Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
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Cinderella comes to life in this 50th Anniversary Edition of the most beloved fairy tale of all time. A sparkling fantasy of music, magic and romance, Rodgers & Hammersteins Cinderella captivates from overture to finale with a delightful score and stunning flittering performances from an all-star cast. Academy Award nominee Lesley Ann Warren is charming as the raggedy waif turned belle of the ball with Broadway star Stuart Damon as the Prince. Also starring Academy Award nominee Walter Pidgeon, Academy Award Winners Ginger Rogers and Celeste Holm as the Fairy Godmother, Cinderella will waltz into the hearts of the entire family and live happily ever after as one of the most irresistible musicals ever made.
Featuring a new high quality digital transfer from the original master. Digitally restored from the original source material.
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I was five when Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella came out and - ever since - I have had a crush on Lesley Ann Warren. In this version of the timeless classic, Lesley is radiant. No actress before or since has so embodied the innocence and magic of a role - and she captured my heart because of it.
Production-wise, don't look for Disney standards. This is not a multi-million dollar production with CGI, special effects, and animation. It looks like an old 1960s-era Hallmark Hall of Fame production with cheap sets and garish costumes. It's, essentially, little more than a filmed stage production. You can almost see the wires and joists holding up the backdrops.
But, O the Magic!
That's where this version of Cinderella succeeds. It is the epitome of childhood magic, of dreams come true. In those respects, it is priceless.
Helping to weave that spell is a cast that's quite respectable for a made-for-TV movie. In addition to Lesley, this movie features Stuart Damon as the prince, Celeste Holm as the fairy godmother, Ginger Rogers as the queen, and Walter Pidgeon as the king...and songs that haven't left my head in half a century. The Rodgers & Hammerstein score is so much fun!
To watch this version of Cinderella today (as I am this evening), requires imagination, and a desire to be see the world through a child's eyes. I can attest to both.
I am 54 years old. But I am five again when I watch this version of Cinderella.
I couldn't ask for more from a movie than that.
This is a treasure.
Also, this was obviously filmed in a studio, so don't you dare be upset about the fakeness of the setting and staging. It's a made-for-TV movie from the 1960s. You know how recently "Sound of Music" and "Peter Pan" were live performances on TV? Those were filmed in a studio too.... in the 2010s. There's been an upgrade in technology and resources, but nevertheless, those are in a studio too. Keep that in mind.
Because this made-for-TV movie was recorded on film in 1965, you will see some cloudiness around the edges of the square frame, which is fine and natural AFTER 50 YEARS.
In regards to the actual movie, this was the version I watched constantly when I was younger. While I haven't seen the full Julie Andrews adaptation, which came out several years before this Leslie Ann Warren adaptation, I think this version holds a more realistic simplicity and beauty to the story of Cinderella. She's a beautiful, but simple girl who wins the prince over with her kindness first, beauty second. And, no, her voice isn't as wonderful as Julie Andrews', but it goes back to the simple and relatable beauty of this young girl who is treated poorly by her stepmother and obnoxious stepsisters.
Overall, I think it's a blessing this movie was transferred over a DVD in the condition that it's in. I haven't watched any of the extras, but the film is a perfect reminder of my childhood and what made it so simple and beautiful.
Fast forward decades later~ my sweet father is no longer with me, and we live in a world with amazing technology. So how could anyone be blown away by this simple production? Very easily, for me, for it brought me back to a time when life was simple, , when there was beauty in the smallest things, and a mere kiss from your Daddy could make everything better.
I love this movie. And I miss you so much, Dad!