to take care of and protect him from all kinds of harm.

The music is great, too, especially "I Never Met A Rose"
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2006
I saw this film with my grandmother at Radio City Music Hall as a child back in 1974 (I think this is the year). I had not read the book at that time, and certainly did not like the movie. Since falling in love with the soundtrack of Le Petit Prince (Richard Cocciante's and Elisabeth Anais's French version), I decided to give this film another look. Also, it's considered a classic, so I thought maybe I'd like it better now.

I did like the main cast. I think Richard Kiley as the aviator was excellent and I very much enjoyed Steven Warner as the Little Prince. Gene Wilder (the Fox) like always, was great.

The movie was really bad, though. And, the musical score was appalling (I do not use this term lightly)! The Little Prince, too, is filled with poor melodies and lyrics. I am not a huge fan of Lerner and Lowe's, but these songs are just really atrocious. I wound up fast forwarding halfway through most of the songs since they sounded horrid and repetitive. Worse, they seemed to come out of nowhere with no real transition from dialogue to music. The Prince's Rose, for instance, said goodbye coyly yet gently but then belted out her obnoxious and brash goodbye song. And, it was HORRIBLE as were most all the tracks. Really atrocious stuff. I'm surprised it even passes as music.

The main message here is wonderful. The film does keep the main message, but if you don't know the book, some of the lessons learned and taught are lost in this film. You reach the same conclusion, because it's spelled out for the watcher, but some lessons (vanity, too much work-not enough play, focus on money) are lost along the way. In addition, the troubled yet charming lamplighter is absent here. Really, if time was an issue, why not cut out the horrendous musical numbers? These planetary visits the Prince makes in the book are pretty integral to the story.

Again, the scenes between the aviator and the prince were wonderful. Gene Wilder was excellent. The supporting cast was okay, but they didn't get the book's points across.

I'm surprised anyone thinks this is a classic. I have not seen the Rachel Portman's operatic version, but I can't sing the praises of Richard Cocciante's and Elisabeth Anais' version (LE PETIT PRINCE) enough. Although it's not available with English subtitles, it is absolutely wonderful. And, the lyrics to the songs are almost the exact words that Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote, set to music. So, if you have the book in English, you can follow along with the dvd film version without any issue. In fact, the first song, Dedicace, is the exact dedication that Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote, set to music. And, Daniel Lavoie is perfect as the aviator. The music to this is truly sublime.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2002
That song still plays thru my head after all these years. I saw this at Radio City Music Hall in 70mm and in spite of the critics i love this movie. Just take a look at the cast for one thing. It is termendious! Full of extreme talent. The musical numbers are wonderful and the story has always been one of my favorites. "It's only with the heart that one can see freely." In this very hectic world we live in we should really take a moment and smell the roses. We live way to fast but seeing this movie or reading this book kind of puts life back in the perspective that it should be even if it's thru the eyes of a child. Just wish it was on DVD.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2004
Never has a cast been so perfectly suited for a film. The chemistry between the actors is amazing, and each turn in their best performances, creating a magical re-telling of the original story. Steven Warner, Gene Wilder and Bob Fosse bring the movie to life as the story captures your heart and never lets go. I guarentee you wont disappointed with this purchase.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2002
I purcahsed this movie in '74 when it came out. My kids would have the whole neighborhood in to watch it once a week. I love seeing Gene Wilder, Bob Fosse, and Richard Kiley in a children's movie and the music and dance movements are creative. My youngest is 27 and she still watches the movie about once every 6 months for the music,dances and the comfort. We still wonder what happened to the actor who plays the Prince.
I WANT IT ON DVD so I can pass it along to my grandchildren.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 1999
I also had to see this movie in my french class in high school. It is so much fun. The snake is the best. It can be slow if you have never seen it before, but if you have watched it once or read the book you will love it and will want to see it over and over again.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 1999
Yes, I admit, it's nowhere near as good as the book, but it's a great satire that shows the difference between how adults think and how children think. I liked the songs and I know you don't see people walking around singing them like you do for the Sound of Music, but you don't see them singing Willy Wonka songs either, and this is just like it. The actor who plays the Little Prince is superb (although hard to understand at times).
If you're reading this now, then you've probably already seen it. I want to tell everybody that this movie exists and how good it is for a rainy ay if nothing else. And hey, isn't it due for a 25th anniversary rerealease?
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