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Jim Henson's The Storyteller - Sapsorrow & The Luck Child [VHS]
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One of Jim Henson's finest hours was the Storyteller series that aired on HBO in 1987. As with his other non-Muppet entertainments (Labyrinth), Henson fills the screen with wonderful creatures that have a wisp of a J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy. The eight-part series was adapted from European folk tales by Anthony Minghella, who became an Oscar-winning filmmaker a decade later with The English Patient. Minghella weaves the narration of the storyteller (played with aplomb by John Hurt) with dialogue from the stories to beguiling effect; the storyteller doesn't simply introduce the tales (two episodes per video). "Sapsorrow" is a curious variation on the Cinderella legend. The second, "The Luck Child," is a brilliant short about a king bent on destroying a commoner boy after a wizard declares the boy will grow up to be king. The boy, known as the luck child ("the seventh son born of a seventh son on a week with two Fridays"), faces abduction, murder attempts, robbers, a man-eating griffin, and other obstacles. The fate of the king is one of those hooks that should have the kids smiling for days. Henson's work is true family entertainment (ages 6 and up) and at only 22 minutes per episode, it's the perfect companion for some fine entertainment around the TV. --Doug Thomas
From the Back Cover
Two episodes from Jim Henson's The Storyteller.
Upon fleeing her kingdom to escape an arranged marriage, the lovely Princess Sapsorrow toils in the kitchen of a faraway palace, disguised as an ugly hag. Her masquerade is no ball, as Sapsorrow has fallen in love with a Prince, who sees her only as a peasant!
Director: Steve Barron
"The Luck Child"
Upon news of the birth of a Luck child--a peasant boy predicted by wise men to one day wear the crown--the cruel-hearted King seeks out the boy, pretending to take him under his terrible wing. Will luck indeed play a part in our hero's final destiny?
Director: Jon Amiel.
From the producer of Four Weddings and a Funeral and the writer/director of The English Patient. Starring John Hurt as The Storyteller.
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