Back to top

Movies and Television

Adventures from the Book of Virtues. Created by Bruce D. Johnson. Aired September 2, 3, 4, 1996, on PBS, 8:00-9:00 p.m. 150 minutes. Based on William J. Bennett’s The Book of Virtues. Music by J. A. C. Redford. Produced by KCET, Los Angeles.
[Frame narrative includes Anne, a young girl, and Zack, a young boy, who get into predicaments which they talk through with wise old Plato (a buffalo), the ever eager Aristotle (a gopher), the kindly Aurora (a Lady Hawk), and the clever, lazy, yet hyper-sensitive Socrates (a bobcat called Soc), all of whom instruct Anne and Zack with didactic tales. Six 25 minute episodes: 1. Work. Written by John Loy. A storm breaks down trees and spoils the swimming hole. The bobcat refuses to help clean up the mess and is instructed through tales of "How the Camel got its Hump", and "How Tom Sawyer White-washed the Fence." 2. Honesty. Written by Len Uhley. Zack breaks his father’s graphlex camera and lies about it. He is instructed by means of "The Frog Prince," "George Washington and the Cherry Tree," and "The Algonquin Cinderella" (i.e., "Rough Skin": See Native American Cinderellas under Modern Children’s Editions), with the voices of Irene Bedard as Morning Light and Michael Horse as Strong Wind. Other voices by Jeff Bennett, Jim Cummings, Jennifer Hale, Candi Milo, Paige O’Hara, Pamela Segall, Kath Soucie, and Frank Walker. 3. Responsibility. Written by Glenn Leopold. Annie breaks her new bike while delivering cakes for her mother and fears facing up to her irresponsible actions. The three exemplary tales here are: "The Story of Icarus," "King Alfred and the Burnt Cakes," and "The Woman who was Neglected by her Children." 4. Compassion. Written by Marion Wells. Zack learns to care for an immigrant family whose house burns down. Exemplary tales: "The Good Samaritan," "The Girl who Saved her Mother and her Country with a Cup of Water," and "Androcles and the Lion." 5. Courage. Written by Betty G. Birney. Annie trips over a hurdle and loses a race; she then gives up. Exemplary tales: "Theseus, Ariadne, and the Minotaur," "The Belling of the Cat," and "William Tell." 6. Self-Discipline. Written by Betty G. Birney and Len Uhley. Zack is angry with his mother for not buying him a game; he tries impatiently to make money on his own to flout her. Exemplary tales: "Midas, Marigold, and the Golden Touch," "How Genghis Kahn Loses His Anger and Kills His Friend the Hawk," and "The Magic Thread." Each episode ends with the unhappy child being reconciled with the family, thereby demonstrating the strength of the particular virtue.]
April in Paris. Directed by David Butler. 1952. 100 minutes. Script by Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson. Cast: Doris Day (Dynamite Jackson), Ray Bolger (S. Winthrop Putnam), Claude Dauphin (Phillipe Fouquet), Paul Harvey (the stuffy Assistant Undersecretary of State), Eve Miller (his daughter, who yearns to be First Lady in the White House), George Givot (a French cook).
[To set up an International Arts Council between the US and France, S. Winthrop Putnam, assistant to the assistant, who is engaged to his boss’s daughter, mistakenly invites Ethel Jackson (a showgirl a.k.a. Dynamite Jackson) instead of Ethel Barrymore to be a US representative in the Arts. On shipboard to Paris the uppity State Department crew ostracizes the showgirl because of her common manners. Phillipe Fouquet, who is working as a waiter on the ship in an effort to get back to Paris where he is a nightclub owner, comes to Dynamite’s rescue, invites her into the kitchen where she can be “Cinderella” and enjoy her magical trip to Paris despite the old foggies. She gets her “ball” in the kitchen with the boat staff where she sings and dances, with a broom being passed around in the background. S. Winthrop Putnam, who is in love with her despite his engagement to another, has the task of telling her she will be sent home on the next boat; but Sam (what the S. in S. Winthrop stands for) gets drunk instead and turns the kitchen into a real ballroom where dancing leads to kissing. Their cabins are side by side and after many comical mistaken cabin visits as she several times over carries her slipper in hand, they decide to be married by the ship captain. The marriage takes place, except that the captain is not really the captain, but a servant disguised as the captain. The fiance awaits them in Paris, and only after much confusion do Sam and Ethel get together, accompanied by plenty of April in Paris music. The janitor’s daughter will wed the prince at last, this time for real, and the music assures us that they will live happily ever after.]
Are You Cinderella? Written and directed by Charles Hall. 1999. 22 minutes. A Fat-Daddy-Loves-You production. Photography by Ismael Ramierez. Casting by Adrienne Stern. Music by Georg Brandl. Edited by Chuck Willis. Production design by James Chinlund. Make-up by White Karen. Hair by Frederick Purnell. Wardrobe Tyron Mayes. Titles by Mike Bade and the queen of evil. Photography at Liberty Studios by Robert Lyons. Produced by Julie Anderson and Charles Hall. Cast: Wood Harris (Prince Charming), Taral Hicks (Homeless Woman), Aliya Campbell (Cinderella). Lene Hall, Cindy Cho, Gayle Pilgrim, Kadia, Nathania Stanford, Stacy Upchurch, Claudis Mason, Amy Graham, Shannon Crawley, Kirshana Evans, Lisa Branch, Angie Wright, Michele Griffin, Lavetta Cannon (Beautiful stepsisters). Ben Evidente (Fairy Godfather).
[The film began with the Prince Charming, in a voice-over, wondering what kind of girl he would like to be with, as he looks at all the lovely stepsisters of the cast. Then the screen goes dark and he awakens hungover, after the ball. He is in bed his own bed but clearly has been with someone who has gone. He staggers out of bed trying to remember through the mental fog and finds an elegant high-heeled pink pump with a letter saying that the night had been fabulous, signed Cinderella. He sets out to try to track down the owner, but without success. As night falls he finds a homeless girl asleep on the street wearing the mate to the shoe on one foot and a sneaker on the other. The Prince puts the other shoe on her, they embrace and dance in the street. “Cinderella” comes by and wonders what the Prince is doing kissing the homeless person, whose mouth, she imagines, has been sucking off crackheads. She asks the Prince to join her, but he chooses to remain with the homeless girl. The socialite asks for her $600.00 shoes back, then scolds the Prince for being with the homeless girl. The Prince tells her that the girl is homeless no more as he takes her to a restaurant. A flashback fills us in on how the rich girl left the Prince’s bed that morning before he work up, dropped one shoe by the bedside and lost the other in the street as she was getting into her limousine. The street woman found it and, having only one shoe, put it on before lying down on the cold pavement in hope of surviving the night. The film bears some similarities to Barrie’s A Kiss for Cinderella, though this version has a happy ending.]
Aschenputtel. Written, produced, and directed by Fritz Genschow. 1955. Released in U.S. by Childhood Productions, 1966. Photography by Gerhard Huttula. Art and Costumes by Waldemar Volkmer. Music by Richard Stauch (German version) and Milton DeLugg (American version). Songs by Milton and Anne DeLugg. Dances by Carola Krauskopf. Editing by Albert Baumiester. Narrated by Paul Tripp (American version). Cast: Rita-Maria Nowotny (Cinderella), Rudiger Lichti (Prince), Renee Strobawa (Fairy Godmother), Fritz Genschow (Father), Aenne Bruck (Stepmother).
[Adapted from the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale.]
Ashpet. Directed by Tom Davenport. 1989. 45 minutes. Script by Roger Manley. Cast: Kelly Mancini (Ashpet/Lily), Susan Tolbert (Thelma), Brilane Bowman (Sooey), Nancy Robinette (stepmother), Louise Anderson (Dark Sally), Norman Aronovic (Norman), Timothy White (Herman), Mitchell Riggs (William [the soldier]), Rob Roy (mayor).
[In this Appalachian Cinderella adaptation, filmed in Clark County, Virginia, Ashpet slaves away for her ineffectual stepmother and jealous and lazy stepsisters Thelma and Sooey who are preparing for the 1940 Victory Dance to send off the county’s finest young men to become soldiers. The pushy Thelma, uncertain of their charms, takes Sooey to Dark Sally (Louise Anderson), a root woman, who sends the girls packing when they are unable to answer her riddles–“You gals ain’t smart enough to get husbands anyway.” The girls send Ashpet to get the amulets they’d paid for. She gladly visits Dark Sally, because she had been her nanny. Ashpet is clever enough to deserve love as she answers Dark Sally’s riddles. The two then work together, with Ashpet scrubbing herself clean in the stream and then Dark Sally showing her the wardrobe in the attic where her mother’s lovely clothes have been stored. Ashpet rides the old white horse where she meets the handsome GI William, and they fall in love. He comes to their house with her shoe, which fell off as she was leaving on the horse. They are married and have a happy life together, if you can trust Dark Sally and the family photos. Louise Anderson’s performance as Dark Sally is splendid, with her remarkable story telling abilities and clever improvisations.]
Barbie. A PBS Documentary. Directed and produced by Susan Stern. 1998. 60 minutes. Associate Producer: Trish Harrington. Edited by Elizabeth Finlayson. Music by Ed Bogas. Camera: Fawn Yacker, David Collier, John Rogers, Tomas Tucker, Peter Wu, Prestan Sullivan, Bob Curlee.
[Interview with the creator of Barbie and co-founder of Mattel, Ruth Handler, and her daughter Barbara. Barbara loved Debbie Reynolds paper dolls. The mother wanted a grown-up doll with breasts to ease the transition for children through puberty, a doll that encouraged role models other than mama with baby or playmate. “I wanted all kinds of people to live out their dreams through Barbie.” She was never made unattainable, though as more professional, working dolls were produced – stewardesses, teachers, secretaries, athletes, fashion models, doctors, etc. she became increasingly beautiful. “Learning to play with Barbie is a lot like learning to be female.” Ruth Handler was the youngest of 10 children. She from early on loved the business world. She married Elliot Handler whom she met at age 16. After they brought Harold Matson into the corporation it took on the name Mattel, after the two men. Since Barbie was their best product perhaps the corporation should have been called MatRuth. Barbie embodied “a million stories waiting to be acted out.” By 1968 Barbie was a $200,000,000 business. The documentary includes footage of Gay Pride Parade and interviews on the attractiveness of Barbie to gay men and lesbians as well as children. Shots of Barbie festivals and exhibits by artists who redo the doll for diverse effects, from an icon hanging on the Cross, to kinky behavior, to prostitutes, etc. Includes accounts of Barbie slashers, barbeque parties in which the doll is barbequed, or cooked in a soup and eaten. The film was not approved by Mattel. After leaving Mattel Ruth Handler had breast cancer and had a breast removed. After the trauma she developed a specialized industry for breast prosthesis to help women who have had breasts removed for one reason or another to still feel feminine.]
Barefoot Contessa, The. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. 1954. 131 minutes. Cast: Ava Gardner (Maria Vargas), Humphrey Bogart (Harry Dawes, film director), Edmond O’Brien (a lackey), Marius Goring (millionaire producer), Rossano Brazzi (Italian count), Warren Stevens, Valentina Cortese.
[Spanish dancer Maria Vargas lives in poverty with her kind father and mean mother, but has a fairy tale awareness of herself, her beauty, power, and talent. She survived the war by burying herself in dirt during air raids, and prefers going barefoot as if that keeps her in touch with her essential being. She puts on slippers when entering roles that the world, with its Cinderella fantasies, requires of her. Bogart discovers her, plays fairy godmother, and convinces her to come to America, where she becomes a superstar–a “Cinderella story” much touted by the press. Various millionaires try to possess her, but she remains aloof, always choosing her own way. She remains essentially lonely, yearning for a love she has never known. She returns to Spain after her father murders her mother, a manipulating woman whom Maria hated. Amidst great publicity she helps her father beat the murder rap on grounds of self-defense. While being entertained on the Riviera by one of her millionaires she meets an Italian count; he first saw her while she was dancing with gypsies. After a whirlwind romance they marry. The Cinderella dream seems to have come true. But it turns out that he is impotent, having been wounded during the war. She becomes pregnant by means of a lover. As she tells her story to Bogart, the one person in whom she is able to confide, she imagines that her husband will be pleased with the heir she will bring him. But the count murders her and her lover before Bogart is able to ward off the disaster. The movie begins with her funeral and ends with it. Immediately after their marriage the count had had a statue made of Maria–regal but barefoot. It becomes her monument rather than a decoration for the five hundred year old estate of which she had become countess.]
Bearskin. Directed by Tom Davenport. 1985. 20 minutes. Music by Alan Jabbour. Casting by Sarah Toth. Bearskin’s Make-up by Frank Rogers. Costumes by Mimi Davenport and Valerie Becker. Cast: Robert Westenberg (Bearskin), Richard Bauer (Devil), Glenn Taylor (Father), Helen Stoltzfus and Kate Weber (Eldest Daughters), Susan Shields (Youngest Daughter), Robert Lesko (Innkeeper).
[The plot combines components of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Donkeyskin to tell how a young civil war veteran, his family dead and nowhere to go, makes a pact with the devil to wear a bearskin, never bath or cut his hair or nails for seven years, in return for all the money he needs. If he should die in the interim or breaks the contract, the devil gets his soul. If he should endure he will live the remainder of his life wealthy. After the fourth year he finds himself wretched and an utter outcast, but starts doing good deeds with his money. He redeems the farm for a gentleman who has been poverty stricken by the war. The man has three daughters and promises one to Bearskin, if she will consent. The two elder daughters are vain and spoiled. They want fancy dresses and attention but scorn Bearskin as hideous. The youngest daughter, who looks after the house, does the chores, and cares for the livestock, agrees to the marriage because of her father’s debt and Bearskin’s kindness. He gives her half of a ring and tells her to wait for three years, praying for his deliverance. At the end of the seven years he meets the devil again, returns the bearskin and insists that the devil bath him. He returns to the plantation, now clean, handsome, and well dressed. The two elder sisters make over him but he surprises everyone by going to the youngest daughter. He places his half of the ring in a glass of wine which he serves her. She understands what has happened, produces the other half. The ring magically becomes one and they are married. The older sisters become increasing jealous until one hangs herself and the other drowns herself in a lake.]
Betty Boop: Poor Cinderella. Directed by Dave Fleischer. 1934. 10 minutes. Produced by Max Fleischer. Paramount Color Classic. Animation by Seymour Kneitel, Roland Chandall, and William Henning. Music and Lyrics by Charles Tobias, Murray Mensher, and Jack Scholl. Recording by Phil Spitalny. Available on videotape in the eight volume set of Betty Boop: The Definitive Collection, Vol. 4: “Musical Madness/Fairy Tales and Fantasy,” Republic Entertainment, 1996.
[See Poor Cinderella, under Sheet Music, for the lyrics, which in the film are repeated variously in appropriate places by the several characters. Betty, in rags in her chamber, hears the announcement of the ball from her window; she sings of her wishes to her mirror and dances out her fantasy with her broom. The stepsisters demand to be dressed; Cinderella prepares their clothes, dresses them, and they leave. Alone, Cinderella sings to a candle, the flame of which turns into her fairy godmother, who instructs her in what to do. Betty goes to the cellar, brings up a heavy pumpkin and a cage full of white mice. Two lizards follow. The mice, lizards, and pumpkin sing a song about their good fortune in being chosen. With a shake of the good fairy's wand the animals are transformed, and Betty is reclothed (from her underthings up); she is admonished about the midnight return, and sets out as the six white horses tapdance their way to the palace, with occasional horseface remarks. The Prince begins his descent down the red-carpeted staircase, sees Cinderella, falls and slides adoringly to her feet. They dance. At midnight she escapes, leaving her slipper behind. As she tries to enter the coach the twelfth bell strikes, and she is stranded in her old clothes, along with the unhappy pumpkin, etc. (All that awaits him now is pie). The Prince picks up the slipper and announces the search. All hopefuls ascend a pyramid structure with the slipper on top, then descend the other side when the slipper doesn’t fit. No feet fit until the last tries, namely Betty. The pair marry instantly and set out in the coach with a “Just Married” sign on the back and cans, etc., tied behind. The stepsisters squabble and get squashed by the closing gate that, once closed, says, “The End.”]
Bohemian Girl, The. Directed by James W. Horne and Charles Rogers. 1936. 70 minutes. A Hal Roach Production. Based on the opera by Michael W. Balfe. Cast: Stan Laurel, Ollie Hardy, Mae Busch, Antonio Moreno, Jacqueline Wells, Dana Hood, James Finlayson, Thelma Todd.
[A gypsy band steals the daughter of Count Arnheim. Ollie’s wife is having an affair with Devilshoof, a romantic gypsy. She claims the child is hers, and when she runs off with her lover, she leaves the child, little Arline, with Ollie to raise. Twelve years later the gypsies again camp near Count Arnheim’s estate. The gypsy girl, who has become a wonderful singer, is taken prisoner and is to be flogged. The Count discovers that she is his daughter, and happiness is restored all ways around.]
Bride, The. Directed by Franc Roddam. 1985. 118 minutes. Music by Maurice Jarre. Cast: Sting (Dr. Frankenstein), Jennifer Beals (Eva), Clancy Brown (Viktor), Anthony Higgins (Clerval), David Rappaport (Rinaldo), Geraldine Page (Mrs. Baumann), Alexei Seyle (Magar), Phil Daniels (Bela), Veruschka (Countess), Quentin Crisp (Dr. Zahlus), Cary Elwes (Joseph), Tim Spall (Paulus), Guy Rolfe (Count), Ken Campbell (Pedlar), Andrew de la Tour (Priest).
[Utilizes both male and female Cinderella typology. Dr. Frankenstein builds the perfect woman (Eva), ostensibly as bride for the creature (Viktor). But an overdose of lightning at her birthing destroys the tower in which both creatures were created, and Dr. Frankenstein saves and raises his Eva to be an independent woman, equal in all ways to man, thinking the first creature has perished in the fire. But he hasn’t; rather he is taken up in friendship by a dwarf named Rinaldo, who guides him to Budapest to join the circus. Rinaldo assures Viktor that someday he will be victorious, and they have some success doing a trapeze routine with Viktor as the high-flying “baby’s” anxious mother. But jealous circus master has Rinaldo murdered. Viktor has strange mental bonding with Eva, and she with him. Viktor takes revenge on Rinaldo’s murderer and flees, seeking telepathically the affection of his heart. Eva has grown up sexually, to the doctor’s dismay, and he attempts to make love to her but she adamantly refuses to give herself to him. Viktor meets Eva in a wood, gives her a medallion left him by Rinaldo, which she cherishes but which makes the Doctor jealous. In an attempt to control her, shows her the journals of her creation. Meanwhile, Viktor is captured, accused of a murder he didn’t commit, and imprisoned. But he breaks free of his shackles when vibes indicate that Eva is in distress, as indeed she is when the Doctor attempts to rape her, knocking her unconscious with vicious blows. Like a rescuing prince (albeit uncertain and timid), Viktor bursts in on the scene. The Doctor attacks him but falls to his death. Viktor and Eva recognize their love for each other and head for Rinaldo’s dream city, Venice, with its streets of water. The ghost of Rinaldo serves as fairy godparent as he reassures and guides them. Happiness seems possible in a new life where Viktor can tell Eva of her origins, and she can instruct him in fitting social behavior. Despite the demeaning labors in their “youth,” they set out into the sunset, leaving behind the ashes of the baron’s ruined castle–like some new Adam and Eve, rid of the tyrant stepparent oppressor who is dead and blessed by the protective spirit of Rinaldo, who tells them: “Follow your heart, and you’ll be fine. Follow your dreams; they lead to everything.”]
Bristlelip. Directed by Tom Davenport. 1982. 20 minutes. Based on the Grimm Brothers’ story of King Thrushbeard. Produced by Tom and Mimi Davenport. Choreography by Virginia Freeman. Musicians: Sue Boyd (Harpsichord) and Dan Jabbour (fiddle). Costumes by Valerie Becker and Mimi Davenport. Props and Sets by Kitty Romine and Mimi Davenport. Narrated by Iliff McMahon. Cast: Veanne Cox (Haughty Princess), Robert Carroll (Bristlelip), Gary Ellis (Father), David Hornstein (Minister), Sarah Marshall (Cook), Michael Heintzman, Steve Brady, William Becker, Richard de Sonier, Michael Henderson, Brant Parker, Tom Agnes (Suitors).
[Set in the federal period of nineteenth-century America (ca. 1815). Several Cinderella components from a different point of view–an over-concerned father, a non-compliant daughter sent into exile, her learning at least some skills, her working as a kitchen maid, a ball at which she meets her “prince,” and her marriage to the prince, which brings her out of disgrace. But in this story it is the princess rather than the father or stepfamily that is educated in civility. Synopsis: A haughty rich girl rejects all suitors with mockery, insulting especially a wealthy neighbor landholder who gets on well with her dog; she calls him “Bristlelip” because he wears a moustache. The neighbor speaks with her father suggesting that he marry her to the first peddlar that comes by, which the father does, except that the peddlar is Bristlelip in disguise and the marriage is conducted by trickery. The new wife lives in a log shack with her kind but poor husband and soon proves herself incapable of doing anything practical: she can’t cook, can’t clean, can’t be civil, has no crafts, can’t make baskets or weave. So her peddlar husband sets her up selling pots in town. Here she succeeds well, because she is so beautiful, though she enjoys the work too. But a horseman dashes by and smashes all her wares, and she goes home heart-broken. So the peddlar sends her to Bristlelip’s estate to work in the kitchen. She does so, hiding food in her dress during cleanup to take home to her husband. But just then a dance begins and the cook sends her upstairs to watch. Bristlelip lies in wait for her, makes her dance with him, and the food she has been hiding in her dress tumbles out on the floor. She explains that she had taken it for her husband. When questioned whether she likes him she admits that she does, whereupon Bristlelip reveals that he and the peddlar are one and the same person. She asks how he could have been so cruel, and he explains that it was because he loved her so much and saw no other way to win her heart than through mutual poverty, hard work, and humility. The two are reconciled and have a real wedding ball in the great house.]
Bush Cinderella, The. New Zealand film of the 1930s. A Rudall Hayward Production. Featuring a new blues song “Flower of the Bush, I’m Coming Home,” by Daniel S. Sharp.  Cast: Miss Dale Austen (Miss New Zealand).
Songs: See Sheet Music. The film also featured “My Mother’s Lullaby,” by the same composer.
Carrie. Directed by Brian De Palma. 1976. 98 minutes. Screenplay Lawrence D. Cohen. Based on a novel by Stephen King. Music by Pino Donaggio. Cast: Sissy Spacek (Carrie White, the ill-fit teenager), Piper Laurie (Margaret White, her fanatical mother), Betty Buckley (Miss Collins, the fairy godmother gym teacher), William Katt (Timothy Ross, the princely date at the senior prom), Nancy Miller (Chris Borgenson, the worst of the “wicked stepsisters”), John Travolta (Billy Nolan, Chris’s date), Amy Irving (Sue Shell, the good girl who tries to help), Priscilla Pointer (Sue Shell’s mother), Doug Cox (the Beak), Edie McClung (Helen), Noelle North (Frieda), P. J. Sales (Norma), Stefan Gierach (Mr. Morton, the Principal).
[From menstruation to blood bath as the pretty in pink prom goes wrong and the ball becomes a holocaust: victim victimizes, beauty becomes the BEAST. A study in teen sadism, religious fanaticism, King horror, and, through the role of Sue Shell, the infernal shaping of conscience. According to Danny Peary, “the film [Carrie] is most indebted to the story of Cinderella: You have your ugly duckling, the ball at which she looks beautiful, the handsome prince, the catastrophe waiting to happen, the evil mother, and many jealous females who could be Cinderella’s step-sisters.” (Guide For the Film Fanatic, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986, p. 83).]
Caught. Directed by Max Ophuls. 1949. 88 minutes. B/W. Based on Libbie Block’s novel The Wild Calendar. Cast: Barbara Bel Geddes (Maude Ames; Leonore Ames; Leonore Ohlrig; Lee Ames), Robert Ryan (Smith Ohlrig), James Mason (Dr. Larry Quinada), Frank Furguson (Dr. Hoffman), Curt Bois (Frank, Ohlrig’s secretary), Natalie Schafer (Leonora’s roommate and friend).
[“A key American melodrama: draw a line between Citizen Kane and Written on the Wind, and you’ll find Ophuls’ noir classic at the heady mid-point. A car-hop Cinderella (Bel Geddes) chases a fashion-plate charm-school dream; a childishly megalomaniac millionaire (Ryan) marries her to spite his analyst. Ophuls holds back his camera to frame the sour domestic nightmare, but gloriously equates motion with emotion when Bel Geddes takes solace with James Mason’s virtuous doctor. The alluring web of hearts and dollars has rarely looked so deadly, and only the studio spared us the sight of the kill”–Paul Taylor for Time Out. From fashion plate dreams to death of the premature child, where self-esteem is found primarily through meaningful work and unselfish loving care.]
Cendrillon on La Pantoufle Merveilleuse. Directed by Albert Capellani. 1907. Pathé. 295 meters.

La Cenerentola. Directed by Fernando Cerchio. 17 May 1946. 100 minutes. Screenplay by Piero Ballerini. Music by Gioacchino Rossini. Orchestra and chorus of the Rome Opera Co. directed by Oliviero De Fabritiis. An adaptation of Rossini. Artisti Associati release of Mario and Ugo Trombetti production. Cast: Lori Landi (Cenerentola), Gino Del Signore (Don Ramiro), Afro Poli (Dandini), Vito De Taranto (Don Magnifico), Fiorella Carmen Forti (Clorinda), Franca Tamantini (Tisbe), Enrico Formichi (Alidore).
[The stepsisters are gorgeous. The voices of Cenerentola and Tisbe are dubbed, by Fedora Barbieri and Fernanda Cadoni. Filmed in Milan and Turin’s Royal Palace.]
La Cenerentola. Directed by Fernando Cerchio. Released in 1948; in U.S. May 1953. Artisti Associati, Italy. An Opera film produced by Marie and Ugo Trombetti. Screenplay by Piero Ballerini, Angelo Besozzi, Fernando Cerchio, Fulvio Palmieri, and Aldo Rossi, based on the libretto by Jacobo Feretti. Music by Gioacchino Rossini. Photography by Mario Albertelli. Scenery by Gastone Simonetti. Costumes by Flavio Mogherini. Music conducted by Oliviero De Fabritiis. Cast: Lori Randl (Cenerentola), Fedora Barbieri (Voice of Cinderella), Gino Del Signore (Prince Don Ramior), Vito De Taranto (Don Magnifico), Afro Poli (Dandini), Fiorelli Carmen Forti (Clorinda), Enrico Formichi (Alidoro), Franca Tamantini (Tisbe), Fernanda Cadoni (Voice of Tisbe). Orchestra and Chorus of the Rome Opera Company.
[This film is not an attempt to reproduce the opera; rather it tells the story interspersed with music from the opera. The film is available on B&W videotape.]
Cenerentola ’80. Produced and directed by Roberto Malenotti. Released March 1984. Screenplay by Ugo Liberatore, Ottavio Alessi, and Roberto Malenotti. Music by Guido and Maurizio de Angelis. Compania Distribuzione Europea (CDE); an RAI-TV Channel 2/TVC-Television Center/Strand Art co-production. Cast: Bonnie Bianco (Cindy), Pierre Cosso (Mizio), Sandra Milo (Marianne), Adolfo Celi (Prince Gherardeschi), Silvia Koscina (His Wife), Vittorio Caprioli (Harry).

Charming. Directed by Ross Venokur. Vanguard Animation, 2018. 1 hour 25 minutes. Cast: Demi Lovato (Lenore) and Wilmer Valderrama (Prince Philippe Charming).
This animated film explores themes of true love when a prince is cursed to enchant women, and he has already confused three princess, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. While the plot revolves around his adventures with a different heroine, it is worth noting that Cinderella is understood to be a princess here rather than someone who marries into royalty. [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Cigarette Girl, The. Directed by William Perke. 8 July 1917. 5 reels. Scene design by Philip Bartholomae. Astra Film Corp. Cast: Gladys Hulette (The cigarette girl), Warner Oland (Mr. Wilson), William Parke, Jr. (Money Merideth), Florence Hamilton (Mrs. Wilson), Arthur Sullivan.
[“A young girl who ekes out a livelihood by selling cigarettes and cigars in a restaurant agrees to help Meredith, a wealthy young patron of the club, defend himself against a blackmailing scheme perpetrated by Mrs. Wilson and her husband. Although the cigarette girl loves Trot, a cabaret dancer, she agrees to a platonic marriage to Meredith in order to foil the blackmailers. With Meredith’s funds transferred to his new wife, the Wilsons abandon their plans, and Meredith awakens to the fact that he has fallen in love with the cigarette girl. She returns Meredith’s feelings when she discovers Trot’s despicable nature, and her marriage becomes one of love.”–Nash and Ross, The Motion Picture Guide.]
Cinder-Elfred. Directed by Hay Plumb. 1914. Hepworth Pictures, England. Cast: Tom Powers (Elfred).

Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother. Created and directed by George A. Smith. Released August 1898. G.A.S. Films, England. Cast: Laura Bayley (Cinderella).
[Advertised as "The First Double Exposure and Stop Action Film" - Marill, p. 329.]
Cinderella. Directed by George A. Smith. Released August 1898. G.A.S. Films, England. Cast: Laura Bayley (Cinderella).

Cinderella. Directed by Georges Melies (1899). One reel. French.
[Melies was a pioneer in the movie industry, the first to make something other than chasers. Lewis Jacobs (The Rise of the American Film, 1939) calls him “the movies’ first great craftsman and father of its theatrical traditions” as he shapes what he called “artificially arranged scenes.” Cinderella is his first outstanding and successful realization of his new method. The movie is composed of twenty “motion tableaux”: 1. Cinderella in the Kitchen; 2. The Fairy; 3. The Transformation of the Rat; 4. The Pumpkin Changes to a Carriage; 5. The Ball at the King’s Palace; 6. The Hour of Midnight; 7. The Bedroom of Cinderella; 8. The Dance of the Clocks; 9. The Prince and the Slipper; 10. The Godmother of Cinderella; 11. The Prince and Cinderella; 12. The Arrival at the Church; 13. The Wedding; 14. Cinderella’s Sisters; 15. The King; 16. The Nuptial Cortege; 17. The Bride’s Ballet; 18. The Celestial Spheres; 19. The Transformation; 20. The Triumph of Cinderella. The movie was over 400 feet long and was a triumph, especially in America, 1900, where people rejoiced in rags to riches fables.]
Cinderella. Directed by Lewis Fitzhamon. Released December 1907. Hepworth Pictures, England. One reel. Cast: Dolly Lupone (Cinderella), Frank Wilson (Prince Charming), Gertie Potter (Fairy Godmother), Thurston Harris (Baron).

Cinderella. Written and directed by Theodore Marston. Released December 1911. Tannhauser Pictures. One reel. Cast: Florence La Badie (Cinderella), Frank Crane (Prince), Miss Rosamonde (Fairy Godmother), Alphonse Ethier (Baron).

Cinderella. Directed by Colin Campbell. 1911. Producer, William N. Selig. Screenplay adapted from the Grimm Brothers by Henry Mitchell Webster; adapted and produced by Colin Campbell. Over 3000 feet in length. Cast: Mabel Taliaferro (Cinderella), Thomas J. Karrigan (Prince Charming), Frank Weed (Cinderella’s Father), Lillian Leighton (The Stepmother), Josephine Miller and Olive Cox (Stepsisters), Baby Griffin (Fairy Godmother), and an additional cast of over 300.
[Opened for the holiday season, though it was not officially released until January 1912. 99 scenes–three full reels. Took over five weeks to make and was a smashing success.]
Cinderella. Written and directed by Arthur Collins. Released November 1912. One reel. Empire Films, England.
[Animated film enacted by toys.]
Cinderella. Directed by Harry Buss. Released December 1913. Hepworth Pictures.
[Sketch of Cinderella synchronized with a “Vivaphone” to a Columbia recording.]
Cinderella. Directed by James Kirkwood. Released 28 December 1914. A Famous Players Production. Starring Mary Pickford (Cinderella), Owen Moore (Prince Charming), Georgia Wilson and Lucille Carney (Stepsisters), Isabel Vernon (Stepmother), W. N. Cone (King), Inez Marcel (Fairy Godmother). Paramount Pictures. Four reels.
[Based on Perrault. The pre-release title was The Stepsister. A hurried production, done in time for the Christmas traffic. "The photography is bad....The picture from every a disappointment....`Cinderella' may please the kids, but the adults will likely have a different opinion. `Cinderella' as a big feature cracks under the strain of haste in the making"--Variety 1 January 1915. The Moving Picture World took a more positive view: "It is a delightful interpretation The Famous Players have given us of this old friend of childhood. In the title role of Cinderella, which is shown in four parts, Miss Pickford brings to bear all her native charm . . . Cinderella is well done." See Marill, p. 329.]
Cinderella. 1915. William N. Selig, producer. 3 reels. 3000 feet. With Mabel Taliaferro (Cinderella) and T. J. Corrigan (Prince Charming).
[A low budget studio piece. The press release claimed that filming took five weeks and involved a cast of 300 people in the 99 scenes. The Moving Picture World called Cinderella "a great filmed subject . . . There is such a wealth of settings, both outdoor and indoor; such a great variety of properties and costumes, selected with the utmost care, so much of action and heart interest throughout these 3000 feet of film, that one cannot possibly take in at one sitting more than a small fraction of the actual values. Always prominent throughout, and holding one with heart grips, is the Cinderella of Mabel Taliaferro." See Marill, p. 329. "The film story is not well worked out. It is nearly entirely taken in a studio. One or two exteriors of a castle are shown. The interiors in most instances are cheaply put together and leave a poor impression. The costuming is of the usual type used for cheap costume pictures. The men labor with beards and mustaches that look very unnatural and their clothes appear to have done service in other pictures. A `Cinderella' picture was released a couple of months ago by the Famous Players"--Variety 5 February 1915.]
Cinderella. Directed by Dr. Ludwig Berger. 1926(?). Produced by Ufa. Setting by Rudolph Bamberger. Film Associates, Inc. Cast: Helga Thomas (Cinderella).
[A German picturization of the fairy tale, shown for two performances at the Klaw Theatre, NYC, in early April 1926. Some portions of the film (the transformation of the mice to the entrance of the glass carriage) could not be shown because they had been accidentally destroyed. According to the New York Times film review (6 April 1926 26:4) the stepmother was cast as a handsome woman and the two daughters quite good looking. Cinderella is beautiful, “a type that never seems quite real, and in some scenes she reminds one of a graceful figure on a piece of Sevres china.” They use an ordinary shoe rather than a glass slipper. “The godmother is able to bring all her witchcraft out with explosions and the subsequent imprisoning of her victims in giant jam jars.”]
Cinderella. 1928. Produced by the Institut fur Kulturforschung of Germany, with black silhouettes by Miss Lotte Reiniger.
[Follows the Brothers Grimm’s version. According to the New York Times film reviewer (22 January 1928, VIII, 7:7), “The effect is extraordinary. In ordinary films, even when they are good, I always have a feeling of heaviness, of drama struggling for expression under a handicap of silence. Here that feeling is entirely absent. In its place is a sensation of gaiety, of lightness, of the just use of material. What opportunity the silhouette gives to caricature! With how little apparent labor one passes from one effect to another! How the small black shapes laugh at you from a world of their own into which naturalism makes no laborious entry! We know well that all films cannot pursue this method, that this is no more than a side-track of significance. Does it not suggest that films ought to turn away more and more from the province of the art of literature and discover provinces of their own?”]
Cinderella. Directed by Pierre Caron. 1937. 84 minutes. Produced by Jean Rossi. Screenplay by Jean Montazel. Music by Vincent Scotto. Lyrics by George Koge. Cast: Joan Warner (Evelyne), Christine Delyne (Dany Rosy), Maurice Escande (Gilbert), O’Dett (Bobecoe), Jeanne Fusler (Mme. Mataplan), Suzanne Deheilly (Virginie), Felix Paquet (Titin, the Electrician), Paul Faivre (Mons. Mataplan), Marcel Vallee (Director), the bands of Jo Bouilon and Willie Lewis.
[Poor working girl becomes a fan dancer nightclub star too suddenly. An eccentric astronomer falls in love with her, and it all turns out okay, with the help of a glass slipper. A French attempt to make a musical American style in the mid-1930s. Good nightclub scenes with Evelyne, the Cinderella figure, leading the band.]
Cinderella. Produced and directed by Nadezhda Kosheverova and Mikhail Shapiro. Lenfilm, Russia. Released 1947. Screenplay by E. Schwartz. Cast: Yanina Zheimo (Cinderella), A. Konovsky (Prince Charming), F. Ranevskaya (Stepmother), F. Garin (King).

Cinderella: A “Let’s Pretend” Radio Production. First aired on CBS on 27 September 1947. Written and directed by Nila Mack. Original Music Composed and Conducted by Maurice Brown. Narrated by Uncle Bill Adams and the “Let’s Pretenders”, a company of children trained by Nila Mack for her popular radio show that ran for fifteen years on CBS. See entries for Nila Mack, below.
[Mack’s “Let’s Pretend” Cinderella was published as a picture book the year following its first broadcast (Cinderella. Written by Nila Mack. Illustrated by Catherine Barnes. Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing Co., 1948). CBS then issued the radio show as a record album: “Let’s Pretend Cinderella,” with Uncle Bill Adams and “The Let’s Pretenders.” Columbia Records Set K4. The album consisted of three 10-inch 78rpm records (six sides, stackable) that were released in NYC and London, Ontario. The cover design of the album shows Cinderella in her pink ball gown in the foreground. The castle is in the background to the right. A coach with four white horses moves away from the castle onto the pink plain on which Cinderella stands. Her gestures suggest bemusement and uncertainty of whether she should flee or stay. Her eyes look back and her left hand touches her heart.]
Of the many listings on Nila Mack that I checked online (30 June 2003), one offered for sale a CD on which 53 of the Let’s Pretend radio shows are available (21 hours and 43 minutes). A second site offered a recording of 12 episodes, mainly from 1947 and 1954, which included "Cinderella," "Bluebeard," "The Enchanted Frog," and "The Twelve Months" (all from 1947).
Cinderella. Directed by Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, and Clyde Geronimi. 1949. 74 minutes. Walt Disney Studio/RKO Radio Pictures. Music by Oliver G. Wallace and Paul J. Smith. Songs by Mack David, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman. Orchestration by Joseph Dubin. Film editing by Donald Halliday. Music editing by Al Teeter. Screenplay by William Peet, Ted Sears, Homer Brightman, Kenneth Anderson, Erdman Penner, Winston Hibler, Harry Reeves, and Joe Rinaldi (based loosely on Perrault). Voices: Irene Woods (Cinderella), William Phipps (Prince Charming), Eleanor Audley (Stepmother), Verna Felton (Fairy Godmother), James MacDonald (Jacques, Gus-Gus, and Bruno), Rhoda Williams (Anastasia), Lucille Bliss (Drusilla), Luis Van Rooten (King and Grand Duke).
[“From the first tumescent AAaaoooo of the chorus and plig plig of the harp, this is bang-on-course Disney animation. Once you get past the storybook framing and the information that ‘a dream is a wish the heart makes’ - eat lead, Sigmund - it is played for laughs all the way. Furry creature value is high, and there is an extra-wicked stepmother who is the stuff of infant nightmares. The Prince is as wooden as Letraset, and the real moral dramas, battles between good and evil, social conditioning, hygiene, procreation etc., take place among poor Cinders’ allies, the mice, and the complacently vicious cat Lucifer. The set pieces, all transformation scenes of some kind, will probably be familiar, the mouse voices rising to operatic heights as they sweatshop together a ball gown in under three minutes. As usual, everything is slightly glossy, soppy and hearty, yet not a string is left untwanged” - Roger Parsons for Time Out. Musical numbers include “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo,” “So This is Love,” “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” “Cinderella,” “The Work Song,” “Sing, Sweet Nightingale.” Directed toward the new teen Drive-In audience, the movie presents an adolescent Cinderella who, in a middle management position, is masterfully patient with devious superiors but takes control of her own situations and manages to live with her congenial staff both inside and outside the house as well as in the attic and cellars as her socially and imaginatively confined stepfamily is unable to do in its sinister, oppressive, selfishly imposed environment.]
Cinderella II: Dreams Come True. Directed by John Kafka. 2002. 73 minutes. Created by Disney. Released direct-to-video. Traditional Cel-style Animation. Produced by Mary Thorne. Score composed and conducted by Michael Tavera. Film editing by Julie Anne Lau. Voice Casting and Dialogue Directed by Julie Morgavi. Voices: Jennifer Hale (Cinderella), Christopher Daniel Barnes (Prince), Andre Stojka (King), Corey Burton (Gus/Mert/Stablehand), Rob Paulson (Jacques/Baker/Sir Hugh/ Grand Duke/Flower Vender), Susan Blakeslee (Stepmother), Russi Taylor (Fairy godmother/Mary Mouse/Beatrice/Daphne/Countess Le Grand/Drizella), Tress MacNeille (Anastasia/Pretty Woman), Holland Taylor (Prudence), Frank Welker (PomPom/Lucifer).
[This video release emphasizes the pleasure of listening to stories and then writing your own. After the Fairy Godmother finishes reading the story of Cinderella to her devoted mice friends, the mice decide to make a story book of their own to give to Cinderella. First they tell of the banquet Cinderella undertook after returning from the honeymoon (“Aim to Please,” screenplay by Jill Blotevogel and Tom Rogers). At first she is overwhelmed by all the protocol and “rules” of the castle. But then, remembering what the Prince saw in her, puts the stuffy rules aside, invites villagers, opens the drapery to let the sunlight in, prepares the food she knows will be superb (including chocolate pudding, instead of the prunes the king normally asks for), and has lively music played for the dance. Everyone is delighted, and Cinderella knows that the best practice is best to be yourself. In the second story (“Tall Tail,” screenplay by Jule Selbo and Tom Rogers), Jacques wants to help Cinderella plan the fair, but only succeeds in making trouble. He wishes he could be human and the fairy godmother grants his wish. But nothing goes right: he is pursued by PomPom the Prince’s cat and by Countess Le Grande, who is mainly grand in size - a mouse hater but a man chaser. The king and grand duke take an elephant ride. The elephant goes on a rampage, and Jacque asks the fairy godmother to turn him back into a mouse to save the day (elephants are afraid of mice). Thus, he too has learned that it’s best to be yourself, a philosophy with which Mary Mouse, his girl friend, eagerly agrees. The third story (“An Uncommon Romance,” screenplay by Tom Rogers) tells how Cinderella helped Anastasia find her true love, the baker, and stand up against her mother. This tale has a subplot in which Lucifer falls for PomPom and is helped by the mice in that courtship. Again, the moral centers upon knowing your desires, following your heart, not being discouraged, and learning that dreams do come true. After finishing their book and illustrating it, the creatures bind it and give it to Cinderella. “'It’s a book, we made it.'” 'What’s it about,' Cinderella asks. 'It’s about us,' the mice reply. 'I don’t suppose you’d like to read it,' she says, opening the book. 'Look, these are our stories.'”]

Cinderella. Directed by Charles S. Dubin. 1964. 84 minutes. Samuel Goldwyn. Based on Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1957 TV musical. Playhouse Video, 1987, with teleplay by Joseph Schrank. Cast: Lesley Ann Warren (Cinderella), Stuart Damon (Prince), Walter Pidgeon (King), Ginger Rogers (Queen), Celeste Holm (Faerie Godmother), Jo Van Vleet (Stepmother), Pat Carroll (Prunella), Barbara Ruick (Esmerelda).
[Esmerelda bats her eyes, Prunella’s knee creeks, the stepmother tries to endure them both, but Cinderella is the kind one who offers water from the well. Both King and Queen are patient, trying to remember that love is what it is. This version lacks the wit of the original TV version, starring Julie Andrews. The direction is painfully static. Dubin cuts the witty patter song where the king, worried about the expenses of inviting 1,700 to the ball, wishes for marshmallows for roasting instead of 1,000 lobsters, 500 pheasants, 1,000 pounds of caviar, 40 acres of lettuce, 600 suckling pigs, and the wine of 50 nations; he’d prefer the wine of his country, namely beer. Dubin also cuts the couple’s reflective “Boys and Girls Like You and Me.” Lesley Ann Warren’s Cinderella is “a dewy-eyed dope,” utterly lacking Oscar Hammersteins’ carefully contrived wit for the Julie Andrews original, who was played as a short-haired brunette, rather than Warren’s swan-necked, smiling naïf. See the entry under Musicals.]
Cinderella. Directed by Michael Pataki. Released June 1977. Videotape 1987. 98 minutes. Book by Frank Ray Perilli. Music by Andrew Belling. Lyrics by Lee Arries. Group One Productions. Cast: Cheryl Smith (Cinderella), Kirk Scott (Lord Chamberlain), Brett Smiley (Prince), Sy Richardson (Fairy Godmother), Yana Nirvana (Drucella), Marilyn Corwin (Marbella), Jennifer Doyle (Stepmother), Buckley Norris (King), Pamela Stonebrook (Queen), Jean-Claude Smith (Swedish Ambassador), Shannon Korbel (Swedish Ambassador’s Wife), Elizabeth Hasley and Linda Gildersleeve (Farm Girls), Robert Stone (Farm Girls’ Father), Mariwin Roberts and Roberts Tapley (Trapper’s Daughters), Gene Wernikoff (Trapper), Bobby Herbeck (Court Jester), Frank Ray Perilli (Italian Ambassador).
[R-rated musical. Cinderella slaves at the loom which, through an elaborate pulley system, propels mechanical dildoes for the stepsisters. A black gay fairy provides Cinderella with a “snapper pussy,” in lieu of a glass slipper, whereby she can secure the prince.]

Cinderella. Directed by Mark Cullingham. Executive Producer: Shelley Duvall. Written by Mark Curtiss and Rod Ash. Music by Jimmy Webb. Narrated by Joseph Maher. A Platypus Production 1984. Televised 14 August 1985, for Showtime. 50 minutes. Cast: Jennifer Beals (Cinderella), Matthew Broderick (Prince Henry), Jean Stapleton (Fairy Godmother), Eve Arden (Stepmother), Jane Alden (Stepsister Bertha), Edie McClurg (Stepsister Arlene), James Noble (Lord Chamberlain), and Tim Thomerson (another Lord Chamberlain).
[After the death of her father the stepmother takes over the estate, giving the work to Cinderella and the task of trying to be pretty to the two stepdaughters. Cinderella objects to her cruel treatment but is told that it builds character; and, indeed, she rises from the ashes to discover that she only has to be herself to find true happiness. The first night at the ball she meets the Prince without knowing who he is; the second night they teach each other kissing. The king suggests the slipper test to find the bride. The stepfamily is more inept than cruel. The Fairy Godmother turns them into rabbits, until midnight, and gives Cinderella away herself.]
Cinderella. Directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr., and Jules Bass. Written by William J. Keenan. Associate producer Mary Alice Dwyer. Music by Maury Laws. Animation by Mushi Studios. 1986. 24 minutes.
[A befuddled fairy godmother knows the deceased father, who has a somewhat more prominent role in the fantasy of his daughter.]
Cinderella. Directed by Ericka Beckman. 16mm film. 1986. 27 minutes.
[A surreal study in image replication and identification. The opening shot of a rural setting with horse-drawn carriage focuses on a sign on a barnlike structure reading FORGE to establish a controlling metaphor of the film. “Forge” refers to the blacksmith workshop where Cinderella begins, later to a factory where she mints coins, literally forging “images,” and ultimately to the attempts of the heroine to forge herself into a conventionalized image of proper appearances and behavior that will guarantee her value and marketability. The visual set is dominated by abstract black space with papier-maché machinery of making - a forge with bellows, a roaring furnace, pulleys, lanterns, etc., and, later, record players and computerlike machines that reduplicate through repetition and replication. Cinderella’s dress comes well-packaged out of the forge after she builds the fire. The outside world is a grid, like a vast game board, with superimposed titles arbitrating her status in each game, what Vera Dika calls an “externalized superego, a judge or referee - extensions of the viewer aware of the conventionalized form of the story.” The rules require that she must get the dress, lose the shoe, and be home by midnight. She fails three times to comply with the rules, at which times a large blocklike X is hurled at her as she fades in and out of the grid, taunted by such titles as “Not Home By Midnight.” But through the trials she “learns how to model herself after the prescribed image of woman - which the film presents as a sort of consumerist princess-cum-Barbie doll - and at last she wins. Playing the rules, she gains the prize and literally acquires her own voice” (Dika, p. 31). In the latter part of the film her singing becomes dominant, replacing the chorus and the titles. But as she discovers that the prince is mainly interested in the image she rejects the game, the prince, and the dress “which serves as a metaphor both for her sought-after conventionalized image and for her entrapment” (Dika, p. 31). Ultimately she rejects the very image making process as the prince, a robot-like metal figure, hurls himself obsessively against Cinderella’s shadow image. See Vera Dika, under Criticism, for a review of Beckman’s movie.]
Cinderella. 15 minutes. Tele-Story: Learn With Us Classic Fairy Tales. Tele-Story Videos and Book & Cassette Sets. Tele-Story Division. Chatsworth, California. Design and Illustrations by Rex Irvine and Judie Clarke. Video Production by Jeff Volkaerts.
[Follows Perrault’s glass slipper story. Narrative voice-over, with color drawings from the book to tell the story visually. For Preschool and Older, “with music of the Great Masters.” With Jack and the Beanstalk, also 15 minutes.]
Cinderella. Directed by Robert Iscore. A Whitney Houston Production. Music and Lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Teleplay by Robert L. Freedman. Costumes by Ellen Mirojnick. A Wonderful World of Disney Production. Made for TV. Aired ABC Sunday, 2 November 1997. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. Ca. 90 minutes without ads. Cast: Brandy Norwood (Cinderella), Paolo Montalban (Prince Christopher), Bernadette Peters (Stepmother), Veanne Cox (Calliope), Natalee Desselle (Minerva), Whoopi Goldberg (Queen), Victor Garber (King), Jason Alexander (Lionel), Whitney Houston (Fairy Godmother).
Additional music added to the original score: “There’s Music in You” (Rodgers and Hammerstein, borrowed from 1953 film Main Street to Broadway, reoutfitted for Houston to close the program); “Falling in Love with Love” from Rodgers and Hart’s The Boys from Syracuse (1938), which is given to Bernadette Peters, the stepmother; a snippet of “One Foot, Other Foot,” from a Rodgers and Hammerstein’s marginally successful Allegro (1947). Fred Ebb contributed additional lyrics to several of the songs.
[The plot is essentially that of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s original made for TV musical (see Musicals), though the multiracial cast and message, along with the shaping of a more independently minded Cinderella creates an altogether different effect from the Leslie Ann Warren and Stuart Damon version. Here the practical-minded princess asks for respect; the prince needs someone who will talk with him as a person, rather than as a “prince,” ergo, a good catch. Cinderella is African-American, the Prince is Philippine born, the fairy godmother, the queen, and one of the stepsisters are African-American, but the king is Caucasian, as is the prince’s valet. The sumptuous ballet scene is a melting pot, done in high style. The sets and costumes often evoke Edwardian taste, with touches of Klimt and Maxfield Parrish.]


J. Max Robins, “A Happy Ending for a Musical Tale.” San Diego Cox Cable edition, TV Guide, 1 November 1997, pp. 53-54.

[“The story behind the fairy tale is much more about Hollywood deal-making and maneuvering than it is about magic and make-believe. The project began with Houston, who, after seeing CBS’s 1993 production of Gypsy starring Bette Midler, got the idea for an African-American version of Cinderella in which the pop diva would play the title role. CBS signed on to the project as did Storyline Entertainment (one of the producers of Gypsy) and another company, Citadel Entertainment. There were the requisite press releases announcing the project, but year after year, nothing happened. When working with a superstar, constant delays are often part of the downside. ‘Whitney was committed to the project, but every time we were ready to begin production, there was a scheduling conflict,’ says Craig Zadan, a partner in Storyline and an executive producer of Cinderella. ‘Sometimes it was a recording session, and other times it was a film commitment. We’d be ready to go, and then she had the opportunity to do Waiting to Exhale or The Preacher’s Wife. Finally she decided she was getting too old to play Cinderella, and we were back to square one.’ It was sometime in the summer of 1996 when Houston, then 33 years old, made that decision. Still, neither she nor the producers wanted to let the project go. Zadan then had a brainstorm. Why not have Houston play Cinderella’s fairy godmother and tap Norwood, who was riding high on the pop charts and making her mark on the hot sitcom Moesha, for the title role? Norwood signed on, but the project was stalled again by more of the inevitable scheduling conflicts. The last round of delays and escalating costs of the project caused Citadel Entertainment, which was to pick up a big portion of the hefty price tag in return for such back-end rights as home-video and foreign sales, to back off…. With Citadel out, CBS decided to pass, unwilling to pay the full $12 million, a bill that would be three to four times what the average TV-movie costs. ‘I can’t blame CBS — they were honorable throughout the whole process,’ says Zadan…. At this point, it looked as if a Houston-Norwood Cinderella would never make it past the press-release stage. Houston was about to do another movie, and Storyline had struck a deal with Disney and was turning its attention to other projects. ‘Then out of the blue we got a call from Whitney, and she said her movie had fallen through, so there was a window of opportunity,’ says Zadan. ‘At that point we approached Disney, and they signed on for the full freight. “If [Disney] hadn’t stepped up, nobody would have…. Disney, with its powerful home-video division, was in a good position to recoup a portion of the costs and eventually make money on the project.”]

Eugene Marino, “Glass Act: Cinderella’s Shoe Fits Pop Singer Well on a TV Night as Crowded as a Prince’s Ball.” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle C Section Saturday, 1 November 1997.

[The production “merits the buzz it has created. It’s livelier, funnier, more romantic, more musical and much better mounted than the oft-aired 1965 staging” (p. C1).]

“Colorful twist on fairy tale.”  Editorial Page, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Tuesday, 4 November 1997.

[The new version of Cinderella "sent a powerful message to its audience, both young and old: that a good story knows no racial boundaries" (p. 8A).]

Veronica Chambers, "The Myth of Cinderella."  Newsweek, 3 November 1997, pp. 75-77.

[“For generations black women have been the societal embodiment of Cinderella … relegated to the cooking and the cleaning, watching enviously as the women they worked for lived a more privileged life …. Finally, a sister is getting to go to the ball” (p. 75). Whoopi Goldberg loves the casting of this Cinderella “because Brandy is a beautiful, everyday-looking black girl” (p. 75). The multiracialism of the film has caused some controversy in the black community: “I’m genuinely bothered by the subliminal message that’s sent when you don’t have a black Prince Charming,” says Denene Millner, author of “The Sistahs’ Rules” (p. 75). But, according to Rita Dove, “there are a lot of women who feel that black men have done them wrong …. It’s also a way of taking charge and saying, ‘I’m waiting for Prince Charming, but the important thing is that he’s charming, not that he’s black’” (p. 75). According to bell hooks, “Most black women under the age of 30 would rather have a rich white man than a poor black man” (p. 77). “In the 1970s, many black women were reluctant to embrace feminism because it seemed that just when it was about to be their turn to be Cinderella, white women were telling them that the fantasy was all wrong. ‘I think there was always more ambivalence about the women’s movement on the part of some black women,’ says [Dr. Alvin] Poussaint. ‘It meant that they were losing out on their chance to be in this dependent role’” (p. 79). Virginia Hamilton’s "Catskinella" is akin to the new vision in Houston’s film: it is evidence, Hamilton says, that “when black women were at their most oppressed, they had the extraordinary imagination to create stories for themselves, about themselves: (p. 79). For bell hooks, Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” is the best Cinderella story going: “Janie rejects her rich husband for Tea Cake, the laborer...Janie talks about how there is a jewel inside of her … Tea Cake sees that jewel, and he brings it out. which is very different from the traditional cinderella myth of the prince holding the jewel and you trying to get it from him” (p. 79).]

Laura Shapiro, “When the Shoe Fits.” Newsweek, 3 November 1997, p. 77.

[Houston originally planned the production with CBS, with herself cast as Cinderella. But CBS lost interest and Houston got older. Meanwhile her agents Mr. Zadan and Mr. Meron had moved to Disney and ABC, where the idea took hold again, but with different casting. Robert Freedman’s teleplay retains Hammerstein’s cockeyed optimism but with a post modern, Oprah-fied intouchness. According to Robert Iscove, the director, the project had been conceived as “multi-ethic from the very beginning” (p. 39). Bernadette Peters, whose “Falling in Love with Love” was at first opposed by Mary Rodgers, the composer’s daughter who herself is the composer of “Once Upon a Mattress,” was won over by the spin Peters put on it. She explained, “In fairy tale, you don’t draw with charcoal; you draw with Crayola” (p. 39). Jason Alexander agreed to the role of Lionel at a fraction of what he gets for a single episode of “Seinfeld,’ partly because “he covets the title role in the film version of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd,’ for which Mr. Zadan and Mr. Meron own the rights and in part, he says, because he wants musicals to have a future. ‘We’ve spent endless hours talking about what a pathetic crime it is that this form is so rarely done in film these days, and more often than not, not done well,’ Mr. Alexander said. ‘This is a big responsibility and a big opportunity. Because if Cinderella doesn’t work, if it doesn’t get ratings and isn’t successful, it’s going to clamp the lid down on this kind of work pretty hard’” (p. 39).]

Margy Rochlin, “Fresh Princess.” TV Guide, 45, no. 44, 1 November 1997, pp. 20-31.

[“The new script by Robert L. Freedman takes a modern tack on the ‘Cinderella’ story, making the Fairy Godmother something of a 1990s-style self-improvement motivational speaker — ‘Believe in yourself, Cinderella!’ But the story must end the way it always has — poor Cinderella finds happiness by marrying the fabulously wealthy prince and, we are led to believe, living happily ever after. It’s an old-fashioned message, but ‘Cinderella,’ like it or not, is an old-fashioned story” (p. 6).]

Cinderella.Directed by Kay Cannon. Columbia Pictures, 2021. 1 hour 53 minutes. Cast: Camila Cabello (Cinderella), Nicholas Galitzine (Prince Robert), Indian Mendel (Vivian-The Stepmother), and Billy Porter (Fabulous Godmother).
This musical film attempts to modernize the Cinderella story with a moral that women should have goals and dreams. It blends covers of modern rock songs with original pieces to retell a more comedic version of the story. This Cinderella is not as abused as the classic maidens; instead, her stepmother and stepsisters are seen doing the chores that each needs to learn in order to prepare them for marriage. Her sisters tend to call her Cinderella to tease her, but she is not required to sleep by the fire. Cinderella resents her stepmother’s practical approach, but she has her own workroom in the basement where she creates dresses. She wishes to own a business in a kingdom still focused on a woman’s role as wife and mother. The stepmother is more cynical than wicked as she doubts the main character’s chances in a world that limits opportunities for women to pursue their dreams. She reminds Cinderella that the girl depends on the stepmother’s charity, not as a way to make her clean, but rather to help her see the importance of marrying well. The prince in this version resents being asked to marry for his father’s legacy, and the king’s daughter would rather rule in his place. Prince Robert encounters Cinderella while in disguise and buys one her of gowns. He convinces her to attend the ball to meet possible future wealthy patrons. When Cinderella presents herself to join her family on the night of the ball, her stepmother ruins her gown, not out of spite, but because she is already betrothed (without her consent). The fairy godmother appears from a cocoon the heroine had been tending, and the usual transformation occurs. The mice are altered out of spite for how often they insulted the cocoon. Cinderella also finds a woman who will allow her to travel with her and design her wardrobe, but then the main couple finds each other. Cinderella and the Prince fall in love, but she will not accept his offer of marriage since he says that his queen would not be able to work. He helps her to flee the palace, and she throws a slipper at a servant while escaping. Cinderella flees her pending marriage to attempt to travel with her patron. After a fight, the prince is released to marry the woman he loves and to stop living in his father’s shadow. Robert finds Cinderella and agrees to travel with her. The patron agrees to this arrangement, and the king announces that his daughter is now first in line to succeed him. The stepmother reveals how her dreams were crushed by her first husband after he wanted a traditional wife, and she reconciles with Cinderella. The film ends with everyone dancing in happiness. [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Cinderella’s Fella. Directed by Marion Davies. 1933. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Words by Arthur Freed. Music by Nacio Herb Brown. Cast: Marion Davies and Bing Crosby.
[This musical featured “We’ll Make Hay While The Sun Shines” (sung by Marion Davies and Bing Crosby), “Our Big Love Scene” (sung by Marion Davies and Bing Crosby), “Temptation” (sung by Bing Crosby), “Temptation” (sung by Bing Crosby), “After Sundown” (sung by Bing Crosby), and “Cinderella’s Fella.” See Sheet Music for samples of the lyrics.]
Cinderella’s Gloves. Released June 1913. Essanay Pictures. Cast: Ruth Hennessey (Millie, a Waif), Billy Mason (Ned Forrester, Prince Charming), Eleanor Blanchard (Millie’s Aunt), Dolores Cassenelli (Mille’s Cousin), Charles Hitchcock (Millie’s Uncle), Frances Mason (Mrs. Depuyster).

Cinderella’s Twin. Directed by Dallas M. Fitzgerald. Released 27 December 1920. Remake released 13 January 1921. 6 reels. Producer Bayard Veiller. Scenario by Luther Reed. Story by Luther Reed. Metro Pictures Corporation. Cast: Viola Dana (Connie McGill), Wallace MacDonald (Prentice Blue), Ruth Stonehouse (“The Lady”), Cecil Foster (Helen Flint), Edward Connelly (“Pa” Du Geen), Victory Bateman (“Ma” Du Geen), Gertrude Short (Marcia Valentine), Irene Hunt (Gwendolyn Valentine), Edward Cecil (Williams), Calvert Carter (Boggs, the butler).
[“Connie McGill, a scullery maid at the Valentines, dreams of better things. One day, while serving, she sees her Prince Charming, Prentice Blue. Although Blue has nothing but his social standing, the nouveau riche Nathaniel Flint wishes his daughter Helen to marry him in order to gain family status. Flint gives a big party for Helen, which attracts the attention of the Du Geen Band of crooks. In a scheme, they furnish the unsuspecting Connie with proper clothes, transforming her, and she ends up at the party dancing with Blue, who is enchanted with her. As she departs, she accidentally leaves her slipper with Blue. Unknown to her, she has aided the crooks in stealing jewels that night, and slipper contains the key to Flint’s safe. Blue is suspected of the larceny, but Connie realizes what has happened and tells the police the entire story, incriminating the thieves. Blue is released, and he and Connie are happily married”–American Film Institute Catalog. In the 1921 remake of the movie the names of the characters are changed: Connie McGill is Nell O’Neill; Prentice Blue is John Joseph Maudant (a democrat in spite of ancient lineage and social position). “Here is a commercial film based on an old idea brought up to date and made fresh by a novel sort of treatment, but which as its main appeal rests on a thoroughly human story simply told in a direct fashion without alien incidents dragged in for their mere ‘movie’ effect…. Miss Dana had a part to order to bring out her odd little comedy mannerisms…. It’s a rattling good story for all classes of fans” –Variety, 14 January 1921, p. 41.]
Cinderella 2000. Directed by Al Adamson. 1978. 86 minutes. Music by Sparky Sugarman. Cast: Catharine Erhardt (Cinderella), Jay B. Larson, Vaughn Armstrong.
[“Soft-core musical version of the classic fairy tale. It’s the year 2047 and sex is outlawed, except by computer. Strains of Sugarman’s score, including ‘Doin’ Without’ and ‘We All Need Love,’ set the stage for Erhardt’s Cinderella to meet her Prince Charming at that conventional single prince romance venue, a sex orgy. Trouble is, it wasn’t a shoe Cinderella lost before he fled, and the charming one must interface, as it were, with the local pretenders to the throne in order to find his lost princess. Touching” –VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever 1995, p. 262.]

Cinderella’s Wonderworld. 1980.
[A young girl and her widowed father live happily together until the arrival of a crafty fortune-teller and her scheming daughter.]
Cinderella: A Ballet by Sergei Prokofiev. Directed by Maguy Marin. 1989. 87 minutes. RM Arts Associated. Choreography by Maguy Marin. Music by Sergei Prokofiev. Additional music by Jean Schwarz. Lyon Opera Ballet. Directed by Francois Adret and Yorgos Loukos. Lyon Opera Orchestra, conducted by Yakov Kreisberg. Sets and costumes by Monique Luyton. Cast: Francoise Joulié (Cinderella), Dominique Lainé (nasty Stepmother), Jayne Plaisted and Daniéle Pater (Stepsisters), Patrick Azzopardi (Father), Nathalie Delassis (space-age Godperson), Bernard Couchard (Prince), Sylvie Dhuyvetter, Patricia Tolos, Anne-Sylvie Gashes (good fairies), Pierre Advokatoff, Herve Chams, Thierry Allard (good dwarves), Valérie Lacognata (Spanish Princess), Benedicte Windsor (Persian Princess), and Miriam Yous (the Girl).
[The Girl looks at her Cinderella book and three tiered doll house during the prologue. The drama comes alive in her imagination as her dolls, nutcracker-like, act out their own unique version of the Cinderella story. Act I: Cinderella is abused by her steprelatives, embraced by her kind father who gives her a box with a great doll in it, is visited by a space-age god fairy who teaches her to walk gracefully, wear fine clothes, and dance, then gives her a pink convertible which takes her to the ball. Act II: The Prince meets the mob of courtiers and would-be brides, then meets Cinderella with whom he dances, flirts, and causes much gossip amongst the court. At midnight she flees leaving her slipper on the stair. Act III: The Prince rides his hobby horse looking for the one whom the slipper fits. A Spanish princess tries to win the prince and the fit without success; then a Persian princess tries. Cinderella awaits at home, increasingly depressed by her circumstances. The stepfamily blocks her access to the Prince when he comes to their home as the Stepmother sits on top of Cinderella while the daughters try. But Cinderella gets her chance. The sequined ballet slipper fits, and she supplies the other as well. Her father ties up the three stepmeanies and Cinderella and the Prince dance, then marry. They have several hundred children to the joy of all. The three acts are framed by the girl’s musings on her books and dolls. Schwarz’s electronic music, sounds, baby cries, laughter, grunts and mumblings at various intervals of the ballet set off comically the surrealistic dolls and their choreographed gestures. See the entry under Ballet.]
Cinderella and the Magic Slipper. Directed by Guy W. McConnell. Released 3 September 1917. Reissued in 1918 and 1920. 4 reels. Scenario by Guy W. McConnell. Based by a play by Helen Hamilton. Made for children with an all-child cast. Wholesome Films Corp.
[Lost in the woods, the Prince of Drowse Castle is shown an image of Cinderella, his bride-to-be, by Titania, queen of the fairies. Cinderella, a virtual slave in the household of her father, Baron Balderdash, and her stepmother, is forbidden to accompany her stepsisters to the Prince’s ball. As in Perrault her fairy godmother provides her with what she needs, she goes to the ball, and she and the Prince fall in love at first sight. She flees at midnight, losing her glass slipper which the Prince uses to find her at the Balderdash home. They are married.]
Cinderella and the Silver Skates. 8 mm silent b/w home movie. Castle Films (United Artists). c. 1950. Ca 6 minutes.
[Castle Films made and marketed many home movie 8 mm/16 mm films on popular topics between 1937 and the mid-1970s. They are all 200 feet long. The Cinderella story is followed by The Man in the Moon. No credits are given for the director, skaters, or choreographer, though the film is graceful and quite attractively costumed and choreographed. The film proceeds as follows (boldface signifies captions): The film opens with Cinderella seated at the hearth while a seated story-teller crosses in the foreground “talking.” Once upon a time in a fairyland of ice there lived a girl named Cinderella. Cinderella sweeps the ice with broom and sweeping gestures. with her stepmother and stepsisters. The step family dances happily, claiming all the space as their own. One day the Prince sent out invitations to a grand ball at the palace. The elated stepsisters dance about. As they depart the stepmother casts lentils into the ashes of the hearth to occupy Cinderella. Cinderella was not told about the party. White doves appear and pick about the hearth. But her fairy godmother sent doves with a message to go to the magic tree. Cinderella skates gracefully out of the house to the tree, Snow falls as she circles the tree, pauses behind it, then appears in a splendid flowing, filmy gown. Radiant and lovely and wearing silver skates she skates to the carriage and was carried by a magic coach to the royal palace. At the palace the Prince skates around the coach, then kneels as Cinderella gets out. Her heart beat so loudly she was afraid the Prince could hear it. They skate together a pas de deux. The stepsisters interfere, push Cinderella aside, and grab the Prince, forcing him to dance with them. Cinderella fled in panic. The Prince breaks free and pursues her. The runner of one of her silver skates breaks off, but she continues on one skate. He picks up the blade. The Prince had fallen in love and would search the world over to find its [sic] owner. He comes to her house and is greeted by the stepmother who takes him to her daughters. He checks their skates, but they are not the right ones. The stepmother didn’t tell him about Cinderella. Cinderella sweeps the kitchen, he sees her and touches her broken skate. She is the one. They skate together to the tree. She pauses behind and appears as splendid as before. They skate together before a ballet corps of dancers at the palace. No such joy had ever been known before in the Prince’s domain. More ballet-like skating. And they lived happily ever after. They skate backwards through two columns of attendants into the palace and eternity.]
Cinderella at the Palace. CBS-TV. Thursday, 2 November 1978. 9:00 p.m. 129 minutes. Executive Producers: Gary Smith, Dwight Hemion, and Tom McDermott. Produced and directed by Bob Henry. Written by Harry Crane, Norm Liebman, and Marty Farrell. Cast: Gene Kelly (host), Paul Anka, Ann-Margaret, Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Marlene Ricci, Merv Griffin, Jimmie Walker, Don Knotts, Rip Taylor, Elaine Joyce, Jackie Gayle.
[A revue set at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, hosted by Gene Kelly. It is “Cinderella” in that the format takes the audience “back stage” to see the performers hard at work, preparing for their shining moment performing. Shots of rehearsal chores, advice giving, getting ready while others watch, with telling contrasts between being on and preparing to be on. The script focuses on Marlene Ricci, as she nervously learns the ropes working and watching others prior to her debut.]
Cinderella Frozen in Time. Directed by Sterling Johnson. 1994. Executive Producers: Dorothy Hamill and Kenneth Forsythe. Producer William Criswell. Telescript by Dean Pritchford, based on the Cinderella story adapted for ice by Kenneth Forsythe. Choreography by Timothy Murphy. Music by Michael Conway Baker, performed by Sinfonia of London Orchestra. Set and Costume design by Desmond Heely. Crews from Kitchner and Squaw Valley. Dorothy Hamill International 1994. An ABC 60 minute Dorothy Hamill’s Ice Capades special. Production of Sony Wonder. Aired 16 April 1994, 8:00 p.m. EST. Presented by Nabisco. Cast: Story Teller (Lloyd Bridges), Mother (Dorothy Hamill), Child #1 Cammy (Mandy Hixson), Child #2 Rodney (Ryan Broussard), Cinderella (Dorothy Hamill), Prince (Andrew Naylor), Buttons (J. Scott Driscoll), Fairy Godmother (Catherine Foulkes), Lord Chamberlain (David Nickel), Evil Stepmother (Blair Koski), Evil Stepsisters (Jared Randolph and David Jamison), Father (Bob Moskalyk), Mandy Hixson (Child #1, Jenny), Ryan Broussard (Child #2, Rodney). Skating Ensemble.
[Combines pantomime plot with ballet techniques for a lovely effect. The Prince and Lord Chamberlain come to the village to announce the ball, and the Prince gets his first glimpse of Cinderella and she of him, which establishes their love. Buttons is Cinderella’s funky friend who fetches the old flower woman, to whom Cinderella had been kind, to help out after others have gone to the ball. The woman turns out to be the fairy godmother, who transforms mice into attendants and a pumpkin into the ice coach. Cinderella gets a white gown, and Buttons’ garb is changed too as he gets to attend as well. At midnight Cinderella flees, losing her glass skate. She and Buttons are tormented by night demons on the way home because they broke the spell by staying too late, but the fairy godmother comes to their rescue, driving away the evil spirits. In a nice touch she makes a mirror in the ice whereby Cinderella can see how much the Prince misses her, and then permits her spirit to join him in a lovely pas de deux. As in the pantomimes, the ugly sisters are played by men in drag, who are grotesque and clumsy. The Baron loves Cinderella but is intimidated by the stepmother, who repeatedly interrupts any intimate scenes between them. The idyll is framed by an old man who suddenly appears before two children by a wood in winter and tells them the story. At the end their mother comes for them. In their excitement they try to tell mother of the man and what they saw. But she is unable to see anything and takes them back to ordinary life. That the mother, as well as Cinderella, is played by Dorothy Hamill (Olympic gold medal winner, 1976) has a pleasing Freudian effect, as what we have seen (and presumably they imagined), she rehearses the old man’s story as if Cinderella were their mother.]

This production received rave reviews. Cynthia Hanson, Chicago Tribune, 24 March 1994, North Sports Final Edition, Section: News, p. 28, observed: Hamill’s “fluid style and dramatic flair are unsurpassed in professional skating…. [The production was] a seamless two-act ballet on blades…. Cinderella features inventive choreography performed by a talented and energetic ensemble. The cast executed every scratch spin, axel and lifting sequence in unison in elaborate production numbers. The youthful Hamill was thoroughly convincing as Cinderella, skating elegantly and passionately to an original score composed by Michael Conway Baker. The athletic Andrew Naylor, a British skating champion, seemed born to play the handsome prince…. [He] partnered Hamill with great ease.” See also Hanson’s sports essay “If the Shoe Fits… Skating Champ Runs the Show,” Chicago Tribune, 22 March 1994, North Sports Final Edition, Section: Kidnews, p. 9, an interview with Hamill on her career, from painfully shy girl, to worldclass performer, to owner of Ice Capades. Dorothy Hamill’s Ice Capades featured a new production of Cinderella Frozen in Time in its winter 1994 tour of America, with Olympic silver medalist Elizabeth Manley in the title role.
Cinderella – Italian Style (C’era una Volta). Directed by Francesco Rosi. A Carlo Ponti Production. Screenplay by Tonino Guerra, Raffaele La Capria, Guisseppe Patroni Griffi, and Francesco Rosi. Music by Piero Piccioni. Champion Cinefatographica (Rome)/Les Films Concordia (Paris). Released in 1967. Cast: Sophia Loren (Isabella), Omar Sharif (Prince Ramon), Dolores Del Rio (Queen Mother), Georges Wilson (Monzu), Leslie French (Brother Joseph de Copertino), Marina Malfatti (Devout Princes), Anna Nogara (Impatient Princess), Rita Forzano (Greedy Princess), Rosemary Martin (Vain Princess), Carlotta Barilli (Superstitious Princess), Fleur Mombelli (Haughty Princess), Anne Liotti (Infant Princess).
[“This extraordinary fairy-tale couldn’t be further from a film like The Mattei Affair, but it’s nonetheless informed by the same intelligence that Rosi brings to his directly political work. It deals with all its whimsical elements (from Loren to a flying monk) in a wholly non-whimsical way, introduces a strongish undertone of class-consciousness into its comedy, and pushes its plot recklessly into the bizarre” – Tony Rayns for Time Out. In U.S. the film was released as More Than A Miracle.]
Cinderella Jones. Directed by Busby Berkeley. 1946. 90 minutes. Screenplay by Charles Hoffman, based on a story by Philip Wylie. Cast: Joan Leslie (Judy Jones/Homer Hurdle), Robert Alda (Tommy Coles), S. Z. Sakall (Gabriel Popik), Edward Everett Horton (Keating), Julie Bishop (Camille), William Prince (Bart Williams), Charles Dingle (Minland), Ruth Donnelly (Cora Elliott), Elisha Cook, Jr., (Oliver S. Patch), Hobart Cavanaugh (George), Charles Amt (Mahoney), Chester Clute (Krencher), Ed Gargan (Riley), Margaret Early (Bashful Girl), Johnny Mitchell (Soldier), Mary Dean (Singer), Monte Blue (Jailer), Marianne O’Brien (Manicurist), Marian Martin (Burlesque Queen).
[A screwball comedy in which a young woman of little education and very modest means (she’s a singer, a would-be student, and then a waitress) stands to inherit $10 million if she can prove herself to be niece to a head-hunting eccentric (now deceased) and marry a man with unusual intelligence by a given date. She enrolls in an exclusive male technology institute to search out possibilities but ends up discovering that her boyfriend from back home is a genius. Professor Popik, the befuddled chemistry professor, serves as matchmaking fairy godmother. A musical comedy, with witty dialogue, several slipper routines, a “Cinderella” ballad, and “When the One You Love Simply Won’t Love Back” (which is the best musical number), “Cinderella Jones,” and “You Never Know Where You’re Goin’ ‘Til You Get There.” See Sheet Music.]
Cinderella Liberty. Directed by Mark Rydell. 1973. 117 minutes. Screenplay by Darryl Ponsican. Cast: James Caan (John Boggs, Jr.), Eli Wallach (Forshay), Marsha Mason (Maggie Paul), Kirk Calloway (Doug, Maggie’s son), Burt Young (Master at Arms), Allyn Ann McLerie (Miss Watkins), Bruce Kirby, Jr. (Alcott), Dabney Coleman (Executive Officer), Fred Sadoff (Dr. Osgood), Allan Arbus (Drunken Sailor), Jon Korkes (Dental Corpsman), Don Calfa (Lewis), Paul Jackson (Sam), David Proval (Sailor No. 1), Ted D’Arms (Cook), Sally Kirkland (Fleet Chick), Diane Schenker (Nurse), James Bigham (Seaman No. 1), Wayne Hudgins (Seaman No. 2), Rita Joelson Chidester (Wave), Knight Landesman (Yeoman), Spike Africa (Hot Dog Beggar), Chris F. Prebazac (Young Sailor), David Norfleet (Messboy), Sara Jackson (Woman), James De Closs (Sailor), Niles Brewster (Paymaster), Glen Freeman (Marine Guard), Jonathan Estrin (Officer), John Kauffman (Sailor), Catherine M. Balzer (Examining Nurse), Frank H. Griffin, Jr. (Obstetrician), Nella Pugh (Delivery Nurse), Clayton Corzatte (Doctor), Joseph Candiotti (Officer of the Day).
[Boggs, on shore leave in Seattle for temporary medical treatment, meets pool-hustling hooker (Marsha Mason) whom he beats and wins a free night. He also meets her delinquent mulatto son and becomes a kind of father to him. She is pregnant by another sailor. The baby dies shortly after birth and she returns to doing tricks. Boggs convinces his old enemy Wallach, who has been dismissed from the service for disobedience, to shift roles with him. Boggs and Doug then search for Maggie, who has fled town, in hope of convincing her that someone does in fact love her. See annotation of the novel by Darryl Ponicsan under Modern Fiction.]
Cinderella of the Hills. Directed by Howard M. Mitchell. Released 23 October 1921. Scenario by Dorothy Yost. Fox Film Corp. 5 reels. 4,800 feet. Cast: Barbara Bedford (Norris Gradley), Carl Miller (Claude Wolcott), Cecil Van Auker (Rodney Bates), Wilson Hummel (Peter Poff), Tom McGuire (Giles Gradley), Barbara La Marr Deely (Kate Gradley).
[Based on John Breckenridge Ellis, Little Fiddler of the Ozarks (Chicago, 1913). Giles Gradley obtains a divorce and marries another woman. His daughter Norris remains with him, hoping to effect a reconciliation. Scorned and mistreated by her stepmother, Norris disguises herself as a boy and earns money by playing the violin at dances. Claude Wolcott, who has been engaged by the father to sink oil wells, falls in love with Norris and is present when Giles discovers Bates, a former lover of the stepmother, reviving their tawdry relationship. Claude prevents the enraged father from killing his rival, and the stepmother, in a rage, rushes from the house and is killed when she falls into an abyss. Norris reunites her parents and is married to Claude.]
Cinderella Man, The. Directed by George Loane Tucher. Released 16 December 1917. Scenario by George Loane Tucker. Goldwyn Pictures Corporation. 5-6 reels. Cast: Mac Marsh (Marjorie Caner), Tom Moore (Anthony Quintard), Alec B. Francis (Romney Evans), George Fawcett (Morris Caner), Louis R. Grisel (Primrose), George Farren (William Sewall), Elizabeth Arians (Mrs. Prune), Mrs. J. Cogan (Celeste), Dean Raymond (Dr. Thayer), Harry Scarborough (Blodgett).
[Based on Edward Childs Carpenter’s play The Cinderella Man (New York, 17 January 1916). “When Majorie Caner returns from abroad, she is quite lonely in her millionaire father’s big house. Learning that a young poet, Anthony Quintard, is living in poverty next door while working on the libretto of a great opera, she skips across the roofs and brings him a Christmas banquet. The poet sees Marjorie, and knowing that he detests wealth, she pretends to be the secretary of the Caner family. Marjorie volunteers to type his libretto, and a close intimacy grows between them. Tony wins a $10,000 prize for his work, but is enraged when he discovers that Marjorie is an heiress. Morris Caner, mellowed under his daughter’s tutelage, comes to the rescue by feigning financial ruin, and manages to reconcile the two lovers”–American Film Institute Catalog. Some of the night scenes were shot at a pier in New York City.]
Cinderella Story, A. Directed by Mark Rosman. 2004. 95 minutes. Screenplay by Leeds Dunlap. Music by Christopher Beck. Cinematography by Anthony Richmond. Cast: Hilary Duff (Samantha Martin), Chad Michael Murray (Austin Ames), Jennifer Coolidge (Fiona, the stepmother), Dan Byrd (Carter), Regina King (Rhonda), Julie Gonzalo (Shelby), Madeline Zima (Brianna), Andrea Avery (Gabriella), Mary Pat Gleason (Eleanor), Paul Rodriguez (Bobby), Whip Hubley (Hal Martin, Sam’s Dad), Erica Hubbard (Madison), Kevin Kilner (Austin’s Dad), Simon Helberg (Terry).
[Samantha has a loving relationship with her father, who plays baseball, etc. with her. Thinking to give her a more normal life he marries Fiona, who has twin daughters, Brianna and Gabriella. The father dies in an earthquake. Fiona moves Sam to the attic and makes her do all the housework and work in her father’s diner. Sam keeps her spirits up by doing well in school and hoping to get into Princeton, but, as “diner-girl,” she is not part of the “in” group. Austin is captain of the football team, class president, and idol of the cheerleaders, etc., especially Shelby. His father wants him to go to USC on a football scholarship, then take over the autodealership that he has created. But Austin would rather be a poet and go to Princeton. He and Sam get together on an email chatbox and share their goals and aspirations. She signs on and off as Princeton-girl. They meet in disguise at the college Halloween masked ball. The stepsisters find out about the email connection and expose Sam at the school pep-rally assembly. The mother has thrown away Sam’s acceptance to Princeton letter and substituted a letter of rejection; dejected, Sam goes back to the diner to work. Fiona comes in making more demands on Sam, who tells her off. The manager of the diner, Rhonda, who has been best friend and fairy godmother type to Sam, stands up for her, and quits, taking the whole diner staff with her. As Sam packs up she momentarily throws aside the picture journal she had made with her father that outlined her fairytale dreams. An envelope falls out that contains her father’s will that Fiona knew nothing about. It leaves all the property to Sam. Ultimately, Sam and Austin get together and both go to Princeton. The film is great fun in its adolescent ingenuity, particularly in creating the role of Carter (a kind of Buttons figure, like Ducky in Pretty in Pink, who supports Sam in her dreams and has an amusing Zorro scene at the Halloween Ball that momentarily sweeps Shelby, head cheerleader and head mean-girl amongst the swinging set, off her feet after Austin has rejected her. Stepsisters Brianna and Gabriella are none-too-swift (except when it comes to messing up the email romance) and come to the party in a Siamese twin costume, thinking that Siamese meant exotic. But it’s too late to change!]
Cinderella Swings It. Directed by Christy Cabanne. 1942. RKO 70 minutes. Screenplay by Michael L. Simmons, based on the “Scattergood Baines” series by Clarence Buddington Kelland. Originally to be called Scattergood Swings It, the title was changed in hope of attracting a larger audience. Cast: Guy Kibbee (Scattergood Baines), Gloria Warren (Betty Palmer), Helen Parrish (Sally Burton), Dick Hogan (Tommy Steward), Leonid Kinskey (Vladimer Smitkin), Billy Lenhart, Kenneth Brown (Butch and Buddy), Dink Trout (Pliny Pickett), Willy Best (Hipp), Pierre Watkin (Brock Harris), Lee “Lasses” White (Ed Potts), Fern Emmett (Clara Potts), Ed Waller (Lem), Kay Linaker (Mme. Dolores), Christine McIntyre (Secretary), Grace Costello (Tap Dancer).
[Scattergood Baines tries to get singer Betty Palmer noticed. He gets her to change her singing style from classical to swing, then puts together a USO show to unveil her talent. Songs include “I Heard You Cry Last Night” and “The Flag’s Still There, Mr. Key.” According to Nash and Ross, The Motion Picture Guide (1965), the USO show turns out to be “one of the most agonizing parades of amateur talent ever committed to celluloid” (C.427).]
Cinderfella. Book by Frank Tashlin. Directed and produced by Jerry Lewis. 1960. 88 minutes. Paramount. Music by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks. Songs: “Somebody,” “Princess Waltz,” “Let Me Be a People.” Cast: Jerry Lewis (Fella), Dame Judith Anderson (Wicked Stepmother), Ed Wynn (Fairy Godfather), Anna Marie Alberghetti (Princess Charmein), Henry Silva (Maximilian), Count Basie (himself), Robert Hutton (Rupert).
[The zany kitchenboy moves from pots and pans to princess, whom he rescues from boredom and worse at the ball. The fairy godfather argues that originally the cinderchild and the godparent were male but so many women kept telling the story that the gender roles were reversed. Fella has trouble believing it all, even after the fairy godfather produces Cinderella herself as proof, but like his prototype he has faith in his heritage which is kept hidden as reassurance in his ancestral tree in the garden. Mainly he suffers from adolescent anxieties of whether to be a “people” or a “person.” Several amusing Jerry Lewis comic routines as awkward servant, especially his preparing of breakfast and his lighting his stepbrother’s cigarette, and a hilarious entrance to the ball down a long staircase to the beat of Count Basie, and then to the dance.]
Cindy. Produced and directed by Merrill Brockway. WCBS-TV, New York. Wed. 8 p.m. 30 minutes. Rev. Variety, 7 October 1964. Written by Joe Sauter and Mike Sawyer. Music and lyrics by Johnny Brandon. Choreography by Marvin Gordon. Sets by Tom John. Cast: Jacqueline Mayro (Cindy Kreller), Amelia Varney (Golda Kreller), Dena Dietrich (Della Kreller), Johnny Harmon (Lucky), Joseph Masiell (Chuck Rosenfeld); Thelma Oliver, Marke Atone, Richard Landon (Song-and-Dance Narrators), Johnny Brandon (Interlocutor, from the piano).
[A tightly woven half-hour divertisement for CBS-TV’s Stage Two series from the off-Broadway musical Cindy, an update of the Cinderella legend “with an unpretentious sense of humor. Jacqueline Mayro starred as the waitress in a delicatessen store while Amelia Varney and Dena Dietrich played her sisters, in excellent style but not so naggingly or malignantly as in the traditional story. The romantic angle was complicated in this modernization by the fact that Cindy brushed off the ‘prince,’ a medical student, Joseph Masiell, for the local errand boy, Johnny Harmon”–Herm, for Variety TV Reviews, 7 October 1964.]
Cindy. Directed by William H. Graham. 1978. 98 minutes. Movie made for TV. Aired on ABC-TV, Friday, 24 March, 9:00 p.m. 120 minutes. Associate director Alfreda Diggs Aldredge. Producer-Writers: James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis, and Ed. Weinberger (writers from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Taxi). Choreography by Donald McKagle. Music by Howard Roberts. Songs and lyrics by Stan Daniel. Cast: Charlaine Woodard (Cindy Hayes), Scoey Mitchill (Thomas J. Hayes, Cindy’s men’s-room-attendant father), Mae Mercer (stepmama Sarah), Alaina Reed (stepsister Venus), Nell-Ruth Carter (stepsister Olive), Cleavant Derricks (Michael), Clifton Davis (Marine Captain Joe Prince), W. Benson Terry (Private Detective), Noble Willingham (Recruiting Sergeant), Helen Martin (Flower Lady). Settings: South Carolina 1943; 135th Street Harlem; the Sugar Hill Ball; Recruiting Office in Harlem.
[Cindy comes north to be with her father, who has just remarried but has not told his new wife about his former marriage. Cindy jumps rope with children in the alley, dumps garbage on the snooty stepsisters, then turns an Episcopal church service into a gospel rock sing. The stepmother gets vengeance by making Cindy sleep in the bathtub, scrub floors and the fire escape while the sisters get ready for the Sugar Hill Ball. Dad tries to earn enough in men’s room tips to buy Cindy a dress, but comes up short so she can’t go. But neighbor Michael, a draft dodger who sleeps on a neighboring fire escape and works as a chauffeur for the mafia, appears at the door, “borrows” a dress from the Godfather’s wife, and takes Cindy to the ball in a limousine. Marine hero Joe Prince wows all the girls, dances with Cindy until she loses one of her dirty white sneakers, and vows he will marry her. To find her he hires a private detective who tries the sneaker on everyone on the guest list. Meanwhile, Michael has lost his job because of the borrowed dress and enlists. Cindy, at the last minute, turns down Capt. Joe Prince, and runs after Michael. They are “married,” so to speak, as the recruiting officer makes the new class of inductees recite the pledge of allegiance. The recruiting officer reassures the audience that all live happily ever after–the father is promoted from restroom attendant to doorman at the Plaza Hotel, the step-sisters become lady wrestlers, the stepmother dotes on Cindy’s new baby, also named Cindy, Michael has his woman, and she has her concluding song, “Love is the Magic, Cindy,” which she sings out on the fire escape to her new baby.]
Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale. Directed by Lee Grant. 1985. 40 minutes (two half-hour programs, with advertisements). Teleplay by Jeff Kinderly. Music arranged and conducted by Joe Beck. Costumes by Barbara Dente. Produced by Joseph Feury for TV. Cast: Kyra Sedgwick (Cynthia Eller), Kelly Wolf (stepsister Laura), Jennifer Gray (stepsister Lisa), Melanie Mayron (stepmother Mrs. Eller), Stephen Keep (Mr. Eller), Grant Show (Gregory Matthew Prince III), Pearl Bailey (Mrs. Martha Dermoty), Sylvia Miles (Used Dress Shopkeeper), Royal (the white horse himself).
[AIMS Media (Chatsworth, California) has released a 29 minute version, which cuts extensively the exchanges within the stepfamily, and is, as a result, a much less interesting version than the two-part TV release. Synopsis: Cindy has moved to New York from Maine after her mother’s death. She’s wretched, and feels like an outsider, especially because of the ridicule of her stepsisters, but she learns that “It’s not what you have to give, it’s the way you give it.” She meets Mrs. Dermoty, a bag lady, in the park. They are kind to each other. She also meets Greg Prince, who is riding Royal in the park. He admires Cindy’s drawing skills. The three Eller children are invited to Prince’s birthday party. Mrs. Dermoty provides Cindy with a dress and sends a coach to take her to the party. Greg dances with her, but the stepsisters spill grape punch all over her dress, so she hides in the lady’s room until midnight. After a kind verbal exchange with Greg she flees, losing her slipper. The stepsisters mock her when she gets home, but the stepmother is kind and finally establishes a friendly relationship with Cindy. Next day in Central Park, Greg rides up on Royal and returns her slipper on condition that she draw a picture of his horse. He also gives her a ride on Royal as Mrs. Dermoty wards off the stepsisters who are eager to butt in. This TV movie is blessed with five strong roles that are all well-performed, namely, those of Cindy, Mrs. Eller, the two sisters, and Mrs. Dermoty. Sylvia Miles’ appearance as the shopkeeper is a stitch as well. The AIMS bowdlerized re-release is a disappointment. Too much that is good has been cut.]
Cindy’s Fella. Directed by Gower Champion. Screened Tuesday, 15 December 1959, at 9:30 p.m. 60 minutes. Film for NBC-TV (Ford Startime). Written by Jameson Brewer; based on a story by Frank Burt. Produced by William Frye. Music by Conrad Salinger. Cast: James Stewart (Yankee Peddler), George Gobel (Wandering Minstrel), Lois Smith (Cindy), James Best (The Rancher’s son), Mary Wickes (Stepmother), Alice Backes and Kathie Brown (Ugly Stepsisters), Mark Allen (The Rancher’s Son’s Buddy), George Keymas (Barroom Bully).
[“Stewart is a Yankee peddler in the West; Gobel is a wandering, puckish minstrel, and Miss Smith is a mystical sprite, the stepdaughter of a mean old lady in the correct tradition. The ball is a square dance thrown by the ‘prince,’ son of a rich rancher, and the gown, slippers, and other accoutrements come from Stewart’s wagon. The wagon itself, with some trappings, turns out to be the coach, and Gobel, the footman. Brewer and Burt pull a switch at the end - Miss Smith turns down the rancher’s son because she’s in love with Stewart, and Gobel turns out to be the ‘fairy godmother,’ the only concession to the supernatural the authors make…. Among the better touches in this film is an open barroom brawl, one of the funniest ever staged” –Chan for Variety TV Review, 23 December 1959.]
Circle of Friends. Directed by Pat O’Connor. 1995. 102 minutes. Screenplay by Andrew Davies; based on a novel by Maeve Binchy. Music by Michael Kamen. Cast: Chris O’Donnell (Jack Foley), Minnie Driver (Bernadette “Benny” Hogan), Geraldine O’Rawe (Eve), Saffron Burrows (Nan Mahon), Alan Cumming (Sean), Colin Firth (Simon Westward), Aidan Gillan (Aidan), Mick Lally (Dan Hogan), Britta Smith (Mrs. Hogan), John Kavanagh (Brian Mahon), Ruth McCabe (Emily Mahon), Ciaran Hinds (Professor Flynn), Tony Doyle (Dr. Foley), Marie Mullen (Mrs. Foley), Marie Conmee (Mrs. Healy), Gerry Walsh (Mr. Flood), Sean McGinley (Mr. Duggan), Tom Hickey (Professor Maclure), Seamus Forde (Parish Priest), Ingrid Craigie (Celia Westward), Major Lambert (Major Westward).
[A coming of age film for three girls from an Irish village who meet at University. Benny is plain and heavy, but sets her heart on Jack, the prize male. Nan betrays both Benny and Jack, but ultimately Benny and Jack make it together, despite Benny’s humble background and having had to drop out of University to work when her father dies. She is a truly virtuous person, with her candor, honesty, and openness, all of which Jack, who has his own uncertainties about himself, admires and loves.]
Clueless. Written and directed by Amy Heckerling. 1995. 97 minutes. Music Supervisor: Karyn Rachtman. Costumes by Isabella Braga. Art Director: William Hiney. Cast: Alicia Silverstone (Cher), Stacey Dash (Dionne), Brittany Murphy (Tai), Paul Rudd (Josh), Donald Faison (Murray), Elisa Donovan (Amber), Breckin Meyer (Travis), Jeremy Sisto (Elton), Dan Hedaya (Cher’s Dad Mel Hamilton), Aida Linares (Lucy), Wallace Shawn (Mr. Wendall Hall), Twink Caplan (Miss Toby Geist), Justin Walker (Christian), Sebastian Rashidi (Paroudash), Susan Mohun (Heather), Nicole Bilderback (Summer), Ron Orback (Lawrence).
[Jane Austen commonly uses Cinderella motifs in constructing her plots. Clueless, whose plot is based on Emma, shares much with Cinderella typology in witty and unexpected ways. The principal motif is the wishing for happiness and adolescent ego satisfaction. Cher, whose mother has died, attempts to play fairy godmother with her less fortunate friends but ends up as a clueless Cinderella herself. As a happiness-bringer, Cher is perpetually attempting to “make over” the people she deems to be unhappy with the magic of style, clothes, makeup, and attitude. But instead of dressing up to go to the ball (which they all do) Cher learns that she must dress down and mind her own business if she is to find happiness. In attempting to be godmother (even to the poor) she ends up being a kind of stepsister in her own cluelessness about what’s what. The film, like the characters it portrays, has wit and resilience that lead to happiness and a wedding of two unlikely misfits (rather than Cher and Josh), though both of them begin to see that the fairytale tales Cher perpetually attempts to beget are not bad; rather, they just never go according to plan.]
Cluny Brown. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. 1946. 100 minutes B/W. Based on book by Margery Sharp. Cast: Jennifer Jones (Cluny Brown), Charles Boyer (Professor Belinsky), Peter Lawford, Sara Allgood, Sir C. Aubrey Smith, Una O’Connor, Reginald Gardiner, Reginald Owen, Richard Haydn.
[Lubitsch’s last film and one of his most engaging comedies. Cluny Brown, an orphan who “never heard her mother snore” and is raised as the plumber’s niece to believe “One can’t be foolish and have a place in life, can one?”, is placed as maid by Uncle Arne at the British manor house, where a Czech refugee Professor Belinsky helps her to dream, break conventions, and follow her Persian cat feeling to climb suddenly to discover that “Happiness is your place” — in America even, where plumbing and pipes are okay, where women can roll up their sleeves, and where she can talk as she wishes, kiss, and even faint in public. Instead of a slipper to identify their love and rightness for each other, it’s a pair of black silk stockings. But the general delivery from class oppression to freedom, the one in a million chance for them, is theirs. Instead of the class conscious “nuts to the squirrels,” for them it’s “squirrels to the nuts.”]
Coach for Cinderella, A. A Jamison Handy Production. Western Electric (c. 1950). 10 minutes. Reedited with Dolby sound for Cartoon Crazys. Directed by and produced by Thomas R. Reich. North Hampton Partners. Winston TV and Video, 1999.
[The stepsisters prepare for the ball while a dwarf/elf watches. They brutalize Cinderella and leave her lying on the floor as they depart. The dwarf takes her measurements, goes to elfland, calls the others, all of whom pay homage to Cinderella. They know she can’t go to the ball without suitable clothes and a coach, so they manufacture them, wood-peckers lathing a tree into a manikin of Cinderella’s dimensions, gossipy spiders making the cloth, worms being turned into tires, a turtle’s shell turned into a roof for the pumpkin coach, fireflies turned into headlights, etc. They bring their fruits to the prostrate Cinderella and awaken her. She is garbed, a curtain is drawn open, and she sees the coach while the chorus announces a la Disney “the sweetest story ever told.” The dwarfs speak in rhyme. The soundtrack cleverly draws on music ranging from Rossini’s “William Tell” Lone Ranger motif and Verdi’s “La Donna Mobile,” to jazz when the coach gets “modernized” into a touring car.]
Coat of Many Colors. Directed by Tom Wyner and Kerrigan Maher. 1989. 25 minutes. Music by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy. Written by R. Dwight, Benjamin Lesko, Dave Mellow, Jeff Winkless, Morgan Lofting, Robert Axelrod, Michael Santiago, Barbara Riel, Robert Benedict, Wendy Manehl, Edie Mirman, Melora Harte, and Steve Kramer. Nippon Animation Ltd. 1988; Saban Production.
[When war destroys Aleah’s kingdom she hides in the woods in a coat of many animal skins. She works as an inarticulate scullery girl in the palace of Prince Alexander, who rescued her in the woods from bullies. They talk together with birds and discover they’re both orphans. She makes three trips to his ball in dresses given her by her father that she has brought with her (sun, moon, starlight). She identifies herself to the prince at the moment of a compulsory marriage by putting her ring in the soup she makes for him. He removes her coat and reveals the princess to all. They all work in the kitchen thereafter, taking pleasure in preparing food.]
Coming to America. Directed by John Landis. 1988. 116 minutes. Story by Eddie Murphy, adapted from a scenario by Art Buchwald. Screenplay by David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein. Music by Nile Rodgers. Cast: Eddie Murphy (Prince Akeem of Zamunda), Arsenio Hall (his servant Semi), James Earl Jones (King Jaffa Jaffir), John Amos (Cleo McDowell [Cinderella’s father]), Madge Sinclair (Queen Aelion), Shari Headley (Lisa McDowell [Cinderella]), Allison Dean (Patrice, her sexy sister), Vanessa Bell (Yemani, the bride presented to the prince by his parents), Eric La Salle (Darryl Jenks, heir to Soul Glo hair products), Paul Bates (the Herald), Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche (two white bums that the Prince helps out).
[Murphy’s story adapts several conventions from the Cinderella pantomimes and films as the African Prince, wishing to choose his own bride, comes to America, assumes a disguise as a poor man and works in McDowell’s (not McDonald’s!) in hope of finding one who loves him for himself rather than his wealth and position. Though the “bride show” in the hot places of Queens bores him, he falls for Lisa at work. In the tradition of Rossini’s Prince and his servant Dandini, Akeem’s servant Semi reverses their roles, claiming to be the prince, in hope of making it with Lisa’s sexy sister, which he does, while the true prince pursues the hardworking girl who, though the boss’s daughter, would make her way through her own merits and choices. The King and Queen track Akeem down through Semi’s request for more money. The Prince apparently loses his dream girl, and, discouraged, is compelled to marry the bride his parents choose. To his surprise and delight, at the wedding he lifts his bride’s veil to discover his true love (the Queen mother has a heart after all, and so does the King). So Cinderella becomes Princess, despite her spirited egalitarianism and honesty, and the Prince’s valet (Arsenio Hall) gets the woman originally trained and chosen by the King and Queen to be their son’s mate. Cinderella’s promiscuous sister ends up with Darryl, the rich guy who had initially pursued Lisa, and all the parents are happy. The film makes use of a number of Cinderella cinematic topoi, such as the opening shot of the dream palace in the distance as in Disney and a table scene with the royalty at one end and the prince at the other as in Cinderfella, here the table being so long that they communicate by radio. Lisa’s mother is dead, as in Cinderella narratives, and her father very eager to make money.]
Company of Wolves, The. Directed by Neil Jordan. 1984. 95 minutes. Screenplay by Angela Carter and Neil Jordan. Cast: Sarah Patterson (Rosaleen/Red Ridinghood), Angela Lansbury (Granny), David Warner (Father), Tesse Silberg (Mother), Georgia Slowe (sister Alice), Graham Crowden (Old Priest), Shane Johnstone (Amorous Boy), Brian Glover (Amorous Boy’s Father), Susan Porrett (Amorous Boy’s Mother), Kathryn Pogson (Young Bride), Stephen Rea (Young Groom), Micha Bergese (Huntsman), Dawn Archibald (Witch Woman), Richard Morant (Wealthy Groom), Danielle Dax (Wolf Girl), Vincent McClaren (Devil Boy), Ruby Buchanan (Dowager), Jimmy Gardner (Ancient), Roy Evens (Eyepatch), Edward Marksen (Lame Fiddler), Jimmy Brown (Blind Fiddler).
[Although Carter’s screenplay is based mainly on three of her short stories in The Bloody Chamber, stories that grow out of adaptations and rewritings of Little Red Riding Hood and Werewolf stories (Werewolf, The Company of Wolves, and Wolf Alice), the film draws upon several Cinderella motifs as well as Beauty and the Beast motifs: The plot follows the sleeping and dreaming Rosaleen through sibling rivalry in the initial stages of her puberty, then council from her Granny and especially through her sympathetic mother as she learns from the company of women to deal with the company of men. The film explores her growth through forays into the woods. As the film progresses she learns from her animality and gains her own voice as she becomes a tale teller herself. She learns from her mother and grandmother as they explain things to her, but tells them stories as well; ultimately she tells the Wolf Alice story to the wounded male before joining him. Several moments in the film deal with class struggles as well as dreams, desires, and gender pressures. As in Angela Carter’s story Tiger’s Bride, Beauty ends up transformed into Beast’s form; she gets there through the understanding of her mother who counsels her in experience and wards off her father’s murderous shot. Beauty wounds Beast, as in Eros and Psyche’s story, but she has been wounded too; they come to a kind of understanding of terror and joy in each other through protective and aggressive stories after Granny has been dispensed with. Although most of her insights are conducted through the adolescent girl’s dreams (she’s a wise child indeed), even so, her awakening to sexual awareness is violent and terrifying and, in the last shots of the movie, precariously ambiguous. See the annotation for the short story "Wolf Alice" under Modern Fiction.]
Counterfeit Contessa, The. Directed by Ron Lagomarsino. 1994. Story by Christine Burrill and Randi Johnson. Teleplay by Scott Davis Jones, Christine Burrill, and Randi Johnson. Produced by Iain Paterson. Executive Producers: Sarah Pillsbury and Midge Sanford. Music by David McHugh. Production design by Harold Thrasher. Director of Photography: Brian Hebb. 95 minutes. Fox West Pictures (made for TV) Cast: Tea Leoni (Gina Nardino alias Contessa Sophia di Sarzanello), D. W. Moffett (Dawson Everett), David Beecroft (Sinclair Everett), Karla Tamburrelli (Margot), Susan Walters (Mrs. Everett), Molly Price (Helena Everett) Willem Keane (Vinny Nardino), Nikki de Boer (Palmer Hewitt), Holland Taylor (Sophia di Sarzanello), Lynne Cohen (Angie Nardino the mother), Sam Coppola (Mel Nardino the father), Louis Guss (Antony Nardino), Jonathan Potts (Floyd), Pat Mastrolianni (Carlos), Falconer Abraham (Lefty), James Mainprize (Mr. Butterhands), Bill Houston (Ivan).
[Gina works for a gourmet foodstore and subs when Margot needs help in women’s clothing shows. She meets Sinclair who thinks she is the wealthy Contessa. She decides to act out her dreams and picks up the charade, agreeing first to come to dinner and then to Helena’s coming out party. The down-to-earth brother Dawson catches on to her disguise but does not expose her; he rather falls in love with her and instructs her in dancing and manners. In fact he comes to like the whole Nardino family. Gina’s brother Vinnie is a chauffeur, who picks the real contessa up at the airport and manages to divert her ultimately to the Nardino home for good Italian cooking. Meanwhile Gina finds out that Sinclair really is the jerk Dawson said he was, whose main concern is to manipulate the Contessa for her money. When Gina is exposed by Sinclair’s mistress Mrs. Hewitt, she flees, but meets Dawson and agrees that she really loves him. The film is billed as a Cinderella for the ‘90s.]

Crustaini Bashmachok (Cinderella). A Ballet film written and directed by Alexander Row and Rostislav Zakharov Gorky Films, Russia. Released February 1960; in the U.S. December 1961. Choreography by Rostislav Zakharov. Music by Sergei Prokofiev. Performed by the Bolshoi Orchestra, conducted by Yuri Faier. Cast: Raisa Struchkova (Cinderella), Gennadi Lediakh (The Prince), Elena Vanke (The Stepmother), Lesma Chadarin (Haughty), Natalya Rizhenko (Spiteful), Alexander Pavlinov (Cinderella’s Father), Yekaterina Maximova (Spring), Elena Riabinkina (Summer), Marina Kolpakchi (Autumn), Natalya Taborko (Winter), L. Shvachkin (Midnight Gnome), Y. Vyrenkov (Jester), Y. Skott (Snake Dancer), V. Ferbakh, N. Papko (Mazurka Soloists), Nina Simonova, V. Kudryashov (Andalusian Dancers), G. Tarasov (Steward), Aleksandr Lapauri, V. Zakharov, Y. Ignatov (Foreign Guests), Aleksandr Radunskiy (Master of Ceremonies).

Disenchanted. Directed by Adam Shankman. Written by Brigitte Hales, J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Richard LaGravenese, and Bill Kelly. 2022. 119 minutes. Cast: Amy Adams (Giselle), Patrick Dempsey (Robert), Gabriella Baldacchino (Morgan).

Songs: “Andalasia,” “Even More Enchanted,” “The Magic of Andalasia,” “Fairytale Life (The Wish),” “Fairytale Life (After the Spell),” “Perfect,” “Badder,” “Love Power,” “Love Power (Reprise),” and “Even More Enchanted (Finale).”

[This sequel to Enchanted picks up several years after the original. The family moves to the suburbs after the arrival of a new baby, and Giselle, Robert, and Morgan all struggle as their lives change. Giselle cannot handle Morgan’s distance as a stereotypical teenager, Robert hates the commute and his meaningless job, and Morgan misses the city and her old friends. Andalasian royalty visit and bestow a magic wand on the “true born” child of their land. This action fuels a fight between Giselle and Morgan, leading to Morgan rejecting Giselle as merely her stepmother. In a moment of despair, Giselle uses the wand to obtain a fairy tale life, and her small town begins to pull the magic and life out of Andalasia. Giselle slowly transforms into a wicked stepmother, and Morgan becomes Cinderella. When Malvina, an insecure woman who runs the town, attempts to make the changes permanent, Giselle sends Morgan to Andalasia to save everyone. After a prolonged battle with Malvina, Giselle loses, but through the power of memory and a wish to be reunited with her mother (Giselle), Morgan restores both worlds. She realizes that she is also a daughter of Andalasia since Giselle sees Morgan as her daughter as much as the baby, Sofia. The film ends with everyone reaching a new level of stability. Giselle learns that happiness is not a constant, Robert creates a smaller independent practice to find more meaning in his life, and Morgan sees value in her family again.

Like its predecessor, the film contains numerous references to Disney films, but several relate to Cinderella this time. The chipmunk is turned into a wicked cat in a homage to the 1950’s Cinderella, and Giselle and Morgan wear outfits that mirror that of Lady Tremaine and Cinderella. Cinderella’s birds from the Grimm version appear during a climatic villain fight, and Morgan’s room references Perrault’s retelling and Cinderella (2015). The wish that combines the worlds advances with a clock that strikes midnight, the villain’s henchwomen, and several of the ball scenes echo Cinderella (1997). One pleasant addition is Robert jumping out of a carriage to find Morgan after Giselle provides a vague answer about the girl singing to mice. Since most Cinderella fathers passively accept their daughter’s abuse, it is nice to see this trope abandoned.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]

Disney’s Greatest Hits on Ice. Executive Producer and Director: Steve Binder. 1994. 120 minutes. Written by Stephen Pouliot. Music Adapted and Conducted by Glen Roven. Produced by Kimber Rickabaugh. Co-Producer: Sandra Bezic. Choreography by Michael Seibert and Sandra Bezic. Production design by Charles Lisanby. Lighting by Simon Miles. Costumes by Jef Billings. Music Coordinated by Mark Dillon. Walt Disney Enterprises, hosted by Michael Eisner. Cast: Ekatarina Gordeeva (Cinderella), Sergei Grinkov (The Prince), Nancy Kerrigan (Anastasia), Marina Klimova (Drusilla), and Katarina Witt (Stepmother).

[A skater’s rendition of Disney’s greatest music, ranging from love songs to nonsense music. Cinderella, Mary Poppins, and Snow White are given larger treatment that reproduces some sense of the film’s narrative as well as key songs. After the Overture, the first production number is Cinderella, with Denis Lacombe as conductor. The Cinderella episode begins in animation with the Cinderella theme (Cinderella … The Greatest Story Ever Told”) from the 1949 movie as Cinderella scrubs the floor with the soap bubbles all about her. Cut to Ekatarina Gordeeva skating/scrubbing winsomely with her mop. The stepfamily skates in primping and scorning her. She dreams of the castle and prince (cartoon clip), then we see Sergei Grinkov skating solo to “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” After an animated clip of the pumpkin transforming into coach, the mice, etc. into attendants, and Cinderella ‘s receiving of her gown, her arrival at the palace, her entrance past the guard, and her ascent up the stairs to the ballroom, the cut returns to a live Ekatarina Gordeeva swirling through the hall in a skimpy but flowing blue gown, past many partners to arrive in the presence of the prince, also in blue. To “So This is Love” they dance a lovely pas de deux, then at higher speed and more motion with spotlights they dance through the crowd. The stepfamily arrives with clumsy approaches to the prince (now to the mice’s tune “Cinderelly”). Then the film cuts back to “So This is Love” and another pas de deux with fuzzy blue lens filters, blue lighting, and lovely lifts for the phrase “I’ll touch every star in the sky.” The clock strikes twelve, Gordeeva skates toward the door, and we cut back into animation, with Cinderella’s hasty “goodbye” to the Lord High Chamberlain; she loses her slipper on the stair, the coach and attendants transform back to pumpkin and mice, the prince arrives with the glass slipper, it fits, bells ring, and they rush to the carriage to ride off for their honeymoon. The segment then ends with Gordeeva and Grinkov skating one last lovely pas de deux to “A Dream is a Wish” in front of the castle until the scene erupts with fireworks.]
Doll’s House, A. Directed by Joseph Losey. 1973. 106 minutes. Cast: Jane Fonda (Nora), David Warner (Torvald), Trevor Howard (Doctor Rank), Delphine Seyrig (Kristine), Edward Fox (Krogstad), Anna Wing (nurse).
[Beautifully photographed with long vistas through ornate rooms and Scandinavian village and skating scenes. Losey straightens out the plot for a more novelistic than dramatic effect. A strong performance by Jane Fonda.]
Doll’s House, A. Directed by Patrick Garland. 1973. 95 minutes. Cast: Claire Bloom (Nora), Anthony Hopkins (Torvald), Ralph Richardson (Dr. Rank), Denholm Elliott (Krogstad), Anna Massey (Kristine), Edith Evans (Helene), and Helen Blatch (Anne-Marie).
[A more theatrical and stylized rendition than Joseph Losey’s, though perhaps less successful as a movie. Strong performances by the superstar cast.]
Doll’s House, A. Directed by David Thacker. 1991. A BBC Masterpiece Theater Production. Cast: Juliet Stevenson (Nora), Trevor Eve (Torvald Helmer), Geraldine James (Kristine Linde), Patrick Malahide (Dr. Rank), David Calder (Nils Krogstad), Sonja Ritter (Helene), Helen Blatch (Anne-Marie), Dennis Clinton (Porter).
[Stunning performances by all four leading roles, with compelling camera angles. The most powerful of the three versions in conveying Nora’s victimization by the benevolent patriarchy. Torvald would have his Cinderella at the ball, just as he erotically fancies she should be, and then his squirrel in bed. Kristine serves as the fairy godmother who opens Nora’s eyes to precipitate the painful transformation and who provides Krogstad with his redemptive ending–a kind of Cinderella story in itself. This production emphasizes Ibsen’s attack on money and class issues as well as the patriarchal forgeries visited upon the children. The wonderful miracle Nora hopes for is not what she expects.]
Donkey Skin (Peau d’Ane). Directed by Jacques Demy. 1970. 89 minutes. Parc Film Marianne Productions. Ensemble by Maguy Marin. Cast: Catherine Deneuve (Peau d’Ane), Jean Marais (father King), Jacques Perrin (Prince), Micheline Presle (Fairy Godmother).
[A musical based on Perrault, with touches from Cocteau. Videotape release 1971, French with English subtitles. Potential incest is thwarted by the fairy Godmother, who reserves the father for herself and comes deus ex machina by helicopter to bless the Prince and Donkey Skin’s wedding. The donkey skin provides a charmed protection for the princess during her double existence between fantasy and dirt. Several splendid musical numbers, particularly when Peau d’Ane bakes her love cake, when the prince fantasizes that she is with him and they become mischievous, and when the villagers try to make their fingers smaller so that the ring will fit. The costuming throughout is exquisite. So too the slow motion sequences as Peau d’Ane transforms from princess to scullion and enters the village, where time seems to have stopped as she comes into the service of a toad spouting witch during her puberty. Strong performances by Catherine Deneuve, Micheline Presle, and Jacques Perrin. Maguy Marin’s choreography is superb. For plot summary see Basic European Texts.]
A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story. Directed by Bill Corcoran. 1995. 95 minutes. Teleplay for CBS by John McGreevey and Peter Torokvei; based on A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes–My Story, by Annette Funicello with Patricia Romanowski. Music by George Blondheim. Director of Photography: Jan Kiessar. Produced by Ron French. Cast: Eva La Rue, Len Carion, Linda Lavin, Frankie Avalon, Shelley Fabares, Frank Crudele, Rob Stewart, David Lipper, Don’s Davis, Justin Louis, Andrea Nemeth. With Annette Funicello in person at her daughter Gina’s wedding.
[Greatly afflicted with multiple sclerosis, Annette sits in a waiting room at the church for her daughter’s wedding. Her mother brings Heather, a shy girl of about 10, to her. Annie asks the girl what her favorite story is and Heather says Cinderella. Annette agrees that that is her favorite story too and tells the girl the story of her life, which she casts as a Cinderella narrative too. Born of poor Italian parents in Utica, New York, Annette as a little girl is extremely shy. Her parents decide to move to California and consult a fortune teller who predicts the birth of Annette’s brother and sister, success in California, but a cloud over the story subsequently. Annette gets her first break when Disney comes to a school production and sees her dance. He invites her for an interview to be on the newly forming Mouseketeer. She is star of the show and after the company dissolves Annette stays on with Disney making records. She appears on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and is a hit. She then makes records with Paul Anka. Disney convinces her to make Beach Party movies with Frankie Avalon. She marries her agent and has three children, but the marriage ends in divorce. As symptoms of MS become increasingly evident she tries to hide the facts and makes a highly successful second Beach Party movie with Frankie Avalon. She then marries a horse rancher. The family rallies around at the time of the making of her third movie as she decides to go public with her ailment. Many with the disease are inspired by her bravery. The movie ends with her being wheeled into her daughter’s wedding after finishing her Cinderella story to the gathered children.]
Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel. Directed by Václav Vorlicek. 1975. 82 minutes. Tschechische Version des Märchenklassikers von den Brüdern Grimm. A co-production of DEFA Studios for Spielfilm Gruppe-Berlin with Filmstudio Barrandov, Prague. Book by Bohumila Zelenkova. Music by Karel Svoboda. Photography by Jaromir Komarek under the direction of Adolf Hejzlar. Costumes by Günther Schmidt. Cast: Libuse Safrunkova (Aschenbrödel), Pavel Travnicek (Prince), Carola Braunbock (Stepmother), Daniela Hlavácova (Dora, her daughter), Rolf Hoppe (King), Karin Lesch (Queen), Jan Libicek (the Prince’s tutor), Vladimir Mencik (Vinzek, the head-servant), Vitezslav Janoàk (Kamil, the prince’s companion), Jaroslav Drobohlav (Vitek, the prince’s other companion).
[This charming Bohemian Cinderella was made in East Germany in the latter part of the Communist regime. The photography, winter setting, and simple rural countryside are quite beautiful. Aschenbrödel is a free spirit, despite her mean and domineering stepmother. She gets on well with the servants and has a special relationship with the doves, her horse, her dog, and an owl, with whom she consults on difficult occasions. The royal entourage visits the village to announce the festival, but without the prince, who has sneaked away to hunt with his companions. When the king arrives Aschenbrödel slips away on her white horse to play in the woods. She encounters the hunters and hits the prince with a snowball just as he is about to slay a deer. She then flees, with the three men in pursuit. She eludes them for a time, speaks briefly with them, then steals the prince’s horse to get to her own and escape. Vincent the steward goes to town in a sleigh to get cloth for the stepmother and Dora. The prince is again hunting and shoots a bird’s nest out of a tree that lands on the dozing Vincent as he is returning to the village compound. In the nest he finds three hazel nuts that he gives to Aschenbrödel. She hides them in the attic where she keeps a brooch and mirror that were left her by her mother. As the stepfamily set out in their finery the mother pours lentils into the ash pail and tells Aschenbrödel to sort them out. The doves help her, and she goes to the owl who tells her to throw one of the hazel nuts over her shoulder. She does and to her amazement finds a sprout of cloth sticking out. She pulls a whole hunting suit out, dresses, and again goes for a ride in the wood. There she meets the prince hunting again, this time a fox, which he slays. He then tries to hit a bird but fails. Aschenbrödel hits the bird and then enters into a shooting contest in which she wins the prize, splitting his arrow. She then disappears. He pursues but can find only a girl up in a tree. As he looks again, she is gone. A royal festival ball is to be held but again Aschenbrödel is left to sort out even more lentils, this time thrown into the ashes of the fireplace. The doves help again as she uses the second hazel nut, which now produces a ball gown. The prince is dazzled by her but she flees, losing her slipper. He pursues her to the village compound, but she hides and cannot be found. Vincent and the serfs all help in the search; the stepmother returns, sees what is going on, and tries to distract the prince by slipping away in the sled with someone hidden beneath a cloth. He pursues them only to discover that the girl is Dora. Meanwhile Aschenbrödel has used the third hazel nut to obtain an even more beautiful gown than the one from the previous nut. When the prince returns she comes riding into the compound. The slipper fits and a match is made. She tells him of the previous encounters, much to his admiration and amusement. The two ride across the snow despite the tutor who has finally caught up. The final shot shows her leading the way as they cross a snowy rim with blue sky over head.]
Ella Cinders. Directed by Alfred E. Green. 1926. 63 minutes. Producer, John McCormick. Screenplay by Frank Griffin and Mervyn LeRoy; based on the play Cinderella in the Movies by William Conselman and Charles Plumb. First National Pictures. Released June 1926. Cast: Colleen Moore (Ella Cinders), Lloyd Hughes (Waite Lifter), Vera Lewis (“Ma” Cinders), Doris Baker (Lotta Pill), Emily Gerdes (Prissy Pill), Jet Prouty (The Mayor), Jack Duffy (The Fire Chief), Mike Donlin (Film Studio Gateman), Barry Allen (The Photographer), Alfred E. Green (The Director), D’Arcy Corrigan (The Editor), Harry Langdon, E.H. Calvert, Russell Hopton, Chief Yowlache (Movie People). Pauline Miller sings “Ukulele Ike.”
[A modern conception of a girl who lost her glass slipper at midnight, Ella wins a beauty contest through a weird photograph in which a fly on the tip of her nose “gives her an expression something like that of the illustrious Ben Turpin” (New York Times Film Review, 8 June 1926). Energetic and lively, Ella has fun breaking up parties of her severe stepmother and plain sisters, standing on bridge-tables and going through the top, to the amazement of the guests. Persistence is her chief virtue. She gets by a studio guard and springs onto a movie set where she enrages a lion. The director thinks Ella is his star expressing anguish for her lost baby whereas she is really trying to tell him that a lion is about to pounce into the scene. She gets her man, Waite Lifter, the ice-wielding son of a plutocrat, who imagines that, through his husky iceman “profession,” he is emulating “Red Grange.”]
Ella Enchanted. Directed by Tommy O'Haver. Based on novel by Gail Carson Levine. Screenplay by Laurie Craig. Cast: Anne Hathaway (Ella), Hugh Dancy (Prince Char), Cary Elwes (Edgar, the Regent), Aidan McArdle (Slannen), Joanna Lumley (Dame Olga, the stepmother), Lucy Punch and Jennifer Higham (Hattie and Olive, the step-sisters), Minnie Driver (Mandy, an inept fairy who has turned her lover into a talking book!), Eric Idle (Narrator), Steve Coogan (voice of Heston, Edgar's serpent spy and counsellor), Jimi Mistry (Benny), Vivica A. Fox (Lucinda), Parmindor Nagra (Areida, Ella's best friend), Jim Carter (Nish), Patrick Bergin (Sir Peter), Donna Dent (Ella's Mother).
[The Fairy Lucinda gives Ella the birthday gift of obedience. Her mother tries to ward it off, knowing what a curse it might be, but Lucinda will turn her into a squirrel, if she objects. Her mother dies shortly thereafter, telling Ella never to speak to anyone about the gift. Ella grows up, very bright and good hearted, but the curse perpetually compromises her and, because of her mother's wish, she cannot talk about the problem with anyone. Her father remarries, and stepmother Dame Olga and her daughters Hattie and Olive soon figure out how to manipulate Ella who finally runs away in an attempt to find Lucinda to get the "gift" removed. She goes among the giants and ogres, where Lucinda is supposedly at a wedding. She meets Prince Char, who is also an orphan, and they fall in love, partly because of her independent mindedness. They have various exchanges in which each helps the other. The Prince's father has been murdered by his wicked uncle Edgar, who raised Char and has managed to enslave many segments of the kingdom, particularly the giants and dwarves. The Prince has sympathy for the giants and learns that they were not the ones who killed his father. But when coronation time comes for Char, Edgar orders Ella to murder Char at midnight as he is proposing to her in the garden of mirrors. She has tried to thwart the usurper's plan by having herself chained to a tree far from the castle. But Lucinda finds her, refuses to listen to her pleas to have the curse removed, frees her, dresses her beautifully, and sends her to the palace. Both her mother and Lucinda have indicated to her that there is one thing more powerful than the fairy gift, namely, the deep feelings in her heart, and just as she is about to stab the Prince, as Edgar has ordered her to do, she reaches deep inside herself and breaks free of the curse. But Edgar bursts in at that moment and accuses her of attempting to murder the Prince, who momentarily believes his uncle. The magic book (Mandy's accursed lover) gets word to the elves, giants, and ogres, however, and they come to the rescue just in time for Ella to thwart the wicked Edgar in his attempt to murder Prince Char by poisoning the crown that is to be placed on the youth's head at the coronation. A battle ensues in the cathedral. Though Ella, Char, and the giants and ogres win, Edgar defies them all, boasting of his murder of the king and, grabbing the crown, he places it on his own head, forgetful of the poison, thereby killing himself. Ella and the Prince marry and the story ends happily.] See the annotation for the book under Modern Fiction.
Enchanted. Directed by Kevin Lima. Written by Bill Kelly. 2007. 107 minutes. Cast: Amy Adams (Giselle), Patrick Dempsey (Robert), James Marsden (Edward), Idina Menzel (Nancy), Timothy Spall (Nathaniel), Susan Sarandon (Queen Narissa)
Songs: “True Love’s Kiss,” “Happy Working Song,” “That’s How You Know,” “So Close,” and “Ever Ever After.”
[This Disney film moves between an animated world and a “real” world while also paying homage through cameos, music cues, and iconography to numerous earlier Disney movies. In Andalasia (the animated world), a young woman, Giselle, dreams of finding her true love. She sits in a cottage surrounded by talking animals where she sings “True Love’s Kiss.” Prince Edward, out chasing ogres with his companion Nathaniel, hears her voice and is drawn to her. Nathaniel is plotting with Queen Narissa (Edward’s stepmother) to prevent the prince from marrying, but Edward finds Giselle, and they ride off to his castle for the wedding. On the day of the ceremony, the queen, disguised as an old woman, convinces Giselle to lean over a wishing well, then pushes her over its edge, sending her to a land “where there are no happily ever afters.” Thus, Giselle arrives in New York City. The young woman is hopelessly lost and disoriented: no one helps her; she has no money; and an old man steals her tiara. By the end of the day, she is cold, wet, and about to fall off the edge of a billboard when she is rescued by Robert, a cynical divorce lawyer, and Morgan, his young daughter. Robert takes Giselle to his apartment, and she falls asleep on his couch. The next morning, she notices the dirty apartment and calls new animal friends--rats, cockroaches, and pigeons--to help her as she sings “Happy Working Song.” Nancy, a fashion designer and Robert’s almost fiancée, sees Giselle and assumes that Robert is cheating on her before angrily leaving the apartment. Robert fumes at Giselle for misleading Nancy, disrupting his life, and making a new dress from his curtains but takes her to his office to see if he can help her find her way home. When Giselle begins weeping after learning of divorce, Robert takes her to Central Park for lunch. In the meantime, Prince Edward and Pip, Giselle’s chipmunk friend, enter the “real” world to save her, and Narissa manipulates Nathaniel to go to New York and delay the Prince. While at lunch, Robert asks about Edward and is horrified by Giselle’s idea of marriage and “happily ever after”; he tells her about dating and partnership before Giselle reminds him of the importance of small romantic gestures while singing “That’s How You Know.” She helps him send flowers and tickets to a ball to Nancy who forgives him, and Nathaniel begins trying to poison Giselle with a series of poison apples sent by Queen Narissa. Slowly, Giselle learns to operate in everyday society and experiences anger at Robert’s cynicism. They both start to have feelings for the other person. On their third day in the real world, Edward finds Giselle, but as he sings “True Love’s Kiss,” she does not join him and does not want to return to Andalasia immediately. Instead, she asks to go on a date. Her date with Edward confuses her, and he wants to return home. She convinces him to attend the same ball as Nancy and Robert before they return, and she goes shopping with Morgan’s help and with Robert’s credit card acting as her fairy godmother while Queen Narissa arrives in the City. At the ball, Robert and Giselle dance (“So Close”), and their feelings for each other are evident when Nancy cuts in, feeling threatened. Edward takes Giselle away as Robert and Nancy dance, but it is clear that their relationship will fall apart. Narissa enters as the old woman and offers Giselle an apple that will make her forget what happened and allow her to return to a state of “happily ever after,” and the young woman takes a bite and falls down unconscious. Robert tells Edward to kiss her, remembering Giselle’s view of the power of true love, but Edward’s kiss fails to save her. Nancy tells Robert to kiss her, and at the stroke of midnight, his kiss awakens Giselle. When Nathaniel reveals the plot to Edward, Narissa turns into a dragon in an attempt to kill everyone before kidnapping Robert and flying to the top of the skyscraper in which the ball is held. Giselle grabs Edward’s sword, removes her glass slippers, and races after the dragon. Chip helps the heroine fight, and they cause Narissa to fall from the skyscraper; she casts a spell as she falls and disappears in a blaze of glitter, but her death remains uncertain. Robert and Giselle kiss in the rain, and the film’s epilogue begins (“Ever Ever After”). Inside, Nancy, also shoeless, sits on the ground next to one of Giselle’s glass slippers. Edward sees her and asks if he may try the shoe on her foot, and when it fits, he takes her to the animated world where they marry before Giselle’s former animated friends. Chip returns to the animated world, but Nathaniel does not. Giselle takes over Nancy’s business, and the film ends with the image of Robert, Giselle, and Morgan all dancing as a happy family. A sequel, Disenchanted, was released in 2022.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Erendira. Directed by Ray Guerra. 1983. 103 minutes. Based on a section of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Cast: Irene Papas (Grandmother), Claudia Ohana (Erendira), Oliver Wehe (Ulysses), Michael Lonsdale (The Senator), Rufus (The Photographer), Blanca Guerra (Ulysses’ Mother), Pierre Vaneck (Ulysses’ Father), Carlos Cardon (Smuggler), Ernesto Gomez Cruz (Grocer), Humberto Elizando (White Man), Jorge Fegan (Commander), Francisco Mauri (Postman).
[Both Erendira’s parents have died, and she is left to serve Cinderella-like according to her grandmother’s wishes. Working to exhaustion as scullion, washwoman, serving maid, and hearth keeper, she accommodates herself to hardship by mental displacement, working in a daze, as if asleep on her feet. The grandmother’s fantastic dreams of thwarted love and power lead her to bizarre sleep disorders as well. Both protected and betrayed by her body’s capacity to be disembodied, Erendira falls asleep while lighting candelabra at her grandmother’s command to honor the spirit of the Amadis family. A sudden desert wind blows curtains into the flaming candles and the grandmother’s grand house burns down. The grandmother forces Erendira to rise from the ashes to pay for the loss of the grandmother’s estate with her only asset, her body. Selling Erendira’s virginity to the grocer for 350 pesos the grandmother quickly sets up a thriving prostitution business. Men come from miles around seeking the mysterious sad beauty amidst the dust of the desert. An angelic blonde youth about Erendira’s age, fittingly named Ulysses, learns of her, falls in love, and, fairytale-like, three times attempts to rescue her, first by carrying her away in a dove-cart, then by trying to poison the old witch with a birthday cake loaded with rat poison (but he only succeeds in giving her a good night’s rest, though the poison does make her hair fall out, to her and her mirror’s disappointment), and finally by murdering the tenacious old hag with a butcher knife. But once freed of the grandmother’s tyranny, Erendira does not stay with her prince; rather, she flees like a spirit out of bondage back into the desert, leaving scarcely a trace in the sand. The movie follows Marquez’s mythic plot and imagery with precision to explore with fairytale surrealism and a kind of Augustinian Platonism — complete with deserts, the yearning after beauty, fish and denizens of the deep, caged birds, caterpillars, somnolent but dreaming cocoons, and butterflies–the sexual needs and fantasies of opposing generations. Strong components of political and religious allegory underpin this tale of psychological and physiological need, love and hate, oppression and release. This is a tale of Cinderella disguises, of dressing and undressing, of smuggling precious merchandise through the wilderness, and of a life-for-life redemption of a priceless cargo. Erendira is the only portion of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s fiction that he has permitted to be made into a movie.]
Ever After: A Cinderella Story. Directed by Andy Tennant. 1998. 100 minutes. Screenplay by Susannah Grant, Andy Tennant, and Rick Parks. Music by George Fenton. Cast: Drew Barrymore (Danielle), Angelica Houston (stepmother), Dougray Scott (Prince Henry), Patrick Godfrey (Leonardo di Vinci), Megan Dodds (stepsister Marguerite), Melanie Lynsky (stepsister Jacqueline), Timothy West (King), Judy Parfitt (Queen), Jeroen Krabbé (Auguste), Lee Ingleby (father), Kate Lansbury (Parfitte), Matyelok Gibbs (Louise), Walter Sparrow (Maurice), Jeanne Moreau (Grand Dame, who tells the story), Anna Maguire (young Danielle), Richard O’Brien, Peter Gunn, Goerg Stadler (Wilhelm Grimm), Andrew Henderson (Jacob Grimm), Toby Jones (Royal Page), Virginia Garcia (Princes Gertrude), Al Hunter Ashton (carpenter), Mark Lewis (gypsy leader), Howard Attfield, Ricki Cuttell, Ricardo Cruz, John Walters (Peter), Elizabeth Earl (young Marguerite), Alex Pooley (young Jacqueline), Janet Henfrey, Ursala Jones (Isabella).
[A grand dame descended from the Cinder girl calls the Grimm brothers before her to set the story straight. She has a portrait of Danielle painted by Leonardo and the slipper, which is glass. The tale begins with the father’s return home with his new bride and her two daughters. He brings Danielle a copy of More’s Utopia. Danielle (a tomboy) makes a poor impression on the fastidious stepfamily. The father sets out for Avignon but dies of a heart attack. Danielle soon finds herself as the cinder-girl servant. She keeps her spirits up by working to preserve the estate and is much loved by all (except the stepfamily). The prince rides through their fields, ignoring fences and anything in his way. Danielle knocks him from his horse with a stone. He is impressed with her spirit, though he does not know who she is. Leonardo is brought by the king to be artist in residence. He is almost captured by gypsies but is rescued by the prince and Danielle. The stepmother, always short of cash, sells old servant Jacob into indentured service in the New World. Danielle comes to his rescue by confronting the prince and quoting Utopia, which he recognizes. It is not a text that he imagined a girl might know. The prince and Leonardo go into the country to try out kites and some new aquatic walking shoes he has invented. Leonardo falls into the lake as he “walks” upon Danielle, who is swimming. Her friendship with the prince grows. After various adventures such as capture by gypsies (whereupon Danielle rescues the prince by carrying him on her shoulders) and discussions of Utopia, the prince plans his wedding festival. The stepmother finds out that Danielle has been seeing the prince and has her beaten and locked up. The deceitful Marguerite informs the prince that Danielle has betrayed him and gone to another country. But Danielle escapes her bondage and shows up in a Leonardo-designed dress only to be exposed as a fraud by her stepmother who tears her dress and labels her a commoner. The prince and royal family are shocked and abandon Danielle. The stepmother then sells her to a neighbor baron who wants her as his wife. She is kept in irons but gains advantage over the baron through swordsmanship. The prince, under the tutelage of Leonardo and Utopia, becomes repentant and finds her unharmed in the wicked baron’s estate. He and Danielle are married. The stepmother and Marguerite are to be indentured to the New World but Danielle intervenes on their behalf, and they are to be treated exactly as they treated her. At the end we see them washing clothes. The more sympathetic Jacqueline, who helped Danielle at various times, gets to find happiness in the end with a royal page.]
Fifth Avenue Girl. Directed by Gregory La Cava. 1939. 83 minutes. Screenplay by Allan Scott. Music by Russell Bennett. Cast: Ginger Rogers (Mary Grey), Walter Connolly (Mr. Borden), Verree Teasdale (Mrs. Borden), James Ellison (Mike), Tim Holt (Tim Borden), Kathryn Adams (Katherine Borden), Franklin Pangborn (Higgins), Ferike Boros (Olga), Louis Calhern (Dr. Kessler), Theodor Von Eltz (Terwillger), Alexander D’Arcy (Maitre d’Hotel).
[With Amalgamated Pump on the verge of bankruptcy, Mr. Borden goes into Central Park to get away from it all. He meets Mary Grey, who has only $5.00 to her name and no work, gets on well, takes her to dinner, then hires her to move into the family to make his wife jealous and to disrupt the blaisé assumptions of his children. Through her disguises Mary manages to get the chauffer and Katherine (the Borden daughter) together, gets Mrs. Borden to pay attention to her husband (she even cooks him beef stew), and is herself won over by the son and heir Tim, who, at the outset, is worthless but by the end becomes a skillful manager of Amalgamated Pump. The film provides an amusing spoof on class pretentions and “Marxism,” as Mary, a down to earth, hard-nosed fellow traveller rises from unemployment to an esteem worthy of her talents.]
Flashdance. Directed by Adrian Lynn. 1983. 98 minutes. Choreography by Jeffrey Hornaday. Music by Giorgio Moroder. Story by Tom Hedley. Screenplay by Tom Hedley and Joe Eszterhas. Cast: Jennifer Beals (Alexandra Owens, welder and dancer), Michael Nouri (Nick Hurley, the boss), Lilia Skala (Hanna Long, retired Ziegfield dancer and friend to Alex), Sunny Johnson (Jeannie Stabo, skater friend), Phil Bruna (Frank Stabo, Jeannie’s father), Micole Mercurio (Rosemary Stabo, Jeannie’s mother), Kyle T. Heffner (Ritchie, cook, friend, and would-be comic), Lee Ving (Johnny C, smalltime creep and porno freak who runs the Zanzibar strip joint), Malcolm Danare (Cecil, Johnny C’s buddy), Ron Karabastos (Jake Mawbry, ex-vaudeville mentor and owner of Mawbry’s bar), Belinda Bauer (Katie Hurley, Nick’s ex-wife, a socialite), Lucy Lee Flippin (Secretary), Jumbo Red (Grunt, Alex’s dog). Flashdancers Cynthia Rhodes (Tina Tech), Durga McBroom (Heels), Stacey Pickren (Margo), Liz Sagal (Sunny). Some of Beals’ dance routines were performed by uncredited French dancer Marine Jahan.
[Alex Owens, from Altoona, works hard to make a go of it in Pittsburgh as a welder who does dance routines at night at Mawbry’s Bar. When she dances something clicks, and she is “somebody else”; dancing helps her “disappear” from the brutal world around her. She yearns for a more fulfilling life, perhaps as a ballerina. Her boss Nick Hurley, himself a young, self-made man who, after an empty marriage to a wealthy socialite, attempts to lead a responsible life of hard work, sees Alex dance and is taken with her talent and haunting loneliness. She refuses to date him, being proud, independent, and class conscious. Hanna Long, an elderly ex-dancer with a kind of elegance, acts as fairy godmother to Alex, making her a black leotard and encouraging her to try out for the Pittsburgh Ballet. Alex agrees to try, but is intimidated by high culture and fears no invitation could ever be granted to her. As she tells the priest at confession, “There’s no way I belong there … I just don’t think it’s going to happen.” Nick becomes intimate with Alex, after rescuing her from an ugly scene with Johnny C., and, after she applies to the school, arranges the audition. But she refuses to accept the invitation when she finds out he’s pulled strings. She jumps out of his car in the middle of the night in a busy highway tunnel and throws her shoe at him as he pursues (inversion of the slipper-on-the-stair trope). But with the death of Hanna, Alex takes as keepsake the old woman’s ballet slippers, which give her courage and inspiration to accept the invitation to try out despite all. After an initial slip and fall she gains self-confidence and dazzles the socks off the elitist judges. Outside the audition Nick and her dog Grunt wait with flowers, loyalty, love and admiration. The movie ends with a warm embrace and her giving Nick a rose. Ritchie, the cook and boyfriend of Jeannie, functions somewhat as a Buttons figure (from the Cinderella pantomimes), the way Duckie does in Pretty in Pink, to provide comic relief and unthreatening friendship as Alex struggles with her dreams. Dance gives Alex her sense of freedom, but her fellow dancers, in three poignant vignettes (Jeannie, who gives up her skating dream to become a stripper; Margo, who has been a showgirl since seventeen and has become cynically inured to the job; and Hanna, whose life as a Ziegfield girl ended in empty dreams), reveal the wisdom of Nick’s observation, “When you give up your dream you die.”]
Fools for Scandal. Produced and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. 1938. 81 minutes. Screenplay by Herbert and Joseph Fields, based on the play Food for Scandal, by Nancy Hamilton, James Shute, and Rosemary Casey. Music by Richard Rodgers; lyrics by Lorenz Hart. Cast: Carole Lombard (Kay Winters), Fernand Gravet (Rene), Ralph Bellamy (Philip Chester), Allan Jenkins (Dewey Gilson), Isabel Jeans (Lady Paula Malverton), Marie Wilson (Myrtle), Marcia Ralston (Jill), Tola Nesmith (Agnes), Heather Thatcher (Lady Potter-Porter), Jacques Lory (Papa Joli-Coeur), Jeni LeGon (Singer), Les Hite and his Orchestra.
Musical Numbers: “There’s a Boy in Harlem,” “Food for Scandal,” “How Can You Forget.”
[A variation on both male and female Cinderella plots: Kay Winters, an American screen actress in Paris on holiday, is pursued by Rene, an impecunious marquis. So in love is he that he disguises himself as her butler in order to be near her. His devotion eventually wins her heart.]
Garasu no Kutsu: Cinderella and the Glass Shoe. A Japanese serial drama, in Japanese with Chinese subtitles. Cast: Ando Natsu (Kato Noriko, Ando), Ryutaro (Sano Shiro), Ezaki Toru (Hosaka Naoki), Mochiduki Etsuya (Toyohara Kosuke), Kurebayashi (Yuriko Tanaka Ritsuko, Ezaki), Masako (Kuroda Fukumi).
[A classic fairy tale of Cinderella recast in the 1990s. Toru, the heir4 to a large apparel company, falls in love with a beautiful librarian named Natsu. Natsu’s brother is a shoemaker whose livelihood depends on Toru’s firm. Toru asks Natsu to marry him, but his mean stepmother interferes, making life miserable for Natsu and her brother. A mean sister, a best friend turned blackmailer, and a fateful pair of Ferragamo shoes shape the subplots and the denouement of the love story.]
The Glass Slipper. Directed by Charles Walters. Released March 1955. 95 minutes. Produced by Edwin H. Knopf. Screenplay by Helen Deutsch; based on Perrault and the 1944 musical play by Herbert and Eleanor Farjeon. Ballets by Roland Petit, with Ballet de Paris. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Cast: Leslie Caron (Ella), Michael Wilding (Prince Charles), Keenan Wynn (Kovin), Estelle Winwood (Mrs. Toquet, the Fairy Godmother), Elsa Lanchester (Widow Sonder), Barry Jones (Duke), Amanda Blake (Birena), Lisa Daniels (Serafina), Lurene Tuttle (Cousin Loulou), Liliane Montevecchi (Tehara), Reginald Simpson (Valet), Tyler McDuff (Willie), Bud Osborne (Coachman), Lucille Curtis (Mistress).
[A psychologically complex Cinderella attempts to deal with her dirtiness, rebelliousness, and adolescence as she maintains a place of her own even through her loneliness, emptiness, anger, and powerful love pangs. The Prince first saw her as a winsome child; her image haunts his imagination until he meets her again in real life at a rural pond, where Mrs. Toquet gets them together as they reflect upon moments of sadness. She meets him at the ball in a borrowed dress, thinking he is the cook. The movie has several witty dance sequences in which Cinderella, for example, sees herself on the throne not knowing what to do, or, imagines a life with the head cook.]
Godmothered. Directed by Sharon Maguire, Written by Kari Granlund (story), Keri Granlund (screenplay) and Melissa K. Stack (screenplay). Produced by The Montecito Production Company and Walt Disney Pictures, 2020. 1 hour 50 minutes. Cast: Starring Jillian Bell (The Godmother) and Isla Fisher (The Cinderella Character)
Eleanor seeks to become a fairy godmother, but her school is about to close, leaving her to be retrained as a tooth fairy. She steals an assignment in an attempt to earn her wings. She attempts to “save” a young girl named Mackenzie, but finds her plans obstructed when learning that Mackenzie is a widow with two daughters. The film retells the Cinderella story as the godmother makes friends who help her learn to change her fate. The godmother in training also learns that happiness and true love can take many different forms. The film borrows much from Enchanted but is its own story that explores love, family, happiness, and Christmas. [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Good and Naughty. Directed by Malcolm St. Clair. 1926. Screen adaptation of Avery Hopwood’s play Naughty Cinderella. Cast: Pola Negri (Germaine Morris), Tom Moore (Gerald Gray), Miss duPont (Mrs. Fenton), Stuart Holmes (Mr. Fenton, a pugilist of sorts), Ford Sterling (the gauche Mr. West, of Gray and West), Marie Mosquini, and Warner Richmond.
[Overture: “Broadway Hits.” In the New York opening at the Rivoli Leonora Cori, soprano, sang such hits as “Franz Liszt”; the show stopper was the “Charleston,” with Henry B. Murtagh at the organ and the live performance that accompanies the party scene in the film staged by Boris Petroff, with the winners of the Intercity dancing tournaments. June 1926. According to the New York Times review (8 June 1926) “the Charleston is given its place in the sun in a wild stage offering.” In the movie, Germaine, an ugly duckling drudge in the New York office of Gray and West, loves Gerald Gray, her boss. Her face is smudged with chalk from her art sketches, her hair tossled, but she is spunky. The flirtatious Mrs. Fenton seems to gain the upper hand in the pursuit of Gerald, however, despite gossip and her fierce husband. Germaine accompanies the elite by yacht to the Fenton’s Florida home, determined to save Gerald from scandal. She transforms herself with furs, lipstick, and a rumor of wealth, and gains a favorable viewing from Gerald, despite Mr. West’s prediction that she could get nowhere with “that face.” Mr. Fenton misses the yacht and grabs a cab - “Go to Florida, and step on it!” By the time he gets there Germaine has saved the day.]
Good Fairy, The. Directed by William Wyler. 1935. 138 minutes. Cast: Margaret Sullivan (Luisa), Herbert Marshall (Dr. Sporum), Frank Morgan (Konrad, the meat tycoon), Reginald Owen (The Waiter), Eric Blore (Dr. Metz), Beulah Bondi (Dr. Schultz), Alan Hale (Maurice Schlapkohl), Caesar Romero (Joe), Luis Alberni (the Barber), June Claworth (Mitzi).
[The good spirited Luisa leaves the orphanage to take a job as usher at Mr. Schlapkohl’s cinema. Whenever someone makes a pass at her she says she is someone’s wife, thereby becoming involved with the kindly and protective waiter and the poor lawyer Dr. Sporum, for whom she attempts to be a good fairy. Ultimately she marries the lawyer who is himself a male Cinderella, while the waiter and Konrad both claim to be the good fairy who made it all possible.]
Goose Girl, The. Directed by Tom Davenport. 1984. 18 minutes. Produced by Tom and Mimi Davenport. Associate director: Susan Toth. Based on the story by the Brothers Grimm. Sets by Wayne McNair. Costumes by Valerie Becker, Mimi Davenport, and Shirley Brown. Flute by Frances Averitt. Wrangler: Susan Goode. Cast: Allison Brody (Goose Girl), Helen Stoltzful (Maid), Halo Wines (Mother), Gene Morrill (Bridegroom’s Father), Bo Patterson (Bridegroom), Sam Carter (Conrad).
[Set in the valleys of Virginia in the late-seventeenth century. The widow of a well-to-do landowner sends her daughter to a neighboring estate to marry the heir. In parting she gives her daughter a handkerchief with three drops of her blood on it to protect her in all circumstances. She travels in the care of an older maid and her favorite horse, who can talk. On the way the girl stops to drink from a stream and the kerchief falls into the water. The maid takes advantage of the girl’s vulnerability, forces her to exchange places with her, and makes her take a solemn oath that she will not reveal to any person what has happened. When they arrive at the new estate the girl is sent to be goose girl and her horse is killed. But the servant boy Conrad discovers that there is something strange about the girl as she talks to the horse’s head and has strange command over the wind. He tells the groom’s father who questions the girl. Her silence makes him more curious, and he tells her to talk out her sorrows with the hearth, where she sleeps. He hides on the other side and hears her sad tale. He speaks with his son who greets her, now transformed with a gorgeous wedding dress into the suitable bride. At the bridal feast she remains in disguise. The father of the groom puts a riddle to the false bride, describing the account of her usurpation and asking what the punishment should be for the usurper. The false bride unwittingly names her own sentence, that she be placed naked in a barrel with nails protruding on the inside and then dragged in that barrel by horses until she is dead. She is then exposed and the sentence is carried out. The true bride and groom are then married. See Basic European Texts for a synopsis of the Grimms’ version.]
Grimm (TV Series). Executive Producers David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf. 2011- . Cast: David Giuntoli (Nick Burkhardt), Silas Weir Mitchell (Monroe), Russell Hornsby (Hank Griffen), Bitsie Tulloch (Juliette Silverton), and Sasha Roiz (Captain Sean Renard).
[The shows explores a world where the Grimm’s fairy tales act as a form of racial profiling with “Grimms” being people who can see the truth about a person’s “Wesen” (or animal) nature. Many different types of Wesen appear on the show, based on a variety of animals and German words. Episode 120, “Happily Ever Aftermath,” specifically focuses on Cinderella, adding money woes and bat Wesen to the traditional story. Numerous tales and themes fill the series. Some episodes reference specific tales, such as Rapunzel or Little Red Riding Hood, while others signal particular themes or motifs, such as the sleeping beauty or the beast within.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Grimms’ Fairy Tales for Adults. Directed by Rolf Thiel (West Germany: 1969; released in U.S. by Cinemation, 21 January 1971). 76 minutes. Supervisor of English version, Perry Oxenhorn. Produced by Jerry Gross. Screenplay by Tom Bau. Music by Joe Beck and Regis Mull. Cast: Eva V. Rueber Stairer (Cinderella), Marie Liljedahl (Snow White), Ingrid Van Bergen (Wicked Queen), Gaby Fuchs (Sleeping Beauty), Kitty Gschopf and Evelin Dufree (The Stepsisters), Walter Giller (Hans), Peter Hohberger (Heinz), Hugo Lipdinger (Farmer), Isolde Steigler (The Old One).
[“Purely for the bloodthirsty … Two country bumpkins wander through an enchanted forest encountering, among others, Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty … Instead of demanding the heart of Snow White to prove her death, the Wicked Queen asks for her sex organs to be devoured as on-camera hors d’oeuvres. And needless to say, it takes more than a peck on the cheek to wake up Sleeping Beauty …. Though nudity abounds, the real action centers on graphic butchery as fingers, toes, heels and entire bodies are lovingly sliced up in closeup for the edification of those with cast iron stomachs. Only exploitable name in the case is Marie Liljedahl … who has made a slight career out of being abused on screen. In ‘Grimm’ she performs an oral act on a cow and allows frogs and snakes to slither over her naked body. Viewers can only hope she was well compensated”–Variety 3 February 1971.]
Happily Ever After. Directed by Bruce W. Smith. 1995. 25 minutes. Executive Producers Donna Brown Guillaume, Meryl Marshall, Willard Carroll. Producer Lynne Southerland. Written by Joe Menendez. Narrated by Robert Guillaume. Casting by Eileen Mack Knight and Meredith Behrend. Music composed by Tito Larriva. Main Title Music by Diane Louie. Story Boards: Shawna Cha and Michael Bennett. Made for HBO by Time Warner Entertainment Corporation. Voices and Cast: Daphne Zuniga (Cinderella), Raquel Welch (La Madrastra), Nely Galan (Margarita), Sonia Braga (Esmeralda), Edward James Olmos (Rey Emiliano), Jimmy Smits (Prince Felipe), Liz Torres (Fairy Madrina), Julio Oscar Mechoso (Program Hawker).
[An animated version of the Perrault Glass Slipper story set in a Spanish culture that goes to prove that “If we believe in our dreams and wishes the cinder ashes of life can be wiped away.” The prince wears a sombrero and, when he travels abroad, does so on horseback with his Mexican cowboys. Songs include “Iguana Meal Call” and the “Fairy Madrina Song.” There are no pumpkins to turn into a coach so Madrina uses the vegetables for guacamole. The two mice that Cinderella befriended become the horses and the iguanas the coach and footmen.]
Hello Kitty Cinderella. Directed by Tameo Ogawa. 1994. 25 minutes. Script by Tomako Kaneharu. Animation Supervisor: Kanji Akabori. Art: Yukio Abe. Sound: Yasuo Uragami. Music by Rye Kitayama. English language program produced by Saurio Inc., with cooperation of YTV Canada. Voices: Karen Barnsetin, Jonathan Potts, Judy Orban, Katherine Trowell, Katherine Laskey, Paulina Gillis, Anne Butler. Voice Direction Tony Robinow.
[Kitty has a mean stepfamily, but she herself is kind and hardworking, with plenty of animal friends. The fairy godmother is an owl. The Prince wants nothing to do with girls until the fairy godmother talks with him; then he agrees to have the ball. The tale illustrates that nice girls do get ahead. The script is charming and amusing — a deservedly popular video.]
Hero. Directed by Stephen Frears. 1992. 116 minutes. Music by George Fenton, with clips of Luther Vandross’s “Heart of a Hero,” George and Ira Gershwin’ “The Man I Love” and “Hoping that Someday You’d Care,” and John Williams’ “Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Cast: Dustin Hoffman (Bernard La Plante), Luthur Vandross’s (Gale Gayley, the reporter), Andy Garcia (John Bubber), Joan Cusak (Evelyn, Bernard’s estranged wife), Chevy Chase (Deke, the Editor), Tom Arnold (assistant editor), Kevin J. O’Connor (Chucky the camera man), James Madio (Joey, Bernie’s son).
[A disenchanted, down and out petty thief Bernard La Plante by chance saves 54 people in a plane crash. He gets all sooty and loses one of his $100.00 shoes in the process. The press offers a million dollar reward for the unknown angel of mercy, and Bubber, who has Bernie’s other shoe, which Bernie discarded, having lost its mate, responds to the headline “Search for Mr. Cinderella,” supplies the missing shoe, and claims the reward. Bubber is a very generous person, a Vietnam war hero, and becomes the journalist’s dream subject and popular hero. He even helps heal the young boy Alan Baird, who seemed lost in a coma after an automobile accident. Meanwhile, Bernie protests vigorously Bubber’s ruse, but none believe him since he is a crook on his way to prison. But he is moved by Bubber’s good works and rescues him from suicide; Bubber in turn rescues Bernie from falling off the building. They maintain the secret and their friendship, with Bubber being the heroic male Cinderella in the eyes of the public and Bernie being the real one, despite his detestation of work and kind acts. As Bubber explains, “You need a role to play even if it’s a humble one.” Bernie works better behind the scenes, almost in a godparent role to Bubber in the complexity of this movie where people aren’t exactly as they seem, but where they all come to recognize that the seeming is a main thing–even down to the camera angle and lens stop.]
Hey Cinderella. Directed by Jim Henson. 1989. Videotape 1994. Written by Jon Stone and Tom Whedon. Produced by Peter Miner. Music by Joe Raposo. Puppeteers: Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, and Jim Henson. Puppets by Muppets. Executive Producer John T. Ross. 54 minutes. Cast: Belinda Montgomery (Cinderella), Robin Ward (Prince), Joyce Gordon (Fairy Godmother), Pat Galloway (Stepmother).
[Prince Charming Arthur, who will someday become King Arthur, doesn’t like stuck up girls, but rather would work in his garden with Kermit the Frog, who doesn’t think much of his gardening. The stepmother sends Cinderella and dog Rufus out to get muddy so that Cinderella will have to clean the floor again. She meets Arthur in his garden. They fall in love without her knowing he’s the Prince. The King gives a masquerade ball to find Arthur a wife. He invites Cinderella, who comes transformed by the fairy godmother. The mysterious princess flees at midnight, losing her glass slipper, which the Prince steps on and smashes. The King would have Arthur marry the mysterious princess, but the Prince isn’t interested since he loves Cinderella. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put the slipper together again, so the court sets out in search of a woman with one glass slipper. Cinderella has Rupert bury her odd glass slipper so that she won’t be discovered and have to marry the prince, for she loves Arthur the gardener. But it all works out when she discovers that Arthur is Prince, he discovers Cinderella is the mysterious princess, Kermit discovers the buried slipper and returns it as proof, and the fairy godmother finally gets the charm right that can turn Cinderella, whom she momentarily sends by mistake to Kansas, into the mysterious princess so that the marriage can take place.]
Higher and Higher. Directed by Tim Whelan. 1943. 90 minutes. Based on Rodgers and Hart musical. Screenplay by Jay Dratler and Ralph Spence. Song retained from original production: “Disgustingly Rich.” Songs written for the film by Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson. Cast: Michele Morgan (Millie Picot), Jack Haley (Mike O’Brien), Frank Sinatra (himself), Leon Errol (Mr. Drake), Marcy McGuire (Mickey), Barbara Hale (Katherine Keating), Victor Borge (Sir Victor Fitzroy Victor), Mary Wickes (Sandy), Elizabeth Risdon (Mrs. Keating), Mel Torme (Marty), Paul Hartman (Byngham), Grace Hartman (Hilda), Dooley Wilson (Oscar), Ivy Scott (Mrs. Whiffin), Rex Evans (Mr. Green).
Songs: “I Couldn’t Sleep a Wink Last Night,” “A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening,” “The Music Stopped,” “Higher and Higher,” “It’s a Most Important Affair,” “You’re On Your Own,” “I Saw You First,” “Today I’m a Debutante,” “Minuet in Boogie.”
[For plot synopsis see the entry for the musical under Musicals. “Sinatra’s posture suggests St. Francis preaching to the birds, and the hysterical twittering of the audience sustained the illusion … the story is carefully simple-minded”–James Agee, Time, 31 January 1944.]
Hot Heiress, The. Directed by Clarence Badger. 1931. 81 minutes. Screenplay by Herbert Fields. Music by Richard Rodgers; lyrics by Lorenz Hart. A First National Picture. Cast: Ben Lyon (Hap Harrigan), Ona Munson (Juliette Hunter), Walter Pidgeon (Clay), Tom Dugan (Bill Dugan), Holmes Herbert (Mr. Hunter), Inez Courtney (Margie), Thelma Todd (Lola), Nella Walker (Mrs. Hunter).
Songs: “Nobody Loves a Riveter,” “Like Ordinary People Do,” “He Looks So Good To Me,” “You’re the Cats.”
[A male Cinderella plot: Hap Harrigan, a young riveter, pursues a mistossed bolt into a rich girl’s boudoir to prevent a fire. But another fire ignites as they fall in love and, despite their class differences and class-consciousness of their friends, find their happy ending.]
Hunger, The. Directed by Tony Scott. 1983. 100 minutes. A Richard Shepherd Production. Music by Michel Rubini and Denny Jaeger. Screenplay by Ivan Davis and Michael Thomas. From a novel by Whitley Strieber. Cast: Catherine Deneuve (Miriam Blalock), David Bowie (John Blalock), Susan Sarandon (Dr. Sarah Roberts), Cliff DeYoung (Tom Haver), Beth Emlers (Alice Cavender), Ann Magnuson (young woman from disco), John Stephen Hill (young man from disco), Dan Hedaya (Lieutenant Allegrezza), Rufus Collins (Charlie Humphries), Suzanne Beatish (Phyllis), James Aubrey (Ron), Shane Rimmer (Jelinek), Balhaus (Disco Group), Douglas Lambert (TV Host), Lucybelle (Bessie Love), John Pankdon (First Phone Booth Youth), William Dafoe (Second Phone Booth Youth), Sophie Ward (Girl in London House), Philip Sayer (Boy in London House), Michael Howe (First Intern), Edward Wiley (Second Intern), Richard Robles (Skater), George Caveller (Eumenes), Oke Wambu (Egyptian Slave).
[Although not directly a Cinderella story the film complements nicely Susan Palwick’s Ever After, a Cinderella vampire narrative. The film explores admirably narcissism and the desire for immortality and youth — the “forever and ever complex.” Miram, the master vampire, neither dies nor ages, though her victims ultimately age rapidly but do not die. In their hunger all yearn for beauty, youth, the pleasures of fine art, and love. The movie juxtaposes masterfully the beautiful in “timeless” art as well as sumptuous human bodies with the wasteful violence of time and desire as the two thousand year old beauty Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) keeps her world in order with her lovers on whom she feeds. She is caught off guard and overthrown by her new lover/victim (Susan Sarandon), a doctor whose life passion has been to study aging and sleep disorders and who understands something of blood disorders as well. She succeeds in seeing what is happening to her and reverses the victim/master roles by slashing herself, thus releasing Miram’s previous victims who rise against her and destroy her so that she too ages while they are at last released to die. The strong willed Dr. Roberts, however, “recovers” and starts a new menage of the beautiful, while Miriam calls hauntingly to her from her coffin, “Sarah, Sarah,” adding a poignant commentary on their desires.]
The Ice Princess: A Classic Tale on Ice. Directed by Danny Huston. 1997. 60 minutes. Screenplay by Diether Dehm and Katarina Witt. Written for Television by John Goldsmith. Songwriters Christopher Cross and Curtis Stigers. Cast: Katarina Witt (the Princess), Christopher Barker (Prince), Vernon Dobtcheff (Chamberlain), Daniela Lunkewitz, Rosalynn Sumners, Toller Cranston, George Murcell, Hans-Heinz Moser, Hans Peter Minetti, Ivan Dessy.
[Charcoal burners prepare their ice routine for the festival. They learn that the prince is going to sell the forest to a rich baron, which would destroy their livelihood. Ella says that the prince would not do such a thing. She loves his poetry, but acknowledges that he has not been a good ruler; he, having seen Ella skating in the woods, has been too caught up in his day dreams to rule well. Ella too has fantasies about him. Her mother died when she was a child; her stepmother is dead also, though her two stepsisters, Katia and Nadia, are very much alive and scorn her as servant and charcoal burner. Her father, the baron, is blind but loving toward Ella. He has been cast out of the court for opposing the wicked chamberlain, who rules the kingdom corruptly during the prince’s youth and fits of daydreaming. He hopes to make a fortune from the sale of the forest. He has a thing going with Nadia, as well, who is a politic manipulator just as the chamberlain is. At the festival the prince, dazzled by Ella’s beauty and grace on the ice, steps onto the ice himself but slips and cracks his head. The chamberlain arrests Ella and the children and has them put in prison. He tells the prince when he comes to that she has disappeared, after trying to kill him. The prince, of course, does not believe that to be so. Ella escapes prison by using charcoal on the window to make it appear that the glass and bars have been broken and that she and the children have escaped. When the jailer comes in to investigate, they slip out, locking the jailer in. At the ball the prince is about to sign away the forest to the rich baron when Ella appears, nixing the deal. The chamberlain is deposed and her blind father made new chamberlain. But Ella cannot marry the prince because she is thought to be a peasant. The prince would abdicate, but Ella says no, that he must marry Katia. But then it is revealed that Ella is in truth the blind duke’s legitimate daughter by a previous marriage. The archbishop confirms the validity of the claim (he married them), and the prince goes back to the woods to find Ella skating. They are married. Nadia is forced to marry the ex-chamberlain. Who Katia will marry is left undecided.]
If the Shoe Fits. Directed by Tom Clegg. 1991. 95 minutes. Screenplay by Timothy Prager; based on original screenplay by Pamela Wallace and Madeline DiMaggio. Daniel Marquet, Exec. Producer; Monique Annaud, Producer. Music by Didier Vasseur. Cast: Rob Lowe (Salvitore), Jennifer Grey (Kelly Carter), Elizabeth Vitali (Véronique, her friend), Andrea Ferreol (Wanda the Fairy Godmother), Rebecca Potok (Mimi Larcher), Sacha Briquet (Cirage), Florence Pelly (Taffy), Alison Hornus (Domino), Fabienne Chaudat (Receptionist), Josephine Penedo (Carol).
[Imperious fashion designer discovers that he needs and loves a shoe designer, who overcomes her inferiority complex, maintains her healthy wit, kindness, and good cheer, and learns ultimately to combine her double identities of princess and working girl.]
Into the Woods. Directed by Rob Marshall. Written by James Lapine (Screenplay and Musical) and Stephen Sondheim (Musical). 2014. 125 minutes. Cast: Meryl Streep (the Witch), Anna Kendrick (Cinderella), Chris Pine (Cinderella’s Prince)
[Walt Disney Pictures adapted the musical for film audiences. Several cuts occurred. The role for the narrator was removed, and the key song “No More” was removed from Act 2. A new song for Rapunzel was added, but the Cinderella portions remain intact. For information on the musical, see Into the Woods.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Irene. Directed by Herbert Wilcox. 1940. 105 minutes. Screenplay by Alice Duer Miller. Book by James H. Montgomery. Music and lyrics by Harry Tierney and Joseph McCarthy. Musical director, Anthony Collins. Cast: Anna Neagle (Irene O’Dare), Ray Milland (Don Marshall), Alan Marshall (Bob Vincent), Roland Young (Mr. Smith), Billie Burke (Mrs. Vincent), May Robson (Granny O’Dare), Arthur Treacher (Betherton), Marsha Hunt (Eleanor).
[Irene, an Irish working girl, goes the wrong way on a one-way street, comes in through the wrong entrance, but impresses “Mme. Lucy” (Ray Milland), to move up to modelling and wows NYC high society at Mrs. Vincent’s ball in her “Alice Blue Gown.” With her feisty spirit she wins the heart of Don who, despite her nearly disastrous engagement to Bob, marries her. The dress (after Alice in Wonderland) belonged to her deceased mother. Granny is a sort of guardian “godmother,” who looks after Irene. A treacherous compatriot in Mme. Lucy’s employ functions as wicked stepsister. The movie is an update of the 1919 Broadway musical. See the entry under Opera and Musicals.]
Irish Cinderella, The. 1920s. Idol Films. Silent. Original musical score for the videotape by Rosa Rio at the Hammond Organ (1985). Cast: Pattie MacNamara (Emeralila, an orphan living a drudge’s life), W. Calhoun (An Ulster Crag, half man, half hag, a bonnie wife was she, a tyrannical woman who supports vigorously causes of the orange), Delia Coghlan and Elizabeth O’Hara (Sheila and Delia Maguire, chips off the old Ulster Crag), Thomas O’Malley (a Maguire of Connacht married to a Craig of Ulster), Phyllis Bryan (“Sneer and scoff and call me daft / But Erina, a princess I am”), James La Para (Prince Yellow Dwarf), Jack Hopkins (Spirit of Bad Council), Peter J. Smith (Fingal–brave, powerful, ever ready to serve), W. H. Marcy (Prince of Tara, the heart of Ireland), and many youthful Irish dancers.
[Ireland is the oppressed heroine of this film, yearning for liberation. The fairy world is divided against itself, Prince Yellow Dwarf and the Spirit of Bad Council perpetually agitating to foment hatred, vindictiveness, and spite, and Erina and Fingal attempting to free Emeralila from bondage and to assure her of a happy future. The film works on two levels, with the Cinderella story functioning on the surface and the political and psychological functioning on a subliminal level. The father drinks a lot and is happy-go-lucky, hen-pecked but good natured; he is flirtatious with the young girls and a lover of Irish dancing. The stepmother (played by a male actor) loves the orange and is herself a tippler. The stepdaughters have long noses and are klutzy and pretentious, but not particularly cruel. Yellow Dwarf tries to spoil the outcome by stealing Emeralila’s slipper at the ball, but Erina, who seems to be momentarily under the power of the Spirit of Bad Council, steals it back. The father loves Emeralila and routs for her, though at one point witches almost poison her. The forces of good win the underworld battle, however; Fingal defeats the Spirit of Bad Council in a duel in hell, and Yellow Dwarf is cast into a boiling pit. The wedding takes place, the fairies bless it, and many children do Irish dances. All are assured that the Island will someday be free from oppression.]
Jack and the Dentist’s Daughter. Directed by Tom Davenport. 1984. 39 minutes. Written by Julian Yochum, Marcia Neidley, Sarah Toth, and Tom Davenport. Costumes by Valerie Becker and Mimi Davenport. Guitar Music by John Jackson. Cast: Kent Jackman (Jack), Diedre Johnson (Dentist’s Daughter), Gorham Scott (Dentist), Tom Agner (Patient), Clarence Gregg (Jack’s Father), Alfie Brown (Robber’s Housekeeper), Prentice Rowe, Philip Brogdon, Cedric Harris (Robbers), Edward mays (Farmer), Mike Heintzman, Keith Fulwood (Mean Boys), Phyllis Baker (Dentist’s Wife), Rick Breitenfeld (Preacher).
[A male-Cinderella story set in small-town America in the early 1930s, based on a Grimm fairy tale entitled “The Master Thief.” Except for the preacher, his wife, and one of the mean boys, an African American cast. Jack, son of a poor dirt farmer, woos the Dentist’s daughter, who loves him back. The Dentist tells Jack that there is only one way he can have permission to woo and that is if he has a thousand dollars. Jack seeks work without success, then takes refuge for the night in a den of robbers and bootleggers. They threaten to kill him, but he convinces them to let him live. They consent, providing he steal the cows from a farmer. Through clever tricks Jack obtains all three cows, then outfoxes the robbers to get their loot. When he returns with new clothes, a new car, the money, and the reputation of being the “Master Thief,” the Dentist adds new tests, namely, that he steal the Dentist’s own car. Jack dresses as an old woman, gives the mean boys some moonshine, and succeeds getting the car. Then the Dentist says he must steal the preacher, without his knowing it, which Jack does by pretending to be an angel sent to carry the preacher to heaven in a bag. Finally, the Dentist says Jack must steal his wife’s wedding ring and the sheets off his bed, which Jack does by robbing a grave, borrowing the corpse, and lugging it up a ladder to the bedroom window, whereby the Dentist shoots the corpse, thinking it’s Jack. Then while the Dentist is burying what he thinks is Jack, Jack, disguised as the Dentist, gets from the wife the ring (out of remorse for having shot Jack!) and the sheets to bury “Jack” in, thus completing the most difficult task. Everyone admires his ingenuity and next day he weds the daughter to the applause of the whole community–truly a master thief. The film won the Parent’s Choice Award for 1993.]
Jersey Girl. Directed by David Burton Morris. 1992. 95 minutes. Written by Gina Wendkos. Music by Misha Segal. Director of Photography: Ron Fortunato. Cast: Jamie Gertz (Toby Mastellone), Dylan McDermott (Sal), Joseph Bologna (Bennie Mastellone), Sheryl Lee (Tara), Aida Turturro (Angie), Molly Price (Cookie), Star Jasper (Dot), Joseph Mazzello (Jason), Philip Casnoff (Mitchell), Pat Collins (Gabe), Regina Taylor (Rosie), Amy Johanna Sakasitz (Monica), Mary Beth Peil (Day Care Center Teacher), Jordan Dean (Tim), Richard Maldone (Bobby), David Diendara (Mercedes Salesman), Simon Jutras (French Restaurant Waiter), Page Johnson (Maitre D’), Lori Anne Mahl (Cookie’s Salon Patron), Marc McQue (Kenneth), Buckley Norris (Security Guard).
[Subtitled “A Cinderella story with big hair,” the film tells how Toby and her girl friends, Jersey girls all, talk about their limited social life in Hackensack without satisfactory male companionship, but support each other as best they can. Toby yearns for something more and goes to a Mercedes Benz salesroom in hope of meeting someone. As she flees the dumb idea, she bumps into Sal, causing him to have an accident in his $70,000 Mercedes. She gives him a ride to work and then pursues him in her gentle way. He is a big time Manhattan graphics man who is involved with a blonde art dealer who uses him for sex, despite his poor Queens upbringing. Toby lives with her father, who adheres to tradition but is kind and concerned about her welfare. Sal invites Toby to the Mayor’s ball. She wears a dress bought for her by her father that is an embarrassment at the ball. She leaves much hurt by art dealer’s mean remarks, but Sal follows her and wins her to him. She is embarrassed to introduce him to her friends, whom she rejects just as he, having been embarrassed by the art dealer and his yuppie boss comes to break it off with Toby. Crushed she returns to her friends and her preschool teaching. Sal returns for forgiveness; she sends him away, but he cleverly wrecks his car and puts himself in her care, as he had been at the beginning of the film. He has quit his job and the art dealer and wants only Toby. The film has a number of similarities to Pretty in Pink and also Pretty Woman.]
Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women. Created by Jean Kilbourne. Directed by Sut Jhally. (1987). 34 minutes. Cambridge Documentary Films Incorporated. Cambridge, Mass. Revised and reissued as Still Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women 3 (2000).
[Kilbourne uses over 160 ads and TV commercials to explore ways in which women are created and marketed. Includes the following sections: Does the beauty ideal still tyrannize women? / Does advertising still objectify women’s bodies? / Are the twin themes of liberation and weight control still linked? / Is sexuality still presented as women’s main concern? / Are young girls still sexualized / Are grown women infantilized? / Are images of male violence against women still used to sell products? Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., is a popular lecturer in high schools and colleges. She has been twice named Lecturer of the Year by the National Association of Campus Activities. She is featured in Carolyn Russell Stonewell’s documentary Once Upon a Loss (Berkeley, 1995) and is author of Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising (1999), reissued in paperback as Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000. She also writes about women and tobacco. See her second documentary below, Slim Hopes: Advertising & the Obsession with Thinness (1995), directed by Sut Jahlly. 30 minutes.]
Kiss for Cinderella, A. Directed by Herbert Brenon. Produced by Famous Players/Lasky. Adapted by Willis Goldbeck from the play by Sir James Barrie and Townsend Martin. Paramount Pictures. Released December 1925. Cast: Betty Bronson (Cinderella), Tom Moore (Policeman David/Prince Hard to Please Charming), Esther Ralston (Fairy Godmother), Ivan Simpson (Mr. Cutaway), Dorothy Walters (Mrs. Maloney), Henry Vibart (Richard Bodie/the King), Edna Hagen (Gretchen), Mary Christian (Sally), Marilyn McLain (Gladys), Flora Finch and Juliet Brenon (Customers), Dorothy Cumming (The Queen), Pattie Cloakley (Marie-Therese).
[The fantasy sequence, where Cinderella, sitting in the snow, imagines the ball, is especially well-done: snowflakes turn into white mice which turn into white horses; they fly through the air to Buckingham Palace where the Prince, bored with all the ladies, is dressed as the Jack of Hearts. The King (Mr. Bodie) wears a costume with “Clubs” as his emblem; his crest reads “A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned,” and he has his own special gas meter next to the throne where the Prince has to put in a shilling when the flame gets low. The ballroom is thronged with policemen, and the Censor is costumed like the Lord High Executioner. Pages wear costermonter’s “pearlies” and officiate amidst adorably clothed court ladies. In Bodie’s studio is the Venus de Milo, alluded to as Mrs. Bodie; he calls Cinderella “Miss Thing.” Several in the cast of the movie had recently been in a sterling production of Peter Pan (Betty Bronson/Peter Pan, Esther Ralston/Mrs. Darling) and bring hints of that fantasy into this other Barrie-inspired movie.]
Leathernecking. Directed by Edward Cline. 1930. 72 minutes. Screenplay by Jane Murfin. Choreography Mary Read. Cast: Irene Dunne (Lady Delphine Witherspoon), Eddie Foy, Jr. (Chick Evans), Ken Murray (Frank Derryberry), Louise Fazenda (Hortense Mossback), Ned Sparks (Ned Sparks), Lilyan Tashman (Edna Stevens), Benny Rubin (Stein), Rita La Roy (Moulika the fortune teller), Fred Santley (Douglas Atwell), Baron William Brincken (Baron Von Richter).
[Based on the Rodgers and Hart musical comedy Present Arms. The movie retained two of their songs, “You Took Advantage of Me” and “A Kiss for Cinderella,” and added several new songs written by Harry Akst and Benny Davis, including “All My Life,” “Shake It Off and Smile,” “Careless Kisses,” “Evening Star,” and “Nice and So Particular.”]
Like Water for Chocolate (Como Agua para Chocolate). Directed by Alfonso Arau. Mexico, 1993. 113 minutes. In Spanish. Screenplay by Laura Esquivel (based on her novel). Cast: Lumi Cavazos (Tita), Marco Leonardi (Pedro Musquiz), Regina Tome (Mama Elena), Mario Ivan Martinez (Dr. John Brown), Ada Carrasco (Nacha), Yareli Arizmendi (Rosaura), Claudette Maille (Gertrudis), Pilar Aranda (Chencha).
[This Mexican magic-realism love story combines Cinderella with Tristan and Isolde motifs to explore the joys and pain of passion. Mama Elena has three daughters. The oldest, Rosaura, is plain, somewhat mean, but very much her mother’s child in terms of her desire for a respectable life. The second, Gertrudis, was born of an indiscretion with a mulato, whose picture Elena keeps locked in a love box the key to which is kept in a heartshaped locket that she wears close to her breast. The youngest, Tita, is born to tears while her mother is chopping onions. She has her mother’s hidden passion, but is consigned to the kitchen to feed and wait upon the mother until her mother’s death. Tita would marry Pedro, but Mama Elena forbids it and arranges that Pedro marry Rosaura, the older sister. Pedro agrees to the marriage so that he may be near Tita. The house-keeper, Nacha, who cares for the disconsolate, passionate Tita, teaches her the relationships between love and food, turns her into a great cook, and, upon Nacha’s death after cooking Rosaura’s wedding cake which is laced with Tita’s tears, becomes Tita’s phantom godmother in the manner of Aschenputtel’s deceased mother in Grimms’ fairy tale. Mama Elena thwarts the secret passion of the two lovers, brutalizing Tita, who, like Aschenputtel, takes refuge in the dove cote. Mentally ill, Tita is sent away with a doctor Brown, who helps her in her mute condition by telling her ancient Indian stories of the passionate fire of life within, which must be rekindled if she is to get well. Chencha visits her and in gladness she recovers. Dr. Brown asks her hand in marriage, and Tita tentatively agrees. But after Tita’s mother is killed in a guerilla raid, Tita returns to the ranch. Her old passion for Pedro is rekindled, and she gives herself him. With the aid of Tita, Rosaura gives birth to a daughter whom she would commit to the traditional role of caring for her mother until her mother dies. Rosaura would name the girl Tita, but Tita insists that the child be named Esperanza and vows to subvert tradition. Rosaura dies of gastric disorder and, at the wedding of Esperanza to Dr. Brown’s son by a previous marriage, Tita and Pedro finally get together in the fullness of their passion. Pedro dies of a heart attack in their nuptial bed which had been prepared by Nacha (the deceased godmother who has watched over Tita through her whole life). Tita eats matches which ignite the phosphorus of love within her as in the ancient Kikapoo Indian myth that the doctor/fiancé had told her during her earlier therapy. As the fire within her grows, Tita, Isolde-like, dies beside her beloved, pulling the blanket she has been weaving her whole life over them both as the whole room is consumed in a firey, passionate holocaust, to variations on Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. The bed where the two lovers lie is the center of the fire. See Denis de Rougemont, under Criticism, on passion, death, and the Tristan story, with its denials and separations and passionate death as features of Love in the Western World.]
Lord Browning and Cinderella. Directed by Van Dyke Brooke. Released November 1912. Screenplay by Josephine N. Crawford. Vitagraph Films. Cast: Clara Kimball Young (Cinderella Gibson), Maurice Costello (Lord Browning), Julia S. Gordon (Mrs. Gibson), Flora Finch (Sylvia), Leah Baird (Adrienne), Van Dyke Brooke (Old Morgan).

The Lost Slipper (Der Verlorene Schuh). Directed by Ludwig Berger. UFA Films, Berlin. A Decla-Bishop Production. Released January 1924. Cast: Helga Thomas (Cinderella), Paul Hartmann (Prince), Frida Richard (Fairy Godmother), Hermann Thiemig (Baron), Lucie Hofflich (Stepmother), Mady Christians and Olga Tschechowa (Stepsisters), Max Gulstoroff (Cinderella’s Father).

Love Actually. Directed and Written by Richard Curtis. 2003. 135 minutes. Cast: Bill Nighy (Billy Mack), Colin Firth (Jamie), Liam Neeson (Daniel), Emma Thompson (Karen), Chiwetel Ejiofer (Peter), Keira Knightly (Juliet), Hugh Grant (David, Prime Minister), Alan Rickman (Harry), Billy Bob Thornton (The President of the U.S.).
[The British film explores nine love stories in the weeks approaching Christmas, portraying different types of love relationships. In its themes and variations, the plan bears a resemblance to Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde, with its ten actualizations of sexual encounters without love. In the extensive DVD commentary, Curtis admits to removing a tenth love story between the headmistress and her partner Geraldine in which the headmistress loses her partner to death. When approaching the individual narratives, it is useful to think of the film’s title as “Love Almost” since the stories assess love relationships that are threaded with loss, frustrated desire, and faulty envy. The individual stories (all set in London) overlap with characters from one story arcing into another to reveal the love circumstances of “normal people.” Given the fact that love can be seen almost randomly affecting people, whether salesclerks or airline passengers, Curtis uses an angel to assist the many disconnected characters. The narratives culminate on Christmas Eve at a local school Christmas panto, which brings many of the disconnected characters together. Although not an obvious Cinderella film, the narratives repeatedly contain aspects of the Cinderella story, with incomplete Cinderella plots, ugly stepsisters, godmothers, sexual encounters, conditional love, and almost-heroines all being partially actualized.

A. John and Judy. This couple reveals the role of sex and its potential distancing affects on love. They meet when performing as body doubles on a film set by simulating multiple sex acts. Although they demonstrate a number of meaningless “intimate” acts, both are quite shy in their off-screen life, and John must work up the nerve to ask Judy out on a date. At the end of their evening together, he hesitates when wanting to kiss her, so she gently kisses him instead and indicates her affection for him. When the other characters return to the airport at the end of the film, John and Judy are leaving on a trip together. Judy reveals that she is wearing an engagement ring, and John tells a friend that he “might get a shag at last.” Although they appear to have a “happy ending,” it is unclear exactly what such commitment might mean.

B. Billy Mack and his manager Joe. An aging rocker begins the film as a Cinderella figure, having lost his riches to battles with drug addiction. Billy and Joe attempt to reinvent the singer’s career by rereleasing a new version of one of his earlier hits in an attempt to achieve a Christmas number one. Billy must fight against several evil stepmother and stepsister figures as he faces criticism from DJs and a popular boyband, and his struggles mirror the competition usually seen among women for the chance to marry the Prince. On Christmas Eve, he receives an invitation to a party from Elton John, a type of Prince figure, and achieves his almost “happily ever after” by gaining a kind of recognition within the music industry for his number one hit song. At least, for the moment, it is what he thinks he “wants.”

C. Jamie and Aurelia. This tale comes closest to actualizing a Cinderella plot. After Jamie discovers his girlfriend is having an affair with his brother, he retreats to France to write a crime novel. There he meets Aurelia, his maid, and becomes drawn to her as she looks after him. The couple overcomes a language barrier as Jamie only speaks English and Aurelia, Portuguese. Before Jamie returns to England, Aurelia kisses him goodbye, so he begins to study Portuguese; on Christmas Eve, he, like the Prince, travels to find Aurelia by seeking out her home. When he tells her father that he wishes to marry his daughter, the father assumes Jamie wants his other daughter, who functions as an ugly stepsister, with the film making several comments about her weight and attitude. Once the father, sister, and neighbors get his request straightened out, they escort Jamie to Aurelia’s job, where she works as a waitress. Jamie proposes to his Cinderella in extremely broken Portuguese. She accepts in English, and they return to England to begin their new life together.

D. Daniel and Sam. When the film begins, Daniel has just lost his wife Joanna to a terminal disease. He worries about his stepson, Sam, who becomes more withdrawn, but unlike the typical Cinderella story, Daniel is not wicked stepparent. When he realizes that his son is in love with a classmate also named Joanna, he becomes a fairy godmother figure. He assists the boy in his attempts to court the girl and facilitates his son’s transformation into a drummer. At the school pageant, Sam fails to tell Joanna how he feels, so his father drives him to the airport in order that he can tell Joanna the truth before she flies home for the winter break. At the gate, Sam is assisted by an unnamed figure who also acts as a love angel by distracting security; Sam finds Joanna just as she is about to board her plane. She returns his feelings and gives him a kiss before he triumphantly returns to his father.

E. Karen and Harry. This couple represents a ruined Cinderella story as their “happily ever after” ends with an extramarital affair. Karen and Harry’s marriage revolves around routines involving his job and her life with their two children. Harry’s receptionist takes advantage of this problem and begins to flirt with him. At the company Christmas party, a type of ball, she dances with Harry while wearing a red dress and small devil’s horns despite the everyday attire of the other guests. Her presence threatens Karen, making the seductress function as a fiendish stepsister figure. A few weeks later, the receptionist convinces Harry to buy her “something pretty” for Christmas while he is out shopping with his wife. When he first tries to purchase the necklace, the angel who helps Sam tries to delay him by taking too long to wrap the present in an effort to discourage Harry’s purchase since he fears Karen will discover the truth. Karen discovers the gold necklace in his coat pocket a few days later but returns it, thinking her husband means to surprise her at Christmas. When she receives a CD instead, she realizes what has happened and after her children’s school pageant confronts her husband. At the end of the film, the couple appears to be attempting to move beyond the affair, but the hurt is deep, and their reconciliation remains uncertain—their fairy tale can never again be complete.

F. Colin and Three Girls from Wisconsin—a saturnalian fantasy. Colin represents an extremely sexual figure who considers himself to be a “God of Sex.” This would be “Prince” does not want wealth or a happy ending; instead, he needs promiscuous love aplenty. Unfortunately for him, his vulgar aggression turns women off. He decides that British women cannot understand him and rents out his flat; he becomes his own fairy godmother and flies to America with a backpack full of condoms, imagining that American women will be more receptive. He travels to a bar in Milwaukee where he meets Stacy, Jeannie, and Carol-Anne. They offer to let him stay with them but plead that due to their poverty they can only afford one bed and must sleep naked. Colin accepts their offer, and, as a fourth roommate, Harriet, approaches, all four figures undress and fall onto the bed with Colin presumably achieving a “happy ending.” Colin returns to London with Harriet and brings her sister Carla for his friend Tony.

G. Mark and Juliet. Mark is a not-so-evil stepsister who watches his best friend, Peter, marry the woman Mark loves. Juliet serves as a Prince Charming figure when Mark distances himself from Peter and Juliet when trying to hide his inappropriate affection for his friend’s wife. After Juliet finds evidence of Mark’s affection, he arrives at the couple’s home with a series of posters and a radio playing carols. He uses the radio to deceive Peter, a Cinderella character in his own right, into thinking that carolers are at the door for him, while Mark uses the posters to tell Juliet of his true feelings and his plans to move past them and find someone else. As he leaves, Juliet comes out and gives him a single kiss as a way to recognize his confession but uses a passionate look to indicate that she cannot return his feelings, then returns to her husband.

H. Sarah and Karl. This couple represents an aborted Cinderella story. For over two years, Sarah, a quiet and deserving Cinderella, has been in love with Karl, the handsome Prince, but has not told him of her feelings. Her boss, Harry, becomes impatient with her and acts as a fairy godmother by telling her to express herself because everyone, including Karl, can see how she feels. At the ball-like Christmas party, Sarah and Karl dance, and their attraction grows. They go to her apartment and begin to undress each other when her phone rings. Her mentally ill brother calls her and is clearly in the midst of a bad attack. She addresses his concerns and ends the phone call before hesitantly telling Karl about her brother’s condition. At first, Karl claims to accept the situation and Sarah, but as they begin kissing, her phone rings again, and Karl asks her to choose him over her brother. Sarah immediately rejects Karl, ends their encounter, and leaves to spend time with her brother. A few days later, Sarah sees Karl at the office, and their conversation is brief and awkward, suggesting that any potential happy ending has been lost.

I. David and Natalie. This couple represents a typical modern Cinderella story where a working class woman becomes involved with a powerful leader. When David begins to serve as Prime Minister, he meets Natalie who brings him cookies and tea. He soon becomes attracted to her cheerful personality, and she returns his affections. A visit from the U.S. President, however, nearly destroys the relationship. When the president attempts to seduce Natalie, David’s jealously grows, and he resists the demands of his fellow diplomat and orders his assistant, Annie, to transfer Natalie to another office. On Christmas Eve, Annie provides David with Christmas cards from his staff, including Natalie, making the assistant a fairy godmother figure. David reads Natalie’s card, realizes she cares for him, and sees the card as a sign that she wants him to find her again. The card acts as a paper slipper, and this Prince quickly tries to find Natalie’s home only to remember that she lives on “the dodgy end” of Wadsworth Street by Harris Street. David begins going door to door in an effort to find Natalie and, after many attempts, arrives at her door just as her family, running late, leaves for the Christmas pageant. During the ride there, Natalie confesses her feelings, and David proves his acceptance of her life by hiding backstage to watch the performance with her. They are caught kissing by the pageant’s audience, but at the end of the film, they kiss in a public announcement to the world of their relationship and yearned for happiness.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]

Love Me Tonight. Directed by Rouben Mamoulian. 1932. 104 minutes. Screenplay by Samuel Hoffenstein, Waldemar Young, and George Marion, Jr.; based on a play by Leopold Marchand and Paul Armont, “Tailor in the Chateau.” Music by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics by Lorenz Hart. Costumes by Travis Banton. Photographed by Victor Milner. A Paramount Picture. Cast: Maurice Chevalier (Maurice Courtelin), Jeanette MacDonald (Princess Jeanette), Charlie Ruggles (Vicomte de Vareze), Charles Butterworth (Count de Savignac), Myrna Loy (Countess Valentine), C. Aubrey Smith (The Duke), Elizabeth Petterson, Ethel Griffies, Blanche Frederici (The Three Aunts), Joseph Cawthorn (The Doctor), Robert Greit (Major-Domo, Ethel Wales (Dressmaker), Marion “Peanuts” Byron (Bakery Girl), Mary Doran (Mme. Dupont), Bert Roach (Emile), Cecil Cunningham (Laundress), Tyler Brook (Composer), Edgar Norton (Valet), Herbert Mundin (Groom), George “Gabby” Hayes (Grocer), Rita Owin (Chambermaid), Clarence Wilson (Shirtmaker), Gordon Westcott (Collector), George Davis (Pierre), Rolfe Sedan (Taxi Driver), Tony Merlo (Hat Maker), William H. Turner (Boot Maker), George Humbert (Chef).
Musical numbers: “That’s the Song of Paree,” “Isn’t It Romantic?” “The Man for Me,” “Lover,” “Mimi,” “A Woman Needs Something Like That,” “Deer Hunt Ballet,” “The Poor Apache,” “Love Me Tonight,” “The Son of a Gun Is Nothing but a Tailor.”
[A male Cinderella movie in the manner of the French comedies of Rene Clair: Maurice, a romantic Parisian tailor, falls in love with the Princess Jeanette, whose life is lonely and at odds with the rest of the court. He masquerades as a baron to win her affection. His identity as a tailor is eventually discovered by the servants in Jeanette’s castle. Maurice leaves his princess in humiliation, but she seeks him out for a happy reconciliation.]
Lying to Be Perfect. Directed by Gary Harvey. Written by Nancey Silvers and Sarah Strohmeyer. 2010. 89 minutes. Cast: Poppy Montgomery (Nola Devlin), Adam Kaufman (Chip/Alex), Chelah Horsdal (Nancy), Audrey Wasilewski (Deb), and Michelle Harrison (Lori DiGrigio).
[Based on The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer, the film tells of the choices Nola Devlin makes as she constructs a fake identity to get ahead in the publishing world after encountering discrimination due to her weight from her boss, Lori DiGrigio. Inspired by the advice of Belinda Apple, Nola’s persona, Deb and Nancy, Nola’s best friends, construct a “Cinderella Pact” with the main character to lose weight. During their quest, each has to overcome the “demons” that caused them to put on the weight. Deb has to realize that she never loved the husband who refuses to support her as she endures weight loss surgery, and Nancy must learn to face and resist the sexual advances of her colleague Ted that led her to eat more. Nola, although regularly telling women to be their own fairy godmothers, has to learn to desire her own happiness. During her struggles at work as her boss slowly realizes that Belinda must be a pseudonym, Nola meets Chip, a man who hides his identity, for he is Alex Stanton, the boss’ son. At the end of the film, Nola reveals her true identity and the reasons for her betrayals. Her friends and lover forgive her, and she publishes her experience with Alex at her side one year later.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Mack, Nila (1910-1953). Her Cinderella: A “Let’s Pretend” CBS Radio Show, aired on 27 September 1947. See entry Cinderella: A “Let’s Pretend” Radio Production, above.
[Nila Mack, a Kansas woman, began her career as an actress on Broadway and in Vaudeville, though the “Let’s Pretend” Radio Show became her life work. Mack felt that the best way to tell children’s stories was to have children do the telling. She developed a group of versatile juvenile actors who, week after week, played a variety of roles, from animals and various children to over-80-year-olds. According to John Dunning, The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio, she was known as “the fairy godmother of radio.” The fifteen year old CBS program closed in October, 1954, the year after Mack’s death. The New York Public Library has her papers.]
Maid in Manhattan. Dir. Wayne Wang. 2002. 105 minutes. Story by Edmond Dantes. Screenplay by Kevin Wade. Cast: Jennifer Lopes (Marisa Ventura, the maid), Ralph Fiennes (Christopher "Chris" Marshal, NY Assemblyman running for the Senate), Natasha Richardson (Caroline Lane, rich socialite and predatory woman), Stanley Tucci (Jerry Siegel, Chris' political advisor), Ruffus (Chris's dog), Tyler Posey (Ty Ventura, a.k.a Tyler Garcia Posey, Marisa's 10 year old boy, whose father never appears because he's too busy), Frances Conray (Paula Burns), Chris Eigeman (John Bextrum, Personnel Manager), Amy Sedens (Rachel Hoffberg), Marissa Matrone (Stephanie Kehoe, maid and friend who tries to promote Marisa), Priscilla Lopez (Veronica Ventura, Marisa's mother), Bob Hoskins (Lionel Block, Hotel Beresford Butler and friend of Marisa, who resigns when she is fired), Lisa Roberts (Cora), Gillan Maddie Corman (Leezette), Sharon Wilkins (Clarice, maid), Jayne Houdyshell (Carmen), Marilyn Torrez (Barb, maid), Lou Fergusson (Keef Townsend, Security Officer and friend), Shaun Powell (Paparazzi).
[Marisa Ventura, single mom, living with her mother, tries to make a world for her son that's better than her own. She and the divorced father are still on speaking terms as she tries to help Ty's self esteem, but he is never there and clearly values his new life more than his old one. Fellow maid Steph plumps for Marisa's promotion into the competition for Hotel Manager. She also attempts to get Marisa to heighten her own self esteem by trying on an expensive dress of Caroline Lane, a hotel guest on the make. Marisa's son Ty meets the senatorial candidate in the elevator, talks with him and impresses him with his knowledge of politics; when he admires the politician's dog he gets invited to help walk the dog, but that requires his mother's permission. They go to the room she is supposed to be cleaning and find her in the expensive dress that Steph insisted she try on. Chris, the politician, is smitten and gets her to walk with them in the park. She gives her name as Caroline, whose room she was in. Chris invites her to a political fundraiser ball. The letter is picked up by the real Caroline. Chris won't give up on finding her, meets her on the street, and convinces her that she should meet him at the ball. The hotel staff supports her dream moment, supplying her with clothes, and a great diamond necklace from the Hotel Jewelry shop. At the ball she tells Chris that she can't see him again and leaves. Caroline sort of recognizes her, but doesn't. Chris pursues her into the darkness and convinces her to spend the night with him. Next day, after cleaning the hotel room next to Caroline's she is recognized, exposed as a thief for having worn Caroline's dress (this is discovered by reviewing hotel surveillance tapes), and fired. The politician yearns for her, nonetheless. She gets a new job at a different hotel. The politician has a news conference at that hotel which Ty attends and questions him about integrity and making small mistakes--should the offender be forgiven? Chris says the boy should run for office, finds Marisa, and they are reconciled. A sequence of newsclips informs us that Chris is elected, Marisa becomes a hotel manager, and they continue to see each other and marry. The film draws heavily on Mike Nichol's Working Girl but without the Nichols touch: It opens with the Staten Island Ferry passing the Statue of Liberty on its way to Manhattan (no Trade Towers, however), uses shots of working people on crowded streets getting to work at rush hour, uses the borrowed clothing device to get the couple together, has her supported by other working class people; when she meets his again face to face she defends her actions on grounds that she found herself liking him and knew he would not show serious interest in her if he knew she was a maid, and, as in Working Girl she is exposed by a rich, privileged socialite quite viciously as she puts her down because of her class, etc. The film also draws quite specifically on Pretty Woman as Marisa rescues the power figure from the emptiness of his life by asking the right questions and showing that she is a person of social principles. The political advisor is somewhat like Edward's lawyer in Pretty Woman as he tries to keep the would-be senator on track; and Bob Hoskins, the hotel butler, plays a role akin to that of Hector Elizando in the earlier film. But Maid in Manhattan has some merits of its own that set it apart from its predecessors, particularly through the role of her son, Ty, who adds a compelling dimension to Marisa's character as she works, with few illusions, to help the boy and herself to maintain a dignified sense of themselves and the society they live in. The film had several titles in the making, a.k.a The Chambermaid, with John Hughes' name (Pretty in Pink) associated with that phase as writer of the book), and a.k.a Uptown Girl. There are also some allusions to You've Got Mail - all films of disadvantaged women coming into their own through determination and a willingness to rescue others as well as themselves as they, in turn are rescued.]
Maid to Order. Directed by Amy Jones. July 1987. 92 minutes. Produced by Herb Jaffe and Mort Engelberg. Screenplay by Amy Jones, Perry Howze, and Randy Howze. Music by Georges Delerue. Costumes by Lisa Jensen. New Century/Vista Film Co. A Vista Organization Production. Cast: Ally Sheedy (Jessie Montgomery), Michael Ontkean (Nick McGuire), Beverly D’Angelo (Stella, the Fairy Godmother), Valerie Perrine (Georgette Starkey), Dick Shawn (Stan Starkey), Rainbow Phoenix (Brie Starkey), Tom Skerritt (Charles Montgomery), Merry Clayton (Audrey James), Begona Plaza (Maria), Theodore (Woodrow, the Montgomery butler and chauffeur), and Leland Crooke (Dude, lead in a singing group).
Musical numbers: “I’m On My Own Now”; “I Can Still Shine”; “It’s In His Kiss’; “Clean Up Woman”; “Spirit In The Sky”; “976 Self-Service”; “Too Bored To Die”; “Fernando The Champ.”
[Jessie is a spoiled rich girl whose mother died when she was young. She is so irresponsible that her mainly indulgent father wishes he had no daughter. The wish is granted by Stella, the Fairy Godmother, and Jessie is forced to make her way as a maid at the Malibu estate of Stan and Georgette Starkey. There Audrey James, a former singer with an alcohol problem, is the cook; Nick, a would-be song writer, the chauffeur; and Marie, a hardworking chicano, a servant. Spoiled Jessica, who can keep her job only because white maids are so hard to find, gradually comes to see other people’s problems. On the big night of the charity ball, through which the Starkeys hope to land some lucrative recording contracts for Dude and his rock-group The Loaded Blanks, Marie wishes that the clean-up would be all done after the party; Audrey wishes that her daughter might have $10,000 tuition for USC; Nick wishes he could get his songs heard; and Jessie wishes that their wishes might come true. The Fairy Godmother overhears and brings it all about: a coconut falls on Dude’s head, Audrey comes out of “retirement” and wows the crowd with her singing of Nick’s song. She and Nick get a contract with Capitol records, the chores are done spick and span, and Jessie gets her real wishes, which she modestly never vocalized, namely that Nick be her boyfriend and that a reunion with her father might be accomplished. She even gets back her lost slippers. This is a “once upon a time” that ends “happily ever after.”]
Mannequin. Directed by Frank Borzage. 1937. 95 minutes. Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Cast: Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy, Alan Curtis, Ralph Morgan, Leo Gorcey, Elisabeth Risdon.
[Crawford, a poor girl, finds happiness by marrying the wealthy Tracy, after ditching her first con-artist husband. Cinderella finds her prince and comes into her own.]
Mannequin. Directed by Michael Gottlieb. 1987. 90 minutes. Screenplay by Ed Rugoff. Music by Jefferson Starship. Cast: Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall (Emmy), Estelle Getty, James Spader, Meshach Taylor, Carole Davis, G. W. Bailey.
[A Pygmalion-like young artist, Andrew McCarthy, creates a perfect mannequin (Kim Kattrall) with which he finds himself in love. But he is fired from his department store job for devoting so much time to it. After being dismissed from several other jobs he saves the widowed heiress of the Prince Corporation from being hit by a falling billboard. She has him hired. The falling billboard was not an accident but a plot to eradicate the woman so that Prince might be taken over by the competing department store that had just fired McCarthy. The manager of the Prince Company (James Spader) is in cahoots with the competition and is committed to destroying the business. But McCarthy, with Emmy his mannequin, creates such window displays that Prince Co. becomes the leading store, and he is made vice president. Like Galatea, Emmy his mannequin comes to life in their private moments together and is a crucial factor in the success of his displays. After various attempts to find out the secret of his success and to hire him away from Prince Company, the opposition steals the mannequin and, after McCarthy still won’t quit Prince Company, his ex-girlfriend (who works for the opposition) attempts to shred the mannequin. But McCarthy catches Emmy’s arm just before the shredder blades reach her, and she comes to life for good, even in public. The crooks are incarcerated, and in McCarthy and Cattrall’s last fabulous window display the couple is married. Cinderella has been released from myth entrapment into the delights of real life with her prince. The film contains several dance sequences and acting displays that echo functions of Cinderella stories and their analogues.]
Marriage Italian Style. Directed by Vittorio De Sica. 1964. 102 minutes. Produced by Carlo Ponti. Based on the book Filumena Marturano, by Eduardo De Filippo. Cast: Sophia Loren (Filumena), Marcello Mastroianni (Antonino), Aldo Puglisi, Tecia Scarano, Marilu Tolo.
[During the war, having been abused by her father, Filumena takes refuge with a friend in a bordello, where, during an air raid, she meets Antonino, a wealthy young man whose pleasures don’t jibe with attachment. After the war Filumena makes her way as a prostitute but also as a kept woman by Antonino. He gives her a flat, where she works at the upkeep, then installs her with his imbecilic mother. Cinderella-like, Filumena scrubs the floors, cleans the house, looks after the incontinent mother, and loves Antonino, when he’s around. She manages his restaurant business while he runs around. After several years he decides to marry someone younger. Filumena pretends to be on the verge of death, and so, upon advice of her priest, he marries her instead of the young fiancée, thinking she will die but at least have a chance of heaven. But she doesn’t die, and he has the marriage annulled. She meanwhile reveals to him that she has had three children, one of whom is his. He becomes intrigued as he wonders which one is his, begins to observe Filumena’s achievements as a “working girl,” raising the boys without their knowing that she is their mother, drops his youthful fiancée, and, after some fierce contests of will with Filumena, marries her again, this time for good. She gets the prince, but only after much emotional turmoil and personal sacrifice. But it is clear at the end that she has made him see and has come into her own as a person, despite the perpetually hostile circumstances.]
Mean Girls. Directed by Mark Waters. Written by Rosalind Wiseman and Tina Fey. 2004. 97 min. Cast: Lindsay Lohan (Cady Heron), Rachel McAdams (Regina George), Tina Fey (Ms. Norbury), Lizzy Caplan (Janis), Daniel Franzese (Damian), Jonathan Bennett (Aaron Samuels).
[The film, based on Rosalind Wiseman’s Queen Bees and Wannabees, opens with the first day of school for Cady Heron, a teenage girl who has been homeschooled in Africa by her anthropologist parents until her mother takes a professorship in the US. Cady befriends Janis and Damian, a pair of independently-minded outsiders, but she quickly gains the attention of Regina George, leader of a clique called The Plastics. She also attracts the attention of Regina's boyfriend, Aaron Samuels. At Janis's urging, Cady infiltrates The Plastics. However, Cady becomes caught up in her own popularity. Enticed by Regina, Cady abandons Janis and Damian to become more and more like Regina and her friends. She becomes shallow, devious, and downright cruel as she seeks to win Aaron's affection by deliberately failing math and to destroy Regina's popularity by giving her high-calorie meal bars to make Regina gain weight. The feuding between the high school girls culminates in an all-out brawl among all the girls in the year. When Ms. Norbury, a math teacher who has tried to mentor Cady, tries to restore order, Janis reveals Cady's duplicity to Regina in front of all of their female classmates. Regina storms out of the school, and when Cady follows, Regina shouts insults at her – until a passing school bus mows Regina down in the street. Blame is placed on Cady, who goes from adored to despised by her classmates. However, Cady tries to set things right. At the Spring Fling, the end-of-year-dance, she makes peace with Regina, Aaron, and Janis and Damian. The film ends with a scene from the new school year; all the cliques have broken up, and there is harmony in “Girl World.”] [Annotation by Kara L. McShane]
Midnight. Directed by Mitchell Leisen (1939). 94 minutes. Written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Based on a story by Edwin Eustus Mayer and Franz Schulz. Produced by Arthur Hornblow, Jr. Cast: Claudette Colbert (Eve Peabody), Don Ameche (Tibor Czerny), George Flammarion (John Barrymore), Mary Astor (Helene Flammarion), Francis Lederer (Jacques Picot), Rex O’Malley (Marcel Renard), Elaine Barrie (Simone), Hedda Hopper (Stephanie), Monty Woolley (The Judge), Armand Kalit (Lebon).
[Screwball comedy with plenty of twists. The trailer for this movie ties the plot explicitly to Cinderella: the camera provides close up shots of an illustrated Cinderella book while a voice over tells the once upon a time story of poor Cinderella in the scullery, the fairy godmother’s turning the pumpkin into a coach, her happy time at the ball, and finally her marriage to Prince Charming; it then shows Claudette Colbert arriving in Paris broke, slipping into a chair at the soiree and being eyed by John Barrymore, who is identified as her fairy godfather, then being driven to the country estate in a Rolls Royce, identified as the fairy godfather’s carriage, then shots of her crazy time at ball, with the arrival of Don Ameche at midnight being identified with Prince Charming, and finally a clip of their happy exit from the divorce court, which is equated with Cinderella’s happily-ever-after conclusion. Synopsis: Eve Peabody, a girl from Kokomo, Indiana, trying to find a rich husband in order to avoid the woes of poverty experienced by her parents, arrives in Paris having lost at Monte Carlo roulette every penny of a settlement from an English Lord’s mother, whose son she’d tried to entrap. Tibor Czerny, a Hungarian cab driver, offers her what she calls his pumpkin coach (i.e., cab) in the rain and tries to help her find work. She gets mixed up with a bunch of aristocrats where she passes herself off as the Countess Czerny. George Flammarion, who is on to her disguise, plays fairy godmother in an attempt to save his own marriage from Jacques Picot, a roué. George gets them all to a ball at his country estate but the disguises are almost exposed at midnight, a difficult time for Cinderella, we are told. But Tibor arrives in the nick of time disguised as Count Czerny. After a couple more witty twists Eve and Tibor finally work things out, and we are left with the image of Cinderella getting a prince of a man as they set out for the justice of the peace to get married in fact. Eve assures Tibor that life will be jolly for them, come what may.]
Midnight. Written and directed by Norman Thaddeus Vane. 1989. 90 minutes. Produced by Gloria Morrison. Director of Photography David Golia. SVS Films. Cast: Lynn Redgrave (Midnight, the horror movie hostess, really named Vera Conk), Steve Parrish (Mickey Moffat, a hunk of dynamite with a nine inch fuse, number one fan and new lover of Midnight), Tony Curtis (Bengy, a corrupt producer and womanizer, known as Mr. B.), Karen Witter (Missy Angel, the sex bomb who sells herself for parts), Frank Gorshin (Ron, Midnight’s agent), Gustav Vintas (Siegfried, Midnight’s chauffeur and butler), Rita Gam (Heide, Midnight’s maid), Robert Miano (Arnold, Mr. B’s assistant), Wolfman Jack (himself), Gloria Morrison (girl reporter), Robert Axelrod (Ozzie), Barry Diamond (Wally), Nathan Le Grand (Hank), Virginia Cole (TV reporter), and Natalie Cole’s snake.
[Vera Conk works as a waitress, gets her break when she gets invited to a Halloween party by Mr. B., and becomes a star as ghoulish hostess of a weekly horror movie TV show. Mr. B. wants copyrights to her program. She refuses. Siegfried plays fairy godmother eliminating threats to Midnight, including her agent, Missy Angel (a real bad stepsister), and finally Mr. B. himself. But she gets her prince in the end after a super job of play-acting dead. Satire on vampirism and fandom and the price people pay for an audience.]
Mondo Trasho. Produced, directed, written, filmed, and edited by John Waters. 1969. 95 minutes. A Dreamland Film. Cast: Mary Vivian Pearce (the Cinderella woman), Divine (Divine), Mink Stole (the mad dancer in the insane asylum), David Lochary (Dr. Coathanger), John Leisenring (the Shrimper).
[Waters’ first full length film, a satire on trashy cultural fantasies and the fetishes and mutilations that accompany them, particularly of women. The film is essentially without speaking parts; instead, popular songs mainly of the thirties, forties, fifties, and sixties, along with cuts from the classics (Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Ima Sumac singing Villa Lobos’ Brazilian songs, bits from Wagnerian opera, etc.) and a couple of May West voiceovers and other movie sound tracks (Tarzan and war movies, etc.), provide the culture-of-desire commentary for the stark plot. A woman, dressed in short- shorts, fishnet stockings, and heavy makeup, but mainly wrapped up in herself, leaves her basement apartment (n.b., rising from abasement motif) amidst wolf whistles to which she is oblivious to catch a bus (“Pomp and Circumstance”), where she reads Hollywood Babylon. She gets off at the city park (“Jumbalio”) where she feeds hamburger to cockroaches (“Sitting on a park bench”). In the park she is stalked by a “shrimper” (“Heart of my heart, I’m following you”) who, after startling her (“I want you, I need you”), licks her toes, thereby arousing her. A mother with baby-carriage primly strolls by (“Little Bitty Pretty One”) and scorns smuggly the park bench scene. The heroine takes a breath-freshener and goes to a secluded wood where the stalker places his cloak on the ground for her, then lies down as she does and licks her foot and sandal straps lasciviously (classical violin music, “Strangers in the Night” [Frank Sinatra], and “Almost Like Being in Love,” while she has an orgasmic S&M fantasy in which she is Cinderella, oppressed by her stepsisters, then in a ballgown which they rip from her; when the prince arrives she appears again on the staircase, the shoe fits and, as climax, the prince kisses her unshod foot (“Who’d a thought you could kiss that a way”). After her orgasm (“Almost like falling in love”) she gestures to the shrimper affectionately, but he ignores her (“See You Later Alligator”), leaving her confused and depressed (“Ricochet Love”). Meanwhile, Divine, in “her” red 1959 Cadillac El Dorado convertible, sees a young man standing by the curb, whom she undresses in her imagination as she drives by. Backing the car up to entice the stranger (bebop music, “Leader of the Pack” to a May West voiceover [“It’s not the man in your life, it’s the life in your man”], “Treat him right, every night,” and “She can’t have it, The girl can’t have it”), Divine runs over the Cinderella-fantasy woman who has just staggered (ricocheted) out of the woods to the drama of Ima Sumac music. Divine’s beef-cake disappears (“What ever happened to the boy I once knew”), and she picks the bloody Cinderella up from the dirt (further abasement), puts her in the Cadillac, and proceeds to play fairy godmother (Little Richard’s “Come on baby, let’s go down town,” Chuck Berry’s “No particular place to go, riding around in my automobile,” and “It only hurts for a little while”) as she goes to a used clothing store (“Come go with me” and “Going shopping”) and shoplifts a dress to fit her into (Franki Valli’s “Two faces have I”). As she leaves she goes down an alley and steals slippers from a girl lying drunk and unconscious (“She can’t help it, the girl can’t help it” and “Zabba zabbie do”), then takes the unconscious “Cinderella” to a laundromat (“Hunted fugitive – I’m a fugitive, I’d like to settle down … a fugitive must be a rollin’ stone,” and “The War March of the Priests”). After she washes and dresses her Cinderella, Divine is visited by the Virgin Mary (“Holy, holy, holy”) who reassures her against her guilt – she is still Divine, like a Fairy Godmother to a fairy godmother. In response Divine kisses Mary’s feet with extravagant prayers, which are answered by a fairy angel who provides a wheel chair(iot). As she returns to her car (“Oh lonesome me”), a hood steals Divine’s Cadillac convertible (“Saturday night and I just got paid”), and she and her wheelchair charge are abandoned until they get picked up, along with a madwoman (Mink Stole) who has escaped from the insane asylum, by asylum attendants who lock them all up (“Sakes alive, never thought it would happen to me,” Ima Sumac, Janice Joplin’s “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,” “I almost lost my mind,” and “Oh no, oh no, oh no, no, no, no,” and then, when thrown into the asylum station wagon, Beethoven’s fifth symphony). The asylum becomes, in effect, the fairy tale ball (“Off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz”). The patients try to get cigarettes from Divine and the comatose Cindy (“Keep your hands off my baby”). The asylum escapee (Mink Stole) does an erotic dance (“Take a number from one to ten”) to the cheers of fandom (“It’s star time”); she is then raped in a gangbang in which women as well as men patients participate before discarding her like a rag doll in a garbage bin. The Virgin Mary appears a second time in answer to Divine’s prayer for help, and her attendant (“Earth angel”) gives Divine a magic switch-blade-wand and a mink cloak for the unconscious Cinderella. The two escape through a window (“Come go with me”), hustle a cab, and go to Doctor Coathanger who, it turns out, runs an abortion/women’s mutilation clinic. In the waiting room the receptionist snorts cocaine and a perverted looking man ogles Divine as a partially nude woman crawls out of the operating room covered with blood, but is dragged back in. Next, Cinderella, still unconscious, finds herself on the operating table with one of the stepsisters from her earlier sexual dream now assisting with the procedure. Dr. Coathanger and his assistant (“Bad to the bone” and “Looking for trouble”) remove Cinderella’s feet (rather than foetus), using a bucksaw and a rotary saw to do the job (rock concert take – “Are you ready? Are you ready?” with Vincent Price voiceovers, along with dramatic organ music). They reattach hideous feet taken from a garbage pail into which foetus’s are discarded, while repeatedly vomiting on the patient as they sew on the new feet. As Cinderella comes to after the operation (“You’ve got the magic touch”), reporters catch up with Divine to interview her about the hit-and-run accident. She primps before the cameras, enjoying her celebrated criminal stature (“She’s so fine”). Simultaneously, there is a police raid on the clinic (“Blue moon” and “He’s so fine”), and in the melee Divine is knifed in the belly with her own switchblade (“Riot going on”). Dr. Coathanger escapes (“Along came John”), taking the wounded Divine and the now conscious and mobile Cinderella with him through a trash strewn street to a Buick 3-holer (“I’m Movin’ On,” 5th Symphony, “I almost flipped when she looked my way,” “Don’t let the stars get in your eyes,” and “Rescue me”). He stops at a school, tries to sell drugs to a child (“Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolli lolli lollipop”). He then drives on (“It’s just like heaven,” “Going to Kansas City,” and “I worry so much I make myself sick”) and abandons bleeding Divine and mutilated Cinderella in a wood (“Goodbye, goodbye, true love” and “Goodbye cruel world”). They wander (to Wagner’s Valkyrie) into a pig farm where Divine dies flopping in the muck, like the slaughtered chickens at the outset of the film. But at the moment of death the Virgin Mary reappears a third time (“Maybe if I pray every night”) and translates Divine out of the picture. A cow appears in the barnyard, perhaps a Cinderella-like reminder of the lost guardian. (N.b. various analogues where Cinderella’s mother is reincarnated as a cow). Cinderella, now alone with her ugly feet, surrounded by copulating pigs, plays Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, clicks her ruby heels together, and wishes herself back into the city (“Oh my love” and the Platters’ “She’s got the magic touch”). She finds herself once again in the wasteland streets of Baltimore (“Here I stand all alone in my lonely world”) where male teenagers drive by and moon her (“Wetta bed, wetta bed” and “Every body’s heard about the bird”). She then clicks herself uptown to a fashion-shop street (Jerry Lee Lewis’s “It’s a whole lot of shaking going on”), where two women try to identify her through a string of fifty or so derogatory names, which reduce and mutilate her even further – “dike, flower child, drag queen, washrag queen, junkie, gigolo, muffin queen, whore, hustler, chicken queen, beatnik, slut, shitkicker, nark, warmonger, dropout, yippie, jetsetter, rimmer, Hell’s angel, baby butch, hairhopper, B girl, S&M queen, draftdodger, dingleberry,” etc., until they become so disgusted they choose another corner to wait for their bus. “Let’s move up here. Maybe we can wait for the bus in peace.” Meanwhile, Cinderella clicks her heels together one last time to obliterate herself entirely from the movie (The End), still heavily made up, yearning, and mutilated. Obliteration seems the only way out of the world of trash.
The movie is remarkable in the number of feminist topics of the seventies and eighties that it anticipates – the beauty myth, body fetishes, zombieism, female mutilation, bulimia and anorexia, fandom and voyeurism, tabloid sensationalism, the media, abortion, misogyny, the virgin/whore dichotomy, women against women, women in straightjackets, madwomen locked in an asylum for obscene use, self-modelling through the clichés of pop culture (its movies and popsongs), the Cinderella complex, and the Ophelia complex.]
Mr. Cinderella. Directed by Edward Sedgwick. 1936. 120 minutes. A Hal Roach Production. Story by Jack Jevne. Screenplay by Richard Flournoy and Arthur Vernon Jones. Cast: Jack Haley (Joe Jenkins), Betty Furness (Patricia Randolph), Arthur Treacher (Watkins), Raymond Walburn (Peter Randolph), Robert McWade (Gates), Rosina Laurence (Mazie), Monroe Quisely (Aloysius Merriweather), Kathleen Lockhart (Aunt Penelope), Edward Brophy (Detective McNutt), Charlotte Wynters (Martha), Tom Dugan (Spike Nolan), Iris Adrian (Lil), Toby Wing (Lulu), Morgan Wallace (Fawcett), Arthur Aylesworth (Simpson), John Hyams (Mr. Wilburforce), Leila McIntyre (Mrs. Wilburforce).
[Joe Jenkins, barber to millionaire Alyosius Merriweather, is corralled into substituting for him for a dinner party at the Randolphs, who hope to lure him into financing their new diesel car that will work on crude oil. Beautiful daughter Patricia Randolph is supposed to keep him at dinner until her father gets home to close the deal. Merriweather, an alcoholic who has just married a poor girl, is in trouble with gangsters, who hire a gunman named Spike to kill him. He gets his barber to go in his place, insisting that he is the fairy god-mother who gives him his slippers to go to the ball and calls a taxi instead of a pumpkin to get him there. After many slapstick turns of fortune, Patricia falls in love with Joe, whom she knows from the beginning is the barber but keeps up the illusion to save the family estate, and Joe manages to come up with the needed $5,000,000 to save the company by getting a rival company to come up with the money to keep Randolph Auto Industry from marketing their “product.” The car does not work, but Joe puts Watkins under the hood to peddle the car so that it seems to work. The Randolphs get the check, and Joe gets the girl and becomes vice president of the company.]
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Directed by Frank Capra. 1936. 118 minutes. Screenplay by Robert Riskin. Based on Clarence Budington Kelland’s play Opera Hut. Cast: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, Raymond Walbum, Walter Catlett, Lionel Stander, George Bancroft, H.B. Warner, Ruth Donnelly, Douglass Dumbrille, Margaret Seddon, Margaret McWade.
[Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) inherits $20 million and is instantly labelled “Cinderella Man” by an aggressive woman reporter (Jean Arthur). Relatives and scoundrels make his life so miserable trying to get their hands on his fortune that he gives the all the money away in land grants to the needy who, if after three years make good on their land, get to keep it. The woman reporter hounds him, trying to fathom what the motivation might be behind his generosity. He becomes angry at her for writing about his strange behavior, and his greedy relatives have him jailed as a mental case. At the hearing he refuses to defend himself, but the woman reporter, called upon by the prosecutor, turns to his defense, admitting that she has fallen in love with him. Likewise, all the farmers that he had helped come to his defense. During the testimony Longfellow recognizes that he too is in love with the reporter, and we have a happy Frank Capra ending with the stepfamily thwarted and the prince of a guy getting the princess of a girl.]
Muriel’s Wedding. Directed by P. J. Hogan. 1995. 105 minutes. Cast: Toni Collette (Muriel), Bill Hunter (her politician father), Rachel Griffiths (her one best friend).
[An Australian Cinderella story with a twist. Muriel dreams of little else than being married. But her schoolmates in Porpoise Spit scorn her for being over-weight, plain, and a hindrance to fast social life, weddings, etc. Muriel gets access to her father’s savings through the befuddled generosity of her mother and escapes to Sydney with a new carefree girlfriend, who helped Muriel to gain enough self-esteem to break free from the shallow friends. In Sydney she still hopes to meet her Prince Charming; she has one date, but that gets disrupted. Her friend becomes debilitated with cancer, and Muriel answers a newspaper ad from a man in search of an Australian wife. He, it turns out, is a South African swimmer who needs Australian citizenship in order to compete in the Olympics. After a grandscale wedding Muriel, who had changed her name to Marial, hoping somehow to secure an identity of her own, learns of her mother’s suicide and returns home. She stands up to her father, who had always abused his whole family as if they were nothing, reaccepts the name her mother gave her, but returns to Sydney, taking her now invalid friend with her. She rejects the fairy-tale fantasies which had perpetuated her abuse, leaves the husband (who was really no husband, though he was a meal ticket) as well, and says goodbye to Porpoise Spit, apparently at last a healthy person.]
Mutzmag: An Appalachian Folktale. Directed by Tom Davenport. 1992. 53 minutes. Cast: Robbie Sams (Mutzmag), Sheila Barnhill (mother), Eve Moenning (stepsister Poll), Michelle Johnson (stepsister Nance), Nancy Robinette (scared lady), Stephanie Jones (witcherwoman), Bart Whiteman (giant), Jerry Plemmons (rich man), Jan Meredith (rich man’s wife).
[Tenth film in Tom and Mimi Davenport’s series From the Brothers Grimm. Winner of a dozen film awards. Derived in part from “Molly Whuppie” stories. When her mother dies, 12 year old Mutzmag is left scrambling, trying to look after the house, cabbage patch, and two mean-tempered stepsisters who treat her like dirt. The lazy sisters set out to find a job in a chocolate factory rather than help with the work at home. They try to ditch Mutzmag, then, when she persists in coming along, think to pass her off as their servant. They come to an ogre and witch’s house where the cannibal witch would have killed all three were it not for Mutzmag’s cleverness. After they escape a rich man sends them back to destroy the witch for a $1000 reward. The two lazy sisters head for elsewhere, but Mutzmag cleverly succeeds in slaying the witch and reaps the $1000. The rich people then talk her into going back to slay the giant and recover their horse, which Mutzmag succeeds in doing with the assistance of her mother’s ball of string and pocket knife (her mother’s parting gift to Mutzmag when she died). With her second $1000 reward she has enough to build a house across the road from the rich people and enjoy a happy life. The videotape of this movie includes a documentary discussion of its making.]
My Fair Lady. Directed by George Cukor. 1964. 170 minutes. Warner Brothers. Produced by Herman Levin, from the Lerner and Loewe musical. Screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner. Costumes by Cecil Beaton. Cast: Audrey Hepburn (Elisa), Rex Harrison (Henry Higgins), Stanley Holloway (Colonel Pickering), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Mrs. Pearce), Gladys Cooper (Mrs. Higgins), Jeremy Brett (Freddy), Theodore Bikel (Doolittle).
[Follows the ending of the Pygmalion movie, where Eliza returns to Higgins for a romantic conclusion. See Lerner’s comment on the ending in the Penguin screenplay edition under Opera and Musicals.]
An Officer and a Gentleman. Directed by Taylor Hackford. 1981. 124 minutes. Paramount. Produced by Martin Elfand. Written by Douglas Day Stewart. Music by Jack Nitzsche. Cast: Richard Gere (Zack Mayo), Debra Winger (Paula Pokritki), David Keith (Sid Worley), Lisa Blount (Lynette Pomeroy), Robert Loggia (Byron Mayo, the derelict father),Lisa Eilbacher (Casey Seeger, the woman cadet), Louis Gossett, Jr. (Sgt. Emil Foley), Tony Plana (Emiliano Della Serra), Harold Sylverster (Perryman, the black cadet), David Caruso (Topper Daniels), Victor French (Joe Pokritki, Paula’s stepfather), Grace Zabriskie (Esther Pokritki, her mother), Tommy Peterson (Young Zack).
[A double Cinderella story, one male and the other female. Zack Mayo, mother dead by suicide without even writing a note, grows up on a Philippine naval base with his no-good alcoholic father. Though street-wise he goes to college and enters training camp to become a navy jet pilot. His fairy godparents are drill sergeant Foley, who transforms him into a man of sterling character, and Paula, who teaches him the value of intimacy. Zack grows from a loner to one who helps other cadets, daring to oppose the system for the sake of friendship and humanity. His buddy Sid drops out of the program because of a woman; like Zack’s mother he commits suicide without saying goodbye. But Zack’s sense of self and emotions have grown sufficiently, through the guidance of the Iron John-like drill sergeant and his girlfriend Paula, that he receives his commission, becomes a shining white-suited officer, and rescues his lady from the paper factory where she seems doomed, like her mother, to drudgery forever. Working-girl Paula Pokritki is the other Cinderella figure, who earns her wings also, as Zack, once he is commissioned, comes into the factory to carry her away to a new life. Her father was an officer’s candidate who got Esther (the mother) pregnant, then left for flight school, abandoning the pregnant woman to hard work the rest of her days in the paper factory and an unhappy marriage. Paula, like Zack, has been raised in a hostile and disconnected environment without benefit of father. As she goes to the naval base seeking adventure she seems at first to be repeating her mother’s errors, but is, in fact, virtuously determined to make a different life for herself. Though she receives disloyal advice from the stepsister-like friend Lynette, she gets help from her mother. Love provides the key to her transformation as she demonstrates loyalty, friendship, sound and caring advice, as well as patience and restraint. That combination enables her to win her dreams and the prince. Paula and Zack move on, leaving Sid dead, the deceitful Lynette still trapped in the factory, a mother now vindicated, and Sergeant Foley still transforming new crops of recruits.]
Once Upon a Loss: A New Look at Cinderella. Produced and directed by Carolyn Russell Stonewell. 1995. 49 minutes. Elephant Films. Editing and camera by Tom Hill. Psychological advisor: Winona Hubrecht.
[A documentary film about loss, despair, and the remembering of mother. The film tells the stories of four women: Carolyn (whose fears of losing mother stem from her mother going off to work when she was a small child), Maggie (from a wealthy family who sent her to boarding school and who had an easy time of life except in ways that mattered emotionally), Jean Kilbourne (who was an achiever from earliest childhood, a fashion model, and eventually a critic of the manipulation of women through advertising), and Lori Zett (an Italian-American whose mother “disgraced” the family, whose father committed suicide, who attempted suicide herself, but eventually found happiness by becoming a sculptor) — all of whom lost their mothers to death or abandonment. The self-reflective biographies are framed in conjunction with an off-screen retelling of Grimm’s Ashenputtel, with on-screen paintings by Karen Lisa Friedman. The biographical and narrative materials are tied together through interpretation of Grimm’s Cinderella by Kathrin Asper, a Swiss Jungian analyst, who explicates the story as a parable of emotional abandonment (the wounding), grief (mourning), and an individual’s search for self-identity and self-esteem. All three of the film’s components (the Cinderella story, the autobiographies, and the analysis) explore grief, mourning, sorrow, and healing in terms of Western society’s attitudes toward death and repression of feelings toward the deceased and bereavement. The film is marketed through the University of California Extension Center for Media and Independent Learning, Berkeley. See Kathrin Asper and Jean Kilbourne under Criticism and her two documentaries, Killing Us Softly (1987, 2000) and Slim Hopes (1995) listed here.]
Once Upon a Time (TV Series). Creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis. 2011-

Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White/Mary Margaret), Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan, daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming), Josh Dallas (David Nolan/Prince Charming), Lana Parrilla (The Evil Queen/Regina Mills, adopted mother of Henry), Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills, son of Emma Swan), and Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin).
[Working within Disney’s corpus of fairy tales, the show shifts between a fairy tale setting where The Evil Queen destroys the world be sending everyone into the “real” world of Storybrooke, Maine. Multiple fairy tales move around each other, but the story of Snow White is the foundation of the show. Episode 104, “The Price of Gold,” specifically focuses on Cinderella, adding a Faustian plot.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Pan’s Labyrinth. Directed and Written by Guillermo del Toro. 2006. 119 minutes. Cast: Ivana Baquero (Ofelia), Sergi López (Captain Vidal), Maribel Verdú (Mercedes), Doug Jones (The Faun), Ariadna Gil (Carmen Vidal).
[In this symbolically lavish film, a young girl returns to the magical land of her birth in a story set after the Spanish Civil War that focuses on the mental and physical journeys required to achieve happiness. The film begins by telling the audience of a princess from the underground who briefly ventures into the surface world before dying. When the main story begins, Ofelia travels with her mother, Carmen, to meet her new husband, Captain Vidal, a fascist focused on ideas of military courage and heritage. The high pregnant Carmen travels too close to her due date, resulting in poor health. During their journey, she chides Ofelia for her love of books and fairy tales, but the audience sees the main character’s curiosity and innocent outlook on the world as she follows a dragon fly to find the old Labyrinth behind the captain’s estate. The film focuses on the journey of the mind more than the body as the director focuses on how each character views the world. As Carmen struggles to teach Ofelia how to mature from a small girl into a young woman by providing her with a new dress, Ofelia encounters a Faun who tells her of her true heritage. She is the princess from the underground world, but she must pass three tests to prove that she has not been tainted by her time in an earthly dimension. For her first task, she must crawl under a tree, through the mud to destroy a toad, and retrieve a key. This act of degradation resembles the loss of status required in most folktales, particularly Cinderella. The girl completes her first task well, but as her mother’s health begins to fade, she begins to focus on the “real” world instead of the “magical” journey she must undergo. The Faun yells at her delay but offers her a Mandrake root, and the girl’s belief in the root’s power appears to alleviate her mother’s level of pain. As her mother’s health weakens, Ofelia turns to Mercedes, the housekeeper who assists her brother and the other rebels and who will function as a surrogate mother by encouraging the girl to have hope and believe in the impossible. The film draws on myth for Ofelia’s second challenge. She has to retrieve an item from another dimension, and when she enters the other world, she must pass a long table filled with food but cannot eat or drink anything. Initially, she survives her encounter with a Pale Man, a monster who appears to have no eyes, but who devours children. Although Ofelia will choose the correct door and find a dagger, she will give in to her desires for food and reach for a grape from a platter of fruit also containing persimmons. Like Persephone, her choice taints her. Although she will escape the Pale Man, the Faun will reject her and the magical bond between the Mandrake and the mother will begin to fade. Eventually, Captain Vidal, acting as a wicked-stepfather, finds the Mandrake and confronts Ofelia before Carmen intervenes. Once she learns of the girl’s belief in magic, she casts the mandrake root into the fire, and this act appears to trigger the delivery of her son. Carmen dies during the birth, and Ofelia turns to Mercedes for comfort. The Captain realizes that Mercedes assists the rebels, but her bond with Ofelia nearly betrays them both as the housekeeper attempts to take the girl with her into the woods. Although Mercedes will manage to escape the Captain again, Ofelia ends up locked in her room before the Faun appears and offers her one last chance to redeem herself: the third task. In order to complete the objective, the Faun resembles the fascist Captain and demands the girl obey him without question. When the Faun tells her to bring her brother to the Labyrinth, she hesitates but plots to escape her room and drug the Captain in order to reach her brother. The rebels also choose this evening to attack the compound. The Captain begins to react to the medicine but can focus enough to chase Ofelia and her brother into the maze. The girl meets the Faun at the center, where he demands that she shed a few drops of her brother’s blood as the gateway to her world requires the blood of an innocent. Ofelia, like Cinderella, demonstrates her virtue through her restraint rather than her physical might. She refuses his command even as he angrily taunts her over the loss of her mother. At last he appears to accept her decision, and as the Captain enters the center of the maze, the Faun turns invisible so the Captain cannot see him. The step-father takes his son away from Ofelia and shoots her in the chest. As she begins to die, her blood spills down the central stairway within the Labyrinth. When the Captain leaves the maze, he discovers the rebels have overrun his estate, and they kill him without passing on his legacy of violence. Mercedes takes his son and runs into the maze only to find Ofelia’s body, but Ofelia does not die in her mind or in a folklore sense. Instead, she is transformed and enters another dimension as she appears dressed in regal robes facing her “real” father’s court. Her mother, holding her brother, her father, the Faun, and the people of the realm all welcome her home. The film ends with the narrator telling of her reign in the alternate reality and how traces of her remain in this world.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
The Piano. Written and directed by Jane Campion. 1994. 121 minutes. Produced by Jan Chapman. Cast: Holly Hunter (Ada), Harvey Keitel (Baines), Sam Neill (Stewart), Anna Paquin (Flora), Kerry Walker (Aunt Morag), Genevieve Lemon (Nessie), Tungia Baker (Hima), Ian Munc (Reverend), Peter Bennett (Ulau Slaman), Te Whatanui Skipwith (Chief Nihe), Pet Smith (Honi) Bruce Allpress (Blind Piano Tuner), Cliff Curtis (Mana), Carla Rupuha (Heni the Mission Girl), Mahuna Tunui (Mami the Mission Girl), Hori Amipine (Mutu), Gordon Hatfield (Te Komi), Meme Roynton (Chief Nihe’s daughter), Kirsten Hailey (Marama), Tania Birney (Mahina), Annie Edwards (Te Tiwha), Harina Haare (Roimata), Christine Harimate (Parcarau), Flynn (Baine’s dog).
[Ada, a woman who has been mute since age six, is married by arrangement to Stewart, a New Zealand settler. She brings with her her daughter Flora and her piano. Flora serves as her mother’s interpreter and makes up myths explaining her mother’s circumstances. The piano serves as a kind of talisman for Ada, her voice. Stewart is essentially deaf to Ada’s plight. Baines, who has worked with the Mauri natives and even bears their tattoos on his face, develops an understanding of Ada, buys her piano from Stewart, moves the piano from the beach into his house and bargains with Ada for lessons. But the lessons become something other than piano lessons. Rather they become lessons in listening and a kind of barter of undressing as the strictures of a strict Calvinist colonialism are breached. Ada and Baines enter into a kind of exchange, a non-verbal discourse. Stewart locks Ada up in the house after his eyes have been opened to the discourse (though he remains deaf to what is being said), then, still misunderstanding the voicing, gives Ada liberty to come out of the house. But, when she attempts, once more, to contact Baines, who has announced that he is leaving the settlement, Stewart chops off her index finger with an axe, vowing to cut off the others if she makes any further such efforts. But as he attempts to have intercourse with her in her sick bed she stares her message into his consciousness and he releases her to leave with Baines. Crossing the ocean toward a New Zealand town in a Mauri canoe Ada insists that the piano be cast overboard. Her foot gets caught in a rope and she is dragged into the sea with the piano. But she manages to get her shoe off, thus releasing her foot so that she may surface to a new life. She starts her new beginning in a town with Baines where she learns to talk again, accepting the notion of her freakiness as she gives piano lessons with a metal finger on her right hand that Baines has made for her. Her story ends with her reflecting, in the words of a Thomas Hood sonnet on death and silence, on her sojourn in the depths of the sea attached to the piano. The film engages its issues through several Cinderella, Beauty and Beast, and Bluebeard analogues; the gaining of voice and an audience that listens; release from oppression, both social and personal; clothing tropes (though here the matter becomes one of undressing rather than dressing whereby the native within can be released from the stays and lacings of Calvinist propriety); various descents (mud, hills and valleys, and the sea) after which the viator ascends into a new life, like Allereirauh or Donkey-skin, rid of the old skin; release through the loss of her shoe; and so on. Her daughter, Flora, with her dancing, singing, mythmaking, and imagination, serves a kind of Dionysian function in much of the film that helps to measure her mother’s journey from a kind of fetal existence into life. The piano talisman is not unlike Vasillisa’s doll, which is put aside when Ada is finally ready to join a society that can hear her and will listen.]
Platinum Blonde. Directed by Frank Capra. 1931. 89 minutes. Story by Harry Chandlee and Douglas W. Churchill. Screenplay by Dorothy Howell and Jo Swerling. Dialogue by Robert Riskin. Cast: Loretta Young (Gallagher), Robert Williams (Stew Smith), Jean Harlow (Ann Schyler), Halliwell Hobbes (Smythe, the Butler), Reginald Owen (Grayson), Walter Catlett (Bingy), Louise Closser Hale (Mrs. Schyler).
[Stew Smith, a reporter, is sent to investigate a scandal associated with the multi-millionaire Schyler family (the boy has paid off a showgirl after breech of promise). The reporter and the daughter fall for each other. Gallagher, one of the “guys” in the pressroom, yearns for Stew’s affection, but he looks on her as a buddy rather than a girl. The heiress and reporter elope. The papers paint him as “Cinderella man,” otherwise known as Ann Schyler’s husband, but he claims that he continues to wear the pants in the family. Gallagher comes as reporter to a reception for the ambassador. Ann discovers that Gallagher is a girl and is jealous and rude. Stew begins to see that Gallagher is a girl. He has been trying to write a play but gets no where. Ann tries to get him to wear garters and be a gentleman, but with little success. She goes out to a soirée with friends. Stew stays home to work on the play. He calls Gallagher to help him with the plot. She comes with the whole newsroom. Ann returns at midnight, furious. Stew comes to his senses and moves back to his apartment to work on the play, which now follows the story of a working man being humiliated by a princess. In the play the good guy comes to his senses and weds the other girl. Stew realizes that it’s Gallagher he has loved all along, and they conclude the plot and play with a passionate embrace.]
Poor Cinderella. See Betty Boop, above.

Popeye the Sailor: Ancient History. Directed by Seymour Kneital. Associated Artists Production. Story by Irving Spector. Animation by Al Engster and M. B. Pattengill. Scenics by Robert Connavale. Music by Winston Sharples.
[A flyer announces: “Calling all men: The Grand Ball where ye fair Princess Olive will choose her Prince from Amongst ye Males.” Popeye is working as a slave in Bluto’s Beanery, using both hands and both feet simultaneously for diverse tasks. Bluto goes to the ball leaving Popeye behind, exhausted: “Gee, I wisht I was going to the ball.” His fairy godfather appears in top hat and Renaissance courtly dress. He has Popeye fetch a can of spinach which he turns into an orange limousine, then clothes Popeye like a courtier, warning him to get back by midnight, when all will be turned back to what it was. “Well, what d’ya know!” Popeye responds. At the ball Princess Olive appears at the head of the stairs and falls down, landing before Bluto, who pulls the crown off her head and tries it on. Popeye appears and Olive, moon struck, grabs him and asks him to come with her to the Casbah. Bluto challenges him: “I seeneth her first.” “Soeth what?” Popeye replies. Olive asks for an archery contest to determine the winner of her hand. Pluto shoots first, misses, but grabs the target to move it into the right place for a bull’s eye. As Popeye prepares his turn Bluto sneaks up behind and bends the arrow into a boomerang. The arrow circles the target, flies over the heads of Olive and Popeye and out the window. We hear a moo, and a bull appears at the window with a black eye. Olive declares that he “hitteth ye real bull’s eye” and embraces Popeye. But Bluto challenges Popeye to a duel with pistols. As Popeye counts off the ten paces, Bluto moves a cannon into place before him and blows him out of the palace and back into his limo. A cuckoo clock announces “Twelve o’clock and all ain’t well.” But when the coach turns back into a can of spinach Popeye knows what to do, rescues Olive, knocking Bluto out of his armor which falls on him trapping him in an iron stove. The loving couple rides of to live happily ever after–sort of. As they depart Olive kisses Popeye so joyously that the ventaille on his helmet snaps closed catching Olive’s nose, stretching it longer than a hotdog as she tries to free herself. The End.]
Pretty in Pink. Directed by Howard Deutch. 1986. 96 minutes. Executive producer: John Hughes. Screenplay by John Hughes. Music Michael Gore. Paramount. Cast: Molly Ringwald (Andie Walsh, the motherless Cinderella figure who makes her own clothes and decisions, but mothers her father and dreams of life in a better neighborhood), Harry Dean Stanton (Jack Walsh, her father, who, in his despair, tries to be godmother to his daughter), Jon Cryer (Duckie Dale, her childhood buddy, who loves her and ultimately does what he can to help), Annie Potts (Iona, friend and record store manager, who has had her own dreams thwarted but dreams nonetheless), Andrew McCarthy (Blane McDonough, the crown prince of McDonaugh Electric), James Spader (Steff McKee, the rich shit who thinks he can buy whatever he wants), Kate Vernon (Benny, Steff’s rich bitch and mean stepsister to Andie), Alexa Kenin (Jena, Andie’s classmate friend who won’t take shit from the rich, even in gym class), Dweezil Zappa (Simon, Jena’s friend), Jim Haynie (Donnelly), Andrew “Dice” Clay (Bouncer), Emily Longstreth (Kate), Margaret Cohn (English Teacher), Jamie Anders (Terrence), Gina Gershom (Benny’s girl friend in gym class), Bader Howar (Salesgirl), Christian Jacobs (Boy in Tracks Record Store), Audre Johnston (Benny’s Mother), Melanie Manos (Girl at party), Maggie Roswell (Mrs. Dietz), Kristy Swanson (Duckette), Kevin D. Lindsay (Kevin from the pet store).
[Career-minded girl from the wrong side of the tracks meets rich boy heart-throb and survives the senior prom. Study in Cinderella ideology, peer pressure, class violence, adolescent anguish, and the importance of facing things. A superbly made movie in its character study and construction of class conflict, level-headed aspirations, and the coming to grips with one’s aspirations. The title song “Pretty in Pink” is sung by Psychedelic Furs. Opening shots of street sweeper and wrong side of the railroad tracks which then lead into Andie’s putting on stockings and shoes introduce Cinderella typology at the outset. In this “missing mother” Cinderella Andie’s father is a kind of fairy godmother as he buys her a prom dress. But the typology is reversed in that Andie is the one who cares for and instructs parent as she gets him up in the morning and tries to get him to secure a job. He, on the other hand, does much of the housework, cleaning, etc., overwhelmed by his sense of grief and inadequacy due to the wife/mother’s abandonment of him and Andie three years earlier, when she was fourteen. Duckie resembles Buttons in the British Cinderella pantomimes in his comic behavior and devotion to Andie. His moment of maturity occurs at the end when he puts his blessing on Andie’s relationship with Blane.]
Pretty Woman. Directed by Garry Marshall. Book by J. F. Lawton. Touchstone Pictures. 1990. 119 minutes. Cast: Richard Gere (Edward Lewis), Julia Roberts (Vivian Ward), Ralph Bellamy (James Morse, a ship builder in need of financial backing), Jason Alexander (Philip Stuckey, Edward Lewis’ lawyer), Laura San Giacomo (Kit De Luca), Hector Elizondo (Mr. Thompson, the Hotel Manager), Alex Hyde-White (David Morse), Elinor Donohue (Bridget, a kind saleslady).
Music: “Five for Louie,” “King of Wishful Thinking,” “Real Wild Child,” “Show Me Your Soul,” “Fame 90,” “Life in Detail,” “Tangled,” “Kiss,” “Wild Women Do,” “Pretty Woman,” “Songbird,” “You Don’t Understand,” “One Sweet Letter from You,” “Fallen,” “It Might Have Been Love,” “No Explanation,” “She Rescues Him Right Back,” excerpts from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and “La Traviata.” Film clips on TV from “I Love Lucy” and “Charades.”
[A study in the debilitation of prostitution of all kinds in a capitalist society where people “screw people for money” at the expense of their souls and any capacity for meaningful intimacy. Vivian, an idealistic and naively wholesome prostitute, who came to LA from rural Georgia with a bum at age 15, worked at fast food jobs, then parked cars before taking up with Kit to turn tricks for money, meets Edward, a cold-hearted, middle-aged tycoon in need of directions, on Hollywood Boulevard. She gives him directions and a driving lesson as well. He clothes her and adopts her as his paid escort. After several trials, including a “My Fair Lady” like trek to the polo grounds, in which Edward’s playing Pygmalion backfires on him as his Galatea threatens to leave, they come to see the people behind the masks in each other. Through their mutual intimacy they get their feet on the ground and, together, learn to walk away from the bad situations. In a romantic conclusion Edward gives himself to her childhood dream as he rides up in his charging white limousine, climbs to her on a fire escape, despite his fear of heights, and gives her roses. Then, as he clings to her, wondering in terror at what happens next, she volunteers to rescue him right back, which, given her new found confidence, she can do. Even Kit, the other prostitute, comes to see possibilities in dreams of some “Cinderfuckinrella” that become possible through restored self-esteem.]
The Prince and Me. Dir. Martha Coolidge. Screenplay by Jack Amiel, Michael Begler, and Katherine Fugate. Story by Mark Aman and Katherine Fugate. Paramount Pictures, 2004. 110 minutes. Starring Julia Stiles (Paige Morgan), Luke Mably (Prince Edvard/Eddie), Ben Miller (Soren), Miranda Richardson (Queen Rosalind), James Fox (King Haraald), Alberta Watson (Amy Morgan), John Bourgeois (Ben Morgan), Zachary Knighton (John Morgan), Stephen O'Reilly (Mike Morgan), Elizabeth Waterston (Beth Curtis), Eliza Bennett (Princess Arabella), Devin Ratray (Scotty), Clara Preuss (Stacey), Isnani King (Amanda), Eddie Irvine (Himself), Angelo Tsarouches (Stu), Jacques Tourangeau (Professor Amiel), Joanne Baron (Margueritte, the Royal Designer), Stephen Singer (Professor Begler), Sarah Manninen (Kristi), Tony Munch (Professor Kopetski).
[Paige, a Wisconsin farm girl, works hard at the University of Wisconsin in hope of getting into The Johns Hopkins Medical School; Prince Edvard of Denmark works hard trying to avoid royalty in order to have fun with girls or at racing. He insists on going incognito to America to see what large-breasted Wisconsin girls would be like. (He saw some in a porno video). Taking Soren, his servant with him, he enters the University of Wisconsin where he meets Paige, who scorns his fresh behavior. He becomes her lab partner in chemistry and quotes Romeo and Juliet to her, which she scorns. But she is doing poorly in Shakespeare. So he helps her in literature, and she helps him in chemistry. Best friend Beth tricks Paige into inviting Eddie home for Thanksgiving. He wins the Thanksgiving lawnmower race, and she begins to fall for him. They finally kiss in the library, but Danish photographers, in search of the prince, catch them kissing, and suddenly Paige becomes world famous. She rejects him for deceiving her, but discovering that he is THE prince of Denmark begins to understand him better and herself too, whereupon she realizes that she loves him. But he, learning of his father's illness vanishes back to Denmark. She follows her heart and flies to Denmark too and calls to him as he goes by in a royal parade. He sweeps her off her feet and they become engaged. She is scorned by the royal household until they see what a good diplomat and statesman Edvard has become. So they approve of the marriage and her good influence. But she decides to return to Wisconsin in order to graduate and to go on to graduate school at Hopkins. At graduation he appears, pledges his love once more, and says he will wait for her to finish medical school. She agrees and their kiss stops the camera and the film's action forever.]
The Prince and the Showgirl. Directed by Laurence Olivier. Screenplay by Terence Rattigan, based on his stageplay The Sleeping Prince. A Marilyn Monroe Production. 1957. 117 minutes. Cast: Marilyn Monroe (Elsie Marina), Laurence Olivier (His Highness Grand Duke Charles, Regent of Carpathia), Jeremy Spenser (King Nicolas, the Grand Duke’s son, not to be crowned for eighteen months at his coming of age), Richard Watts (Northbrook of the British consulate), Sybil Thorndike (Queen Mother), Maxine Audley (Lady Sunningdale).
[Born in German speaking working class Milwaukee, Elsie tries to make a life for herself as a showgirl in London at the time of the coronation of George V (1911). His Highness Grand Duke of Carpathia, who has come for the coronation, tries to use the showgirl for his pleasure but finds her more than his match as she ultimately thwarts an impending world war. Elsie’s sentiments and saucy innocence break through class barriers with a practical savvy that the aristocrats have long ago lost. Despite a great evening at the ball, his Highness will have to wait eighteen months to get this Cinderella — when they are both free people.]
Prince Cinders. Directed by Derek Hayes. 1994. 26 minutes. Music by Dirk Higgins. Based on the book by Babette Cole. Adapted by Robert Llewellyn. Animated by First Run Features.
[Poor and puny Prince Cinders does the laundry for his three macho brothers who bully him at every opportunity and play tricks on him on his birthday, ruining his jeans in the washing machine and leaving him nothing to wear to the disco. His fairy godmother appears, fresh from fairy school where she is a rather mediocre student. She turns a tin can into a fancy car, except that it is only six inches long. When she tries to remedy her error (she needs something larger) she turns Cinders into a huge gorilla-like monster. Cinders looks at himself in the mirror and sees something macho and handsome and goes to the disco using the car as a skateboard, pursued by the cops and terrifying everyone else. The cat goes along (the fairy has given her powers of speech until midnight, in hopes of remedying her other errors), and diverts pursuers in hope that Cinders might meet Princess Lovelypenny at her big disco party. The three brothers make many passes at the Princess, but she detests macho men. When Cinders arrives everyone flees, including himself whereupon he finds himself on the opposite side of a hedge from the Princess, and they have a lovely conversation together. She comes around the hedge at the stroke of midnight, sees the monster and screams, only to discover Prince Cinders whom she thinks must have chased the beast away. A police dog arrives and pursues Cinders, however, ripping from him his bizarre jeans. Princess Lovelypenny searches the kingdom for the jeans owner, whom she would marry. The mean brothers recognize the jeans as Cinders’ and try to prevent him from a fitting. They steal the jeans as the royal fitters are leaving and throw them away. But Cinders finds them and puts them on just as the Princess returns in search of them. The comedy ends with the happy couple together and the bruiser brothers scrubbing palace floors and cleaning chandeliers.]
The Princess and the Frog. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Music by Randy Newman. 2009. 97 minutes. Cast: Tiana (Anika Noni Rose), Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), Dr. Facilier (Keith David), Charlotte (Jennifer Cody), Lawrence (Peter Bartlett), Louis (Michael-Leon Wooley), Ray (Jim Cummings), and Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis).
Songs: “Down in New Orleans,” “Almost There,” “Almost There Reprise,” “Friends on the Other Side,” “When We’re Human,” “Gonna Take You There,” “Ma Belle Evangeline,” “Dig a Little Deeper,” and “Never Knew I Needed.”
[With this film, Disney attempts to retell The Frog Prince, but the narrative combines Frog Prince and Frog Princess tropes in a way that recreates a Cinderella tale. This story of a young woman who obtains her dreams of owning her own restaurant in 1920s New Orleans possesses many themes of hard work, virtue, competition between women, and marriage to a Prince. The film is also based on E. D. Baker’s The Frog Princess.
Tiana and her friend Charlotte listen to Tiana’s mother, Eudora, reading the girls The Frog Prince while she finishes a dress for Charlotte. As the story ends, the girls discuss the ending with Tiana refusing to kiss a frog just to achieve a happy ending. Charlotte reveals that she would gladly kiss a frog if it meant that she could marry a prince. As Charlotte’s father, Big Daddy La Bouff, arrives and gives into her pleas for yet another fairy tale gown, Tiana and her mother go home, and Tiana helps her father prepare gumbo, which they share with the neighbors. Her father tells her of his dream to build a restaurant and jazz club called Tiana’s place, and the child focuses on his dream. As her parents tuck her into bed, she sees the Evening Star and mentions that Charlotte’s book suggested that wishing on it could give people their dreams. Tiana’s father encourages her to make a wish but reminds her that hard work is needed in addition to desire. Approximately fifteen years later, Tiana works two jobs to save her tip money in order to buy her father’s dream restaurant. Her father has passed away, and she is close to her goal but works obsessively to obtain a dream that is not entirely hers. As she goes to work, she overlooks the festivities of Mardi Gras going on around her (“Down in New Orleans”). Her employer mocks her dream, and her friends become annoyed with her when she refuses to go dancing with them. Tiana ignores everyone and continues working, like Cinderella, revealing her virtue partially through physical labor. Charlotte and her father enter the restaurant, and Charlotte gleefully tells Tiana about the masquerade ball she will host that evening to which the visiting prince, Naveen, is invited. She employees Tiana for the evening, and Tiana uses the money to make a down payment on her restaurant. She plans to sign the papers after the party. As Tiana and her mother look over the destitute, decrepit sugar mill that Tiana’s father had longed to repair, she sings “Almost There” after her mother asks the heroine when she will settle down and get married. In the meantime, Prince Naveen and his servant Lawrence disembark, and the prince immediately begins singing and dancing. His servant reminds the prince that his parents have disowned him and that he must marry immediately or obtain income through his own hard work. The prince ignores his increasingly frustrated and easily humiliated servant until they encounter Dr. Facilier, a voodoo practitioner, who offers both men a tarot reading predicting their futures. While he distracts the prince with promises of seeing “Green” in his future, he makes a deal with Lawrence to turn him into the Prince instead. As the villain sings “Friends on the Other Side,” he transforms Naveen into a frog and uses the prince’s blood to make Lawrence take on the physical form of the royal. The servant inadvertently lets the frog go, and he too arrives at the ball. At the party, Charlotte begins to cry in frustration because the Prince has not yet arrived and her wishes are never answered. Tiana comforts her and reminds her of the need to work hard when the Prince appears; she watches her friend dance without any jealousy and turns to speak with the realtors. They inform her that they have received a counter offer on the restaurant and upset Tiana who has until the day after Mardi Gras to give them the full amount. In the ensuing struggle her food station is destroyed, and as Charlotte arrives to serve the Prince, she finds Tiana on the ground, covered in food. Instead of becoming angry, Charlotte immediately goes to help her friend, telling the false Naveen to wait while she takes Tiana to her room and dresses her in a princess gown and tiara (styled to mirror Cinderella’s blue gown from the earlier Disney film) before returning to the party. Tiana weeps in a moment reminiscent of “When You Wish upon a Star” and wishes on the Evening Star (“Almost There Reprise”) for help when a frog appears. The frog asks for a kiss after seeing a book containing The Frog Prince, and Tiana assumes he represents the Evening Star’s answer when he offers to reward her financially. She kisses him but soon finds herself changed into a frog as well. They escape the house and end up floating on a balloon until they are in the Bayou. After much arguing, the pair agree to work together if the prince will have Charlotte give Tiana the money she needs after the couple marries. On their journey, they meet Louis, a jazz-playing but cowardly alligator who longs to be human and who offers to take them to Mama Odie, another voodoo practitioner. On the way, the trio sings “When I’m Human,” a song revealing each of their fantasies. Tiana dreams of success originating from hard work; Naveen longs for a never-ending supply of music and celebration, and Louis wants to play with other musicians. They begin to get off track because Louis is not brave enough to face the dangers of the swamp when they meet Ray, a good-hearted, Cajun firefly with an extremely large family. They welcome the trio, and Ray offers to lead them to Mama Odie as he and his relatives sing “Gonna Take You There.” After the group turns into a quartet, they are attacked by hunters who enjoy frog legs, and in the subsequent struggle Naveen realizes that Tiana possesses a sense of humor he had not seen before. The group stops to eat and tend Louis’ wounds while Tiana prepares swamp gumbo. She requires Naveen to help her, and she learns that he fears his empty life and wishes he had work to occupy him. Soon, the Evening Star appears, and Ray reveals his love. He thinks the star is a firefly named Evangeline. As he sings “Ma Belle Evangeline,” Naveen and Tiana dance. They are equally attracted, but when Naveen tries to kiss Tiana she reminds him of his pending marriage to Charlotte. The group soon faces trouble when shadows sent by Dr. Facilier nearly catch Naveen, but Mama Odie, a 197-year-old, blind woman with magical powers, appears from the swamp and rescues them. At her house, she sings “Dig a Little Deeper” to remind the group about the differences between wants and needs. She tells Naveen to grow up and look beyond the riches of his former life to see the happiness he could have with Tiana, but her lesson with Tiana does not work correctly. She reminds Tiana of the joy of family, but Tiana still sees love as second to success. Mama Odie sends the group back to New Orleans, where they must get Charlotte (princess of the Mardi Gras parade) to kiss Naveen by midnight. When Louis asks to become human, Mama Odie tells him to be realistic, but he uses his head and helps the group get to New Orleans faster by catching a riverboat where people are performing in costume. He soon joins another group of musicians and gets his wish. The group spends the rest of the day resting, with Naveen realizing his love for Tiana. He plans to propose and get a job, but his attempt to woo Tiana fails as he first becomes clumsy due to nerves and as she sees her restaurant. When he realizes that she needs the money by the next morning, he despairs and plots to marry Charlotte only to help Tiana. Dr. Facilier’s shadows kidnap Naveen, and Tiana is deceived into doubting him when she sees the false prince about to marry Charlotte. She rejects her feelings for Naveen and tries to tell Ray the truth about Evangeline, pleading that reality hurts less than losing one’s dreams. Ray runs away from her, vowing to find the truth to validate his view of the universe. He frees Naveen and steals the voodoo talisman that allows Lawrence to take the Prince’s form. A distressed Charlotte rejects the servant, and Ray gets to talisman to Tiana. He protects her while she flees from Dr. Facilier, but the villain steps on Ray, critically wounding him. The magician then catches Tiana and tries to tempt her into helping him by turning her human and offering her the restaurant of her dreams. When she refuses, he transforms her back into a frog, but she figures out how to destroy his talisman, and his voodoo minions drag him to Hell. She finds Naveen proposing to Charlotte on the condition that she give Tiana the money for her restaurant. Charlotte agrees to the bargain if she can marry a prince and is about to kiss a reluctant Naveen when Tiana interrupts them by declaring her love for the Prince, revealing that her dreams need to include him to be complete. As they embrace, Charlotte is moved by their love and, instead of becoming jealous, offers to kiss Naveen as a way to help her friend. Her generous act, however, occurs too late, for the clock strikes midnight, and her kiss does not work, as she is no longer a princess. Louis, who left the musicians when he realized that Ray needed help, finds the group and places the dying Ray on a leaf. He smiles at the lovers and says Evangeline’s name as he dies. Tiana, Naveen, and Louis take his body back to the Bayou and participate in his funeral. His body is set on a leaf and pushed out into the river, similar to a Viking funeral, and his body glows and disappears. As everyone watches, he becomes a star alongside Evangeline, and they appear to hold hands. The narrative then begins to move much faster. Louis and the other swamp animals next attend the wedding of the frogs Tiana and Naveen. Mama Odie prompts them to kiss, and as they do, they transform back into human beings. Mama Odie reminds the pair that Tiana became a princess via the ceremony, so her kiss could finally save them both. The couple returns to New Orleans, and they are married before their families. In the epilogue (“Down in New Orleans”), the couple uses Tiana’s money and threats from Louis to obtain the restaurant and work together to fix it up. Naveen works as an entertainer and assistant in the kitchen, and Tiana, dressed as a princess, runs the restaurant and dances with her husband. Charlotte even dances with the Naveen’s brother, who is still a child, while she jokes, “I’ve waited this long.” The film ends with the image of Naveen and Tiana dancing on top of the restaurant with “Never Knew I Needed” playing as the credits role.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Princess Diaries, The. Directed by Garry Marshall. 2001. 115 minutes. Based on novel by Meg Cabot. Screenplay by Gina Wendkos. Produced by Whitney Houston. A Disney Production. Cast: Anne Hathaway (Mia Thermopolis), Julie Andrews (Queen Clarisse Renaldi), Hector Elizondo (Joe, the Queen’s personal secretary), Heather Matarazzo (Lilly Moscovitz), Robert Schwartzman (Michael Moscovitz), Caroline Goddall (Mia’s Mom, Helen), Mandy Moore (Lana Thomas, principal cheerleader and rival), Todd Lowe (Lana’s date Eric), Erik von Detten (Student Josh Bryant), Patrick Flueger (Student Jeremiah Hart), Sean O’Bryan (Teacher Mr. O’Connell), Sandra Oh (Vice Principal Gupta), Kathleen Marshall (Charlotte Kutaway), Mindy Burbano (Gym Teacher Harbula), Kim Leigh (Music Teacher Wells), Beth Anne Garrison (Cheerleader Anna), Bianca Lopez (cheerleader Fontana), Tamara Levinson (Cheerleader Lupe), Patrick Richwood (Neighbor Mr. Robutusen), John McGivern (Cable Car Conductor), Gerry Brown (Policeman Washington) plus 96 others in the cast credits.
[Mia graduates from the Woodrow Wilson School of Policy at Princeton. Then she sets off for Genovia to have a try at being queen. She is awkward but clever, and the Queen gives her full support. There is, however, a hitch. The Parliament of Genovia makes it clear that in order for Mia to be crowned queen she must be married, and Mia has no boyfriends. They have a prince-choosing ball for all eligible gentlemen in Genovia, but none seem suitable, except for the nephew to Vicount Mabry, Nicholas Devereux, to whom Mia is attracted partly for his good looks, his hautiness, and the face that she keeps bumping into him in awkward circumstances. The Viscount Mabry opposes Mia's right to the crown, favoring his nephew and does all he can to thwart the queen and Mia, which sets Mia and Nicholas more at odds. She has to find a groom, however, and an arrangement is made with a noble youth, Captain Kip Kelley. They seem to get along, though there is no real attraction between them. Meanwhile, Nicholas and Mia get caught in many scrapes together that are promoted by the Viscount, chance, bad luck, and a growing affection between them both. They are caught in a closet together, they fall into a fountain together, and they spend a night together in a field, much to the titillation of the press and public. But Mia remains popular with the people, and it seems the marriage will take place. But Nicholas, now in love with her, forsakes his uncle and flees. But Joe gives the absent Nicholas courage, and so too Mia, who at the wedding announces that she will not marry, that the law is out of date, and demands that parliament change the law. Viscount Maybry objects and almost carries the day, except that Nicholas suddenly appears, having gotten back by various means, and publically renounces any interest in the throne, instead pledging his support to Mia. After a quick caucus in the church, Parliament changes the law. SO she is crowned and Nicholas is first to congratulate her. All signs point to a happy reunion between Mia and Nicholas, and the would-be groom is happy as well, since now he can marry his true love. The wedding occasion and its expenses, however, are not lost. The queen marries Joe, to everyone's delight.]
Princesse Tam Tam. Directed by Arys Nissotti. 1935. 77 minutes. In French with subtitles. Videotape made from the George Eastman House collection. Cast: Josephine Baker (Alwine/Princess Tam Tam of Parador), Albert Prejean (Max de Mirecourt), Robert Arnoux (his secretary), Germaine Aussey (his wife Lucie), Georges Peclet (the mysterious servant, a disguised African Prince), Vivian Romance (Lucie’s friend and gossip), Jean Galland (Le Maharadjah de Datane).
[Max quarrels with Lucie and escapes to Africa with his secretary to write a novel. They repeatedly encounter the beggar/thief Alwine about whom they decide to write the novel. Meanwhile Lucie scandalously flirts with the Maharadjah de Datane, in hope of making Max jealous. His retort is to appear to be courting the African Princess Tam Tam of Parador. To carry off his ruse he plays Pygmalion, inventing a title for Alwine and teaching her manners, fine speech, piano playing, singing, fancy dressing, and arithmetic. She learns swiftly but prefers to dance barefoot. Moreover, she is protected from his advanced by a mysterious servant who follows her from Africa. Lucie’s friend catches on to Max’s scheme when she sees Tam Tam slumming and dancing like a savage. They plan to expose her at the grand ball by getting her drunk so that she will dance wildly to African music. She does dance but wows everyone, including the Maharadjah de Datane. Max pursues Lucie in a car chase and wins her love again, and the Maharadjah, though he collects butterflies (women), has so great a fondness for Tam Tam that he gives her a choice–life as it is seen from the west window (European decadence) or from the east window (the simple life of the “savage”). She chooses the latter and returns to Africa with the mysterious servant who turns out to be a prince in disguise. She lives in a grand palace filled with animals whom she attends in bare feet while a donkey eats the cover off a book entitled “Civilization.”]
Private Number. Directed by Roy Del Ruth. 1936. 80 minutes. Screenplay by Gene Markey and William Counselman. Based on the play “Common Clay,” by Cleves Kinkead (1915), which starred Jane Cowl. The movie was entitled Secret Interlude in Great Britain. A Darryl Zanuck production. Cast: Loretta Young (Ellen Neal), Robert Taylor (Richard Winfield), Patsy Kelly (Gracie), Basil Rathbone (Wroxton), Marjorie Gateson (Mrs. Winfield), Paul Harvey (Perry Winfield), Joe Lewis (Smiley Watson), Jane Darwell (Mrs. Meecham), Monroe Owsley (Coakley), George Irving (Judge).
[Ellen Neal, in extreme poverty, goes to work as kitchen help at the Winfield estate, falls in love with and secretly marries Richard Winfield, and has a child by him while he is off at his Ivy League college. The cruel Wroxton maliciously destroys the marriage and precipitates a divorce. In court the husband perceives the fidelity of his wife, despite the wicked rumors and perjuries by the parents, and returns to his bride for a happy conclusion. A silent movie of Kinkead’s play was made with Fannie Ward as lead in 191?, with a second silent version made in 1930, with Constance Bennett. The appeal of Kinkead’s plot lies in its Cinderella trappings and the melodrama.]
Pygmalion. Directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard. 1938. 96 minutes. B/W. Cast: Leslie Howard (Henry Higgins), Wendy Hiller (Eliza), Scott Sunderland (Colonel Pickering), Jean Cadell (Mrs. Pearce), Wilfrid Lawson (Doolittle), Marie Lohr (Mrs. Higgins), David Tree (Freddy).
[Screenplay based on Shaw’s play, with coda in which Eliza returns to Higgins as he sits lonely with his machines. Last words: “Bring me my slippers, Eliza,” the tactic picked up by Alan Jay Lerner in My Fair Lady.]
Red Shoes, The. Written, produced, and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (1948). 128 minutes. Cast: Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Leonide Massine, Robert Helpmann, Albert Basserman, Esmond Knight, Ludmilla Toberina.
[Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, the beautiful ballerina, caught between career and romance, works for the dance impresario but loves the composer. She has the world at her feet with her red shoes, but turmoil in her dreams and contradictory wishes. Won Academy Awards for Art Direction Color and best musical score.]
Roman Holiday. Produced and directed by William Wyler. 1953. 118 minutes. Screenplay by Ian McLellan Hunter and John Dighton (as fronts for blacklisted screenwriter Trumbo). Story by Ian McLellan Hunter. Cast: Audrey Hepburn (Princess of Muldavia, a.k.a. Anya Smith), Gregory Peck (Joe Bradley, reporter), Eddie Albert (Irving Rodovich, photography), and Tullio Carminati.
[The princess escapes her royal obligations in an attempt to enjoy an ordinary life, by slipping out at night after having taken a sleeping potion. Joe Bradley rescues her and discovers her disguise. He in turn assumes a disguise and shows her a good time, while, with the assistance of Rodovich, he hope to get an exclusive story. But as the good time progresses her naiveté so enchants him that he refuses to expose her in the end, claiming to have no story and Rodovich gives her the pictures he has taken. At the heart of the film, during the whirlwind “holiday” in Rome, Joe takes her to a wishing wall where she makes a wish and promises to keep it: “If not, I’ll turn into a pumpkin and drive away in my glass slipper”; to which Joe replies, “And that will be the end of the fairy tale.” But though her wish is a kind of lie (both she and Joe claim to be adroit liars) it is a kind of truth as well, in that she imagines a freer life that she will cherish in her memories “as long as I live.” The film begins with her losing her shoe, repossessing it only after an elaborate charade. Other Cinderella motifs include her fantasy that she would gladly cook, clean house, and do the ironing. The film implies that her fantasy fling with Joe (they even get married as a ruse to avoid getting a traffic ticket) which leads them to a ball on a boat that ends in a melee, provides her with the most “real” moments of her life where she becomes a real person in her own esteem. When she returns to being Princess of Muldavia, she does so not as a little girl on display, as she had been at the outset, but rather as a woman in control of her own destiny, who can, even so, enjoy the riches of wish-fulfilling experiences.]
Rose Marie. The 1924 musical, music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothard and book and lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II, has been three times converted into movies, with varying degrees of Cinderella components. In each, Rose Marie, after trials involving her unrelenting effort to clear her brother from charges of murder, gets her man, the Royal Mountie.
Directed and adapted by Lucien Hubbard (1928). Cast: Joan Crawford (Rose Marie), James Murray (Jim Kenyon), House Peters (Sgt. Malone), Greighton Hale (Etienne Doray), Polly Moran (Lady Jane), Gibson Gowland (Black Bastien), Lionel Belmore (Henri), Gertrude Astor (Wanda), Harry Gribbon (Gray), William Orlamond (Emile). A silent film featuring film score with “Rose-Marie” and “Indian Love Call.”

Directed by W.S. Van Dyke (1936). 110 minutes. Cast: Jeanette MacDonald (Marie De Flor, opera singer), Nelson Eddy (Sgt. Bruce), James Stewart (John Flower), Reginald Owen (Myerson), Allan Jones (Opera Singer), Georges Regas (Boniface), Robert Greig (Hotel Manager), Una O’Connor (Anna), Lucien Little Field (Storekeeper), Alan Mowbray (Premier), David Niven (Teddy), Herman Bind (Mr. Daniels), Gilda Gray (Belle), James Conlin (Joe), Dorothy Gray (Edith), Mary Anita Loos (Corn Queen), Halliwell Hobbs (Gordon), Paul Porcasi (Emil), Russell Hicks (Commandant). Additional Music: “Just for You,” “Pardon Me Madam,” “Dinah,” “Some of These Days,” and music from Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet and Puccini’s Tosca, to the well known music of the musical.

Directed by Mervyn LeRoy (1954). 115 minutes. Screenplay by Ronald Millar and George Froeschel and choreography by Busby Berkeley. Cast: Ann Blyth (Rose Marie Lemaitre), Howard Keel (Sgt. Mike Malone), Fernando Lamas (James Severn Duval), Bert Lahr (Barney McCorkle), Marjorie Main (Lady Jane Dunstock), Joan Taylor (Wanda), Ray Collins (Inspector Appleby), Chief Yowlachie (Black Eagle). Additional music: “The Right Place,” “Free to Be Free,” “Love and Kisses,” and “I Have the Love,” by Friml and Paul Francis Webster; and “The Mountie That Never Got His Man,” by George Stoll and Herbert Baker.
Sabrina. Directed by Billy Wilder. 1954. 113 minutes. Screenplay by Billy Wilder, Samuel Taylor, and Ernest Lehman. Based on the play by Samuel Taylor. Director of Photography: Charles Lang Jr. Cast: Audrey Hepburn (Sabrina Fairchild), Humphrey Bogart (Linus Larrabee), William Holden (David Larrabee), Walter Hampden (Oliver Larrabee, the father), John Williams (Thomas Fairchild), Martha Hyer (Elizabeth Tyson), Joan Vohs (Gretchen Van Horn), Francis X. Bushman (Mr. Tyson), Marcel Dalio (kindly old baron in France), Marcel Hillaire (The Professor), Nella Walker (Maude Larrabee), Ellen Corby (Mrs. McCardle), Marjorie Bennett (Margaret the Cook), Emory Parnell (Charles the Butler), Kay Riehl (Mrs. Tyson), Nancy Kulp (Jenny the Maid).
[“Once upon a time, on the north shore of Long Island,” Sabrina, daughter of the chauffeur, fell in love with David, the wastrel son of the wealthy Larrabees. Her father sends her to Paris to learn cooking. She attempts suicide before leaving but is saved by Linus, the serious elder Larrabee brother, who only has eyes for business. Upon returning from Paris, sophisticated and beautiful, she now gets the eye of David, who would run off with her despite his engagement to a wealthy heiress Elizabeth Tyson, whose father is instrumental in a plastics merger Linus is planning. Linus makes a play for Sabrina to get her onto a ship back to Paris, but falls in love with her in the process. David shows a whit of character and, recognizing that Sabrina doesn’t love him, shows up at the board meeting to wed the heiress and says insulting things about Sabrina thereby incurring the wrath of Linus, who tipping his hand that he is in fact in love with Sabrina, jumps a tugboat to catch the good liner Liberty on its way to Paris just in time to claim the deck chair beside Sabrina, whereby they acknowledge their love for each other for the romantic Cinderella conclusion.]
Sabrina. Directed by Sydney Pollack. 1995. 127 minutes. Based on the 1954 Billy Wilder film. New screenplay by Barbara Benedek and David Rayfiel. Music by John Williams. Cast: Harrison Ford (Linus Larrabee), Julia Ormond (Sabrina Fairchild), Greg Kinnear (David Larrabee), Nancy Marchand (Maude Larrabee), John Wood (Fairchild), Richard Crenna (Patrick Tyson), Angie Dickinson (Ingrid Tyson), Laren Holly (Elizabeth Tyson), Miriam Colon (Rose) Franny Ardent (Irene).
[Set in the 1990s this update has considerably more depth than the Wilder version. It has a number of echoes of Pretty Woman, and is much more in tune with women’s issues than the 1954 version. Benedek and Rayfiel delete the fatuous father entirely, converting Maude into a savvy business woman as well as mother to her two sons. Ormand’s Sabrina is less sappy than Audrey Hepburn’s; David has more character and is much more likeable than in the earlier version; he has never married before and genuinely likes Elizabeth Tyson. While in Paris Sabrina studies photography rather than going to cooking school. When back in Long Island she is taken more seriously by all concerned, including Maude Larrabee, Linus’ mother, who stands up for her at the end. Sabrina is giddy at finally being invited to the ball, after years of being ignored. She is a reflective person, who enjoys work, is quite direct in her observations, and understands people’s characters well, especially the Larrabee men and her father, who is a wise man too and has managed to make save $2,000,000 by listening carefully to what the Larrabee business tycoons say. So, ultimately, this Sabrina is not a destitute Cinderella in need of rescue, but, as in Pretty Woman, the level-headed woman who does the rescuing. Instead of taking a tugboat to catch the Liberty as it sets sail (as was the case in the earlier film), Linus takes the Concord and arrives in Paris ahead of Sabrina. The Cinderella materials are somewhat more fully developed here than they were in the first version, though with post-1980s enlightened wit.]
“Sapsorrow” in The Storyteller. Screenplay written by Anthony Minghella. Directed by Steven Barron. 1988. 25 min. Cast: John Hurt (The Storyteller), Alison Doody (Sapsorrow), James Wilby (the Prince), Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French (the bad sisters), Geoffrey Bayldon (the King/Father)
[The story is credited to an unnamed early German folktale and begins with a king and his three daughters. The monarch wishes to remarry, but he possesses a golden ring that controls his future. He can only marry the woman who can fit the object onto her ring finger. The sisters, who the narrator describes as wicked, are not pleased with their father’s plan to marry as they want to inherit all of his wealth. The father leaves the castle with the ring, and while he is away, the sisters torment their younger, good sister, Sapsorrow, who retreats to her room with her animal friends for comfort. The father returns without a bride and begins asking local women to try on the ring. The sisters begin to plot, thinking that if one of them fits the ring, her father would be forced to give her power without realizing the ramifications of the marriage. They attempt to try the ring on in secret, and through a sequence of events, Sapsorrow inadvertently slides it on her ring finger to keep it safe. Once the king learns that his youngest daughter can wear the ring, he is horrified as she is now bound by law to marry him. In the next scene, Sapsorrow weeps alone in her room while debating between which is worse, disobeying the law or marrying her father. The King is extremely upset by the events, and Sapsorrow offers to cut off the offending finger, but the King’s councilors order that he marry his daughter, and the girl demands a dress as pale as the moon before retreating to her room. While in isolation, she begins to sew another dress from fur and feathers with the help of the animals. Although she will delay the councilors twice more by demanding a dress as silver as the stars and another as gold as the sun, the councilors bring the dresses, and the king, while weeping, announces the impending marriage, leading to Sapsorrow putting on the outfit made from the fur and feather, taking the dresses, and fleeing her father’s kingdom. The narrator interrupts to tell the viewer how two years have passed and that Sapsorrow now tends the geese and scrubs the floor in another kingdom. On that day, the prince of the castle is hosting a ball, and he descends into the kitchens and wants Sapsorrow, now called Straggletag, to relay a message to the cook. When the girl gazes at him inappropriately, he lectures her on her place. At the ball, the prince merely sits and watches the others around him until Sapsorrow in a gown the color of the moon enters. He is enchanted and dances with her, but she runs away as soon as the music stops. The Prince orders a second ball, and when Straggletag encounters the prince, she asks if her appearance repulses him. In response, he gives her a lecture of social standing and like associating with like. At the second ball, the girl enters in a dress the color of the stars and refuses to tell the prince where she is from, instead saying, “I live where hens catch mice and cats lay eggs,” a reference to their earlier conversation. Later, the heroine approaches the Prince as Straggletag and asks if he loves the mysterious maiden or only her obvious wealth. The Prince defends his affection before Sapsorrow admits to having similar relationship problems and seeks his advice. On the night of the third ball, Sapsorrow is so late that other guests are leaving when she arrives in the golden gown, the color of the sun. The couple dances on the palace steps, and when the maiden runs away, she leaves a golden slipper behind. The Prince proclaims that he will marry whoever can fit the shoe, and many women, including Sapsorrow’s older sisters attempt to become his bride. The second sister tries on the slipper as Straggletag enters the room. When the second sister’s foot fits the slipper, the prince rejects her, but his councilors demand that he obey the wording of the proclamation before the sister admits that the shoe cuts off her circulation. Straggletag then demands a chance to try on the shoe, and the prince agrees. When she proves that she can wear the slipper, she asks if he will honor his word. As he agrees, animals descend on the maiden, tearing away her fur and feather gown to reveal the girl in the golden dress. The amazed Prince stares at Sapsorrow while her sisters recognize her and react in shock. The episode ends by returning to the narrator who indicates that Sapsorrow told the Prince everything before they forgave the sisters and were married.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Sepia Cinderella. Directed by Arthur Leonard. 1947. 70 minutes. B/W. Harold Productions. Photography Director George Webber. Musical Direction: John Gluskin. Costumes by Ann Blazier. Story and Screenplay by Vincent Valentini. Cast: Sheila Guyse (Barbara/Cinderella), Billy Daniel (Bob Jordan), Tondaleyo (Vivian Marston, principal stockholder of the Swan Club), Hilda Offley Thompson (Mama Keyes, Cinderella’s grandmother and boarding house keeper), Emory Richardson (Great Joseph, the swami), Ruble Blakey (Barney Ray, band director and singer whom Bob Jordan briefly displaces), Jack Carter (Ralph Williams, Vivian’s wealthy fiancé), Percy Verwagen (Mr. Mac’Millan, Manager of the Swan Club, soon to become the Cinderella Club), Dusty Freeman and George Williams (Mooney and Sonny, boarding house companions with comic routines), Fred Gordon (Lester, the Press Agent), Al Young (Chinaman Ahh Foo who visits Great Joseph), Freddie Bartholomew (himself, in a guest appearance), and Miss Philadelphia, who also plays herself and gets sung to. Guest appearances and routines by Deek Watson and the Brown Dots, singing “Long-Legged Lizzie” and “Is It Right”; Leonardo and Zola, Apus and Estrellita, John Kirby’s Band, and Walter Fuller’s Orchestra.
Other songs: “Ring Around My Rosie” and “Cinderella,” by Walter Fuller, performed by the Orchestra and sung by Billy Daniel and Sheila Guyse; “Can’t Find a Thing to Say,” by Milt Shaw; and “Oh, Ho, It’s a Lovely Day,” by Eric Miller, Ruble Blakey, and Rudy Toomb, and sung by Ruble Blakey.
[Barbara’s parents, both entertainers, are dead, so she lives with Mama Keyes (her grandmother) and many friends, including Bob Jordan, Great Joseph, Mooney and Sonny, in Mama’s boarding house. Bob Jordan is a pianist/singer and struggling composer. Barbara helps him complete his one successful song, “Cinderella,” which becomes a big hit and gets him a booking, with the assistance of rich and sexy Vivian Marston, at the Swan Club. The hit is so big that the Club changes its name to the Cinderella Club, Bob gets Barney Ray’s job, Bob takes up with Vivian and leaves Barbara, who loves him, utterly forlorn. She gets a job as a singer at the Hangout Bar and Grill, a respectable but not prestigious establishment. Vivian’s fiancé gets mad at her flirtations with Bob Jordan. Manager Mac’Millan fires Bob, and he goes to the bar and grill where Barbara works and where Barney now hangs out; Bob and Barney become friends, the Press Agent gets a booking for Barney back at the Cinderella Club, and Bob will be his vocalist. The Press Agent comes up with a publicity stunt whereby all ladies who wish to compete will put one of their slippers on stage; Bob Jordan will pick one, and if the owner of the slipper can sing the Cinderella song, she will get $100.00 and a two week booking at the Cinderella Club. Bob recognizes Barbara’s slipper by the taps on its toes and chooses it. She, of course, knows the song because she wrote some of the lyrics and sang it soulfully at the Hangout Bar and Grill when Bob was away becoming famous and scandalous, while she bore-up in his absence, with tears, song, and determination. The Press Agent arranges for them to be married right then and there in the Club. Bob Jordan wonders how it could have all worked out, and Barbara assures him that it happens only in the movies. Vivian sits glumly with Ralph, her rich fiancé, secure but jealous of Barbara’s good luck. An all black cast except for the guest appearance of Freddy Bartholomew (best known for his childhood role in Little Lord Fauntleroy), who attempts a couple of Scottish and British jokes, for the amusement of Bob, who may be the only one who finds them funny. William Greaves and Sidney Poitier appear in the film in bit parts — Poitier’s first Hollywood movie. Billy Daniels had scored a crossover success with his recording of “That Old Black Magic,” just prior to his performance in Sepia Cinderella. The western premiere of Sepia was used as a benefit for Jackie Robinson, who had just cracked the color barrier in baseball. The stagemanager of the event was Wendell Franklin, who became the first black member of the Director’s Guild.]
Scent of Green Papaya, The. Written and directed by Tran Any Hung. 1994. 103 minutes. Cast: Tran Nu Yen-Khe, Lu Man San, Truong Thi Loc, and Ngyuen Anh Hoa.
[Mui, the younger of two daughters, comes from her village in Vietnam to Saigon to work as hired servant in a bourgeois Vietnamese household. A hard-working, sensitive girl, she embodies the feminine virtues of an ancient Vietnam, qualities revered by the grandmother and the mother in the household. To, the daughter in the household, died seven years before Mui’s arrival, and the mother secretly looks on Mui as if she were her lost daughter. Mui is trained by an elderly servant named Thi, who shares the value system of the other women. The sons, like Cinderella’s stepsisters, are less responsible. The family undergoes great hardship when the husband runs off with wife’s hard earned money, leaving them destitute. But they survive. Ten years pass, the oldest of the three sons marries, and they cannot afford to keep Mui. She is thus sent as servant to Khuyen’s house. He has been a friend of the family on whom Mui has had a crush from the first time he visited and she served him. He is a wealthy composer with a cosmopolitan lifestyle and girlfriend. But a subtler courtship takes place between master and servant as Khuyen gradually realizes his affection for Mui. She is an unusually sensitive person throughout the movie, kind to animals — ants, crickets, frogs, and lizards — who provide her with comfort despite stressful circumstances and are part of the ambience of beauty in nature and art that she understands, maintains, and values. Mui’s kindness and her powers of observation, combined with her traditional values and sense of what a traditional Vietnamese woman’s world entails, are crucial components of her goodness. Khuyen, in choosing her over an aggressive woman with a European life style, plays Pygmalion to Galatea, teaches her to read and write and to appreciate poetry as well as music, which she does soulfully and naturally. To enhance the Cinderella tropology, Tran Anh Hung has written into the film several shoe and slipper moments as the fitting of the people who are right for each other slowly and subtlety transpires. The film ends with Mui pregnant, elegantly dressed in traditional garb, reading nature poetry to her husband and, lifting her eyes from the page, reciting it in her own voice.]
Sergeant Madden: New York Cinderella. Directed by Josef Von Sternberg. 1939. Remade by Frank Borzage and W. S. Van Dyke. Screenplay by Wells Root, from William A. Ullman, Jr.’s story “A Gun in his Hand.” Cast: Wallace Beery (Sergeant Shaun Madden), Alan Curtis (his wastrel son Dennis Madden), Tom Brown (Al Boylan, the good son), Laraine Day (Irish lassie Eileen Daly, the no-good son’s sweet bride), Fay Holden (Mary Madden), Marc Lawrence (“Piggy” Ceders), Marion Martin (Charlotte), David Gorcey (“Punchy”), Donald Haines (Milton), Ben Welden (Stemmy), Etta McDaniel (Dove), John Kelly (Nero), Horace MacMahon (Philadelphia), Neil Fitzgerald (Casey), Dickie Jones (Dennis as a boy), Drew Roddy (Al as a boy), Charles Trownbridge (Commissioner).
[The Irish girl finds a home at the Maddens, despite the wayward son’s ways. The Sergeant covers all bases, from bluster to kindness, making everything okay at the end.]
She’s All That. Directed by Robert Iscove. 1998. 96 minutes. Screenplay by R. Lee Fleming, Jr. Music by Stewart Copeland. Cast: Rachael Leigh Cooks (Laney Boggs, the “reluctant Cinderella”), Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Zack Siler, the prince), Matthew Lillard (Brock Hudson, former “real World” cast member), Paul Walker (Dean Sampson, the anti-prince), Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Taylor Vaughan, the worst of the stepsisters and Laney’s prom rival), Kevin Pollak (Wayne Boggs, the clueless father), Anna Paquin (Mackenzie Siler, the fairy godmother who dresses Laney up for the party), Kieran Culkin (Simon Boggs), Elden Henson (Jesse Jackson, Laney’s practical fairy godfather).
[A “reluctant Cinderella” tale whose messages tell us that we’re not defined by one moment and that the world is out there waiting for us. Two seniors make a bet that in six weeks time one of them can turn the school’s biggest geek into the prom queen. They choose Laney Boggs, “splatter girl” to those in her art class, and thus begins the transformation from class outcast to rival of Taylor Vaughan, prom queen legacy. Laney is reluctant because she has no desire to go to the ball or seek her prince and because popularity means little or nothing to her. Her transformation comes in two phases, first with the help of Zack’s younger sister who acts as her “fairy godmother,” dressing her up for the party, and secondly with the help of her friend Jesse, who acts as her practical “fairy godfather,” urging her to get out there and perhaps ultimately save the day. Laney’s rival, Taylor, confronts her at her coming-out party and casts her out telling her that she doesn’t belong, spilling alcohol on her and metaphorically ruining her dress as if the stepsisters had torn it from her. When it looks as though Zack will be able to win the bet, his rival, Dean, steps in and tells Laney what’s been happening. Furious, she goes to the prom with Dean instead. Laney doesn’t become prom queen, but because of Zack she does find what was lacking inside her to do what she wants in life. Zack, too, learns from the experience and steps out of his father’s shadow. Taylor, on the other hand, is left with only her prom queen title, which no one seems to care about anyway (Wesley Johnson).]
Sinderella and the Golden Bra. Directed by Loel Minardi. 1964. Produced by Paul Mart and associates Ed Ludlom and Sy De Bardas. Screenplay by Frank Squires, freely adapted from various Cinderella tales. Music and lyrics by Les Szarvas. Manson Distributing. Cast: Suzanne Sybele (Sinderella), Bill Gaskin (Prince David), David Duffield (King), Sid Lassick (Godfather), Patricia Mayfield (Stepmother), Joan Lemmo (Fanny), June Faith (Flossy), Gerald Strickland (Adviser), Kay Hall (Matron), John Bradley (Page), Althea Currier, Jackie DeWitt, Justine Scott, Lisa Carole, Donna Anderson, Beverly Frankell (Village Maidens).

Slim Hopes: Advertising & the Obsession with Thinness. Created by Jean Kilbourne. Directed by Sut Jhally. 1995. 30 minutes. Assistant editor: Sanjay Talreja.
[A video made for young women, particularly audiences of high school and college age, that explores how female bodies are depicted in advertising in addictive ways that often have devastating effects on the health of women who imitate them. Includes sections on Impossible Beauty, / Waifs and Thinness, / Constructed Bodies, / Food and Sex, / Food and Control, / The Weight-loss Industry, / Freeing Imaginations. Using over 150 ads, it informs as it entertains, providing an analytic framework within which students may arrive at their own assessments.]
The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella. Directed by Bryan Forbes. October 1976. 146 minutes. Executive Producer, David Frost. Screenplay by Bryan Forbes, Robert Sherman, and Richard M. Sherman. Costumes by Julie Harris. Music and lyrics by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. Choreography by Marc Breaux. Musical arranger and conductor: Angela Morley. A Paradine CoProductions Film. London: Pinewood Studios. Cast: Richard Chamberlain (Prince Edward), Gemma Craven (Cinderella), Annette Crosbie (Fairy Godmother), Dame Edith Evans (Dowager Queen), Michael Hordern (King), Lally Bowers (Queen), Christopher Gable (John), Kenneth More (Lord Chamberlain), Margaret Lockwood (Stepmother), Julian Orchard (Montague), Sherrie Hewson (Palatine), Rosalind Ayres (Isabella), John Turner (Major Domo), Keith Skinner (Willoughby), Polly Williams (Lady Caroline), Norman Bird (Dress Shop Proprietor), Roy Barraclough (Tailor), Elizabeth Mansfield and Ludmilla Nova (Queen’s Ladies-in-waiting), Peter Graves (General), Gerald Sim (Lord of the Navy), Geoffrey Bayldon (Archbishop), Valentine Dyall (Second Major Domo), Tim Barrett (Minister), Vivienne McKee (Bride), Andre Morell (Bride’s Father), Myrtle Reed (Bride’s Mother), Peter Leeming (Singing Guard), Marianne Broome, Tessa Dahl, Lea Dreghorn, Eva Reuber-Staier, Ann Rutherford, Suzette St. Clair (Princesses), Jenny Lee Wright (Milk Maid), Paul Schmitzburger (Cow Herd), Patrick Jordan and Rocky Taylor (Prince’s Guards), Bryan Forbes (Herald).
[A study of Prince and protocol as well as Cinderella and her ties with natural goodness. Both protagonists undergo public trials as well as private ones, and each must give up the other in order to win the other. In this plot the Fairy Godmother is kept busy, though the protagonists she assists must deserve her assistance. The issues of the plot are well defined by the musical numbers and their witty lyrics: “Why Can’t I Be Two People” (Edward, Prince of Euphrania), “What Does Love Have to Do With Getting Married?” (Lord Chamberlain), “Once I Was Loved” (Cinderella, at her parents’ gravesite), “Oh, Ho, Ho, What a Comforting Thing to Know” (the Prince and squire John, in the Mausoleum), “Protocoligorically Correct” (King, Lord High Chamberlain, and Courtiers), “A Bride Finding Ball” (Cousin Montague, followed by a comic preparation and delivering of the invitations), “Suddenly It Happens” (Fairy Godmother and Cinderella, with white mice ballet as interlude), “Secret Kingdom All My Own” (Prince and Cinderella), “The Slipper and the Rose Waltz” (“When He Danced With Me” / “When She Danced With Me,” with intrusion of a couple of bars of Ravel’s “La Valse,” at particularly passionate moments; first introduced as dance music at the ball, then sung, first by Cinderella after she is transformed back into her servant garb, as she crosses the bridge, fleeing the Castle; then by the Prince as he finds the slipper at the foot of the stair and returns to the empty ballroom), “Position and Positioning” (John, prior to his knighting, which leads into a kitchen dance, where class distinctions are sharply challenged, and which leads, with the assistance of her Toto-like dog to the discovery of Cinderella; then her first public acknowledgement by the Prince), “Tell Him Anything (But Not That I Love Him)” (Cinderella, as she goes into exile for the sake of the kingdom, following a private late night dialogue with the Lord Chamberlain: “You see love; I see war and destruction, unless a sacrifice be made.” “And the sacrifice is to be me?” “Yes.”), “I Can’t Forget the Melody” (Prince, as he accepts his public duty). The comic fop Montague, assisted by the Fairy Godmother, whom he deserves, is key in resolving the dilemma at the end. The movie challenges class structures, mocks tradition and habit, but at the same time acknowledges public responsibility. Beautifully photographed in Austria, near Salzburg, with seasonal juxtapositions.] See the annotation for the novel based on the film under Modern Fiction.
Smooth Talk. Directed by Joyce Chopra. Screenplay by Tom Cole. Original music composed and produced by Bill Payne, Russ Kunkel, and George Massenburg. Music Director: James Taylor. 91 minutes. 1985. Cast: Laura Dern (Connie), Treat Williams (Arnold Friend), Mary Kay Place (Katherine, the mother), Margaret Welch (Laura Conden, Connie’s older friend), Sarah Inglis (Jill O’Mara, Connie’s younger friend), Levon Helm (Harry, the father), Elizabeth Berridge (June, the sister), William Ragsdale (Jeff Toussant, the first kiss), David Berridge (Eddie Hunter, heavy petter), Geoff Hoyle (Ellie Oscar, A. Friend’s friend).
[Based on Joyce Carol Oates’ story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, the movie studies Connie’s awkward coming of age. Sibling rivalry, discordant relationships with parents, hostile and painful isolation, confusing puberty, conflicting sense of glamour and dirtiness, and eroticized peer pressures compel this Cinderella, who goes twice to the “ball” in her sexually fantastic masquerade, and then, in a third “trip,” meets a demonic “prince” —license plate A FRIEND —who comes to her and gives her what she wants and fears. Chopra turns Connie into a blonde, who spends hours on her hair and dress, and adds to Oates’ story a final scene laden with female bonding, where, after the parents return, Connie embraces her mother and dances with June. The visual iconography of the movie — the beach, the mall, the highway, Frank’s Hot-dog drive-in, the dilapidated family house, the fallen apples, the three tryst settings, the reassuring dance with her sister at the end — is powerfully realized. Perhaps the French pun in Connie’s name helps to elucidate the plot.]
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Directed by David Hand. 1937. 83 minutes. A Disney Production. Written by Ted Sears, Otto Englander, Earl Hurd, Dorothy Blank, Richard Creedon, Dick Richard, Merrill De Maria, Webb Smith. Music by Frank Churchill, Paul Smith, Larry Morey, Leigh Harline. Voices: Adriana Caseloti, Harry Stockwell, Lucile LaVerne, Moroni Olsen, Billy Gilbert, Pinto Colvig, Otis Harlan, Scotty Matraw, Roy Atwell, Stuart Buchanan, Marion Darlington, Jim Macdonald.
[The film heightens Cinderella components in the story — the wickedness and jealousy of the stepmother, Snow White’s demotion from daughter of pride to scullery girl, laboring endlessly for the vain queen, and her perpetual adolescent wishing. As in the Donkey-Skin and Allerleirauh analogues her puberty occurs during a period of exile as she flees to the woods and takes up residence as a cleaning person. She has a festive ball at the new residence. After a “dormant” period, the Prince that she had fallen in love with comes to her rescue and they are to be married. As in many Cinderella narratives, her goodness is recognized by animals, who help her when the going gets tough. Like Disney’s Cinderella, this Snow White does a lot of mothering to fill the gaps left by the “missing mothers,” and her most dangerous moments occur when she day-dreams about love. See Basic European Texts and Miscellaneous Cinderellas, as well.]
Some Kind of Wonderful. Directed by Howard Deutch. 1987. 93 minutes. Written and produced by John Hughes. Cast: Eric Stoltz (Keith Nelson), John Ashton (Cliff Nelson, Keith’s father), Jane Elliot (Carol Nelson, Keith’s mother), Maddie Dorman (Laura Nelson, Keith’s sister), Candace Cameron (Cindy Nelson, Keith’s younger sister), Lea Thompson (Amanda Jones, the knock-out), Mary Stuart Masterson (Watts, the tomboy), Craig Sheffer (Hardy Jenns, the rich kid), Elias Koteas (Duncan, the skinhead), Molly Hagan (Shayne, a rich girl).
[A double Cinderella story (both male and female) with numerous plot ties and parallels John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink, but with genders reversed. Keith, a working class boy, is a talented art student but not much socially. His best friend, Watts, is a tomboy who has a crush on him that he can’t see (a sort of female Ducky, from Pretty in Pink). The beautiful Amanda Jones, who’d “rather be next to somebody for the wrong reasons than alone for the right ones,” makes it with the abusive rich kid Hardy Jenns, who uses many women as he pleases. In an effort to break away Amanda accepts a date with Keith who has secretly painted her picture. Watts is much upset by Keith’s move but acts as chauffeur on the date which begins at a restaurant, then goes after hours to the art gallery where Keith has made arrangements for admittance through his toughguy friend Duncan (whom he met in detention), whose father is custodian of the gallery. There he shows the Amanda his portrait of her which they have hung elegantly in what for the working boy is his church–the place where he can stand to be alone without fear. They then go by “invitation” to Hardy Jenns’ party, where the rich guys plan to beat up on the poor guy. But, when Hardy insults Amanda, Keith attacks Hardy first, and then, when Hardy’s boys gang up on Keith, skinhead Duncan and his friends step in to support Keith. The confrontation turns out satisfyingly in favor of the poor, as the rich kids chicken out and Hardy is humiliated by refusing to stand up to Keith or Amanda, who slaps his face. The couple leave unblemished and the skinheads stay to make a real party of it. Keith had given Amanda diamond earrings (Watts helped him select them) before going to the party. She returns them and in a show of character (no longer afraid to stand alone) lets Keith go to the one he now realizes that he really loves–Watts. She receives the earrings with gladness: a prince of a fellow has given his everloving “chauffeur” friend his life savings. Like Pretty in Pink, Hughes’ film makes much of class barriers, the corruption of the wealthy who abuse good common people the way stepsisters do, and the compelling drama of wishes finally coming true for the virtuous who patiently take adversity on the chin but triumph in the end. The diamond earrings serve as “slippers” that don’t fit the wrong person but are a perfect for the right one. This is a Cinderella story without fairy godmother or magic; rather, Keith and Watts each find the strength to get to the truth of the situation within themselves, and so too does Amanda as well.]
Sound of Music. Directed by Robert Wise. 1965. 174 minutes. Book by Ernest Lehman. Music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Cast: Julie Andrews (Maria), Christopher Plummer (Capt. Von Trapp), Eleanor Parker, Heather Menzies, Mami Nixon, Richard Haydn, Anna Lee, Norma Varden, Nicholas Hammond, Angela Cartwright, Portia Nelson, Duane Chase, Debbie Turner, Kym Karath.
[Based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. The basic Cinderella plot begins in the security of the convent with a kindly mother superior who serves as Maria’s guardian angel. But Maria’s love of the pastoral life in the midst of nature is at odds with her religious life, and she is sent out into the world as a servant/governess. She wins the attention of the Captain through her musical talents and ability to transform the children with song, despite the jealousy of the Captain’s aristocratic suitor. When the Captain discovers that he and Maria sing in the same key and he reveals his affection for her, she flees the Captain’s attentions and her own feelings as well by returning to the convent. Then, once again under the instruction of the mother superior, she returns to “climb every mountain,” marry the Captain, and then help them all to escape to Switzerland, again with the help of the fairy godmother superior.]
Strictly Ballroom. Directed by Baz Luhrmann. 1992. 92 minutes. Sidney, Australia. Cast: Paul Mercurio (Scott Hastings) and Tara Morice (Fran).
[A contemporary Cinderella story celebrating life, love, and the happy ending. Scott, son of Australian dance king and queen of 1967, is pressured to win the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix Ballroom Dancing Competition. Fran, motherless daughter of a Spanish tavern owner from the wrong side of the tracks (literally), becomes his partner, despite numerous interventions by Scott’s mom and the establishment of the dance federation, who object to Fran’s invisibility and Scott’s independent steps. Love, rhythm, and Spanish dancing carry the day at the competition, despite official declarations of their ineligibility. Both dads and Fran’s grandma (who sews) help out.]
Sun Valley Serenade. Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone. 1941. 86 minutes. Cast: Sonja Henie (Karen Benson), John Payne (Ted Scott), Glenn Miller (Phil Corey), Milton Berle (Nifty Allen), Lynn Bari (Vivian Dawn), Joan Davis (Miss Carstairs), the Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, Fayard and Harold Nicholas, and Dorothy Dandridge.
[In the tradition of 1920s Cinderella musicals where immigrants make it through their musical talents, Karen Benson (Sonja Henie) arrives as a Norwegian refugee placed under the wardship of Ted Scott (John Payne), who thinks he is getting a child refugee. He is pianist in Phil Corey’s aspiring band, being managed by Nifty Allen (Milton Berle). Through the graces of famous singer Vivian Dawn (Lynn Bari) the band gets a contract playing in Sun Valley during the Christmas season. Karen sets her heart on Ted and through her skiing prowess, ice skating finesse, and female cleverness snares him. Nifty Allen plays a combination role of fairy godmother and Buttons (he wants her too, but graciously gives her up now that the contracts are coming in), and Vivian Dawn plays the cold-hearted step-relations as she would use Ted, but then, when she sees she doesn’t have him, dumps him, thus setting up Ted’s greater successes. A broken ski serves in place of a lost slipper to get the girl and her prince ultimately together. The “ball” scene at the end is one of Hollywood’s first big icecapades, skated by Henie and a huge cast to Glenn Miller’s orchestra in full glory. The movie’s most successful production number, however, occurs earlier when Ted and Karen are absent and Glenn Miller “rehearses” while Vivian fumes. The rehearsal number is “Chattenooga Choo Choo,” with a fabulous rendition first by Joan Davis and the boys, then by Dorothy Dandridge and the tap-dancing Nicholas brothers. In this film there are several scenarios in which declassé people make it big. Compare Thin Ice (1937), below, where Sonja Henie also is cast in a Hollywood Cinderella role. The film received three Oscar nominations for best cinematography, best scoring of a musical picture, and best song (“Chattanooga Choo Choo”).]
Sunny. Directed by William H. Seiter. 1930. 67 minutes. Screenplay by Humphrey Pearson and Henry McCarthy. Based on Kern and Hammerstein’s 1925 musical. Cast: Marilyn Miller (Sunny), Lawrence Gray (Tom Warren), Joe Donahue (Jim Deming), Mackenzie Ward (Wendell-Wendell), O. P. Heggie (Peters), Inez Courtney (“Weenie”), Barbara Bedford (Marcia Manners), Judith Vosselli (Sue), Clyde Cook (Sam), Barry Allen (The Barker), William Davidson and Ben Hendrickson (Officers).
[See Musicals for synopsis.]
Sunny. Directed by Herbert Wilcox. 1941. 98 minutes. Screenplay by Sig Herzig. Based on Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s musical (1925) of the same name. Cast: Anna Neagle (Sunny Sullivan), Ray Bolger (Bunny Billings), John Carroll (Larry Warren), Edward Everett Horton (Henry Bates), Grace Hartman (Juliet Runnymede), Paul Hartman (Egghead), Frieda Inescort (Elizabeth Warren), Helen Westley (Aunt Barbara), Benny Ruben (Major Montgomery Sloan), Muggins Davies (Muggins), Richard Lane (Reporter), Torben Meyer (Head Waiter), Martha Tilton (Queen of Hearts).
[The movie was criticized by Bosley Crowther (New York Times) and Walt Christie (Variety, 21 May 1941) for turning the musical into a typical, routine Cinderella story. In brief, Sunny Sullivan, an Irish working girl (based on Sunny Peters of Southampton, a circus performer, in the musical), thinks she loves Larry Warren, who embarks for America. She “marries” Bunny Billings, Warren’s friend to get passport to America, but discovers after the divorce that she really loves the new friend. Elizabeth Warren serves as stepfamily, and Aunt Barbara as the counsellor. Cleverness and ingenuity get the hard-working true loves together in the end. Songs retained from the musical include “Sunny,” “Who?,” and “D’Ye Love Me?”]
Sword in the Stone, The. Walt Disney Production (1963). 79 minutes.
[Wart is a male Cinderella who does not work as hard in the kitchen as he might after fairy godfather Merlin comes around. See David Nicholson’s annotation under Male Cinderellas. There is no marriage in Disney’s adaptation of T.H. White’s adaptation from Malory, though Wart does become king and Merlin flies in from Bermuda to help. Kay is a kind of stepsister and Madame Mim serves as a splendidly wicked “stepmother,” not found in White.]
Tale of Cinderella, A. Book by W. A. Frankonis. Music by Will Severin and George David Weiss. Lyrics by George David Weiss. A New York State Theatre Institute/Warner Brothers Production, 1996. Directed for stage by Patricia Di Benedetto Snyder. Directed for TV by Patricia Di Benedetto Snyder and Tom Gliserman. Choreography by Adrienne Spagnola Posner. Costumes by Brent Griffin. Set design by Richard Finkelstein. Cast: Christianne Tisdale (Cinderella), Sean Frank Sullivan (Prince Nicolo di Cuore), John McGuire (Rafael the Gondalier), Joel Aroeste (merchant father Paolo), Erika Johnson Newell (Pulchitruda), Joanne Lessner (Moltovoce), Margaret Robinson (Seppia), Lorraine Serabian (La Stella, the Godmother), John Romeo (Il Compari, the mischievous Godfather), David Bunce (Peliculo); Citizens of Venice and Children of Venice.
[Premiered December 4, 1994, at the Schacht Fine Arts Center, Troy, New York. Recorded live at New York State Theatre Institute. With an amusing Venetian twist, Frankonis follows Perrault somewhat, but with a Godfather as well as a Godmother. Cinderella remains kind and caring throughout. Christianne Tisdale made her first hit as Bele in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. Synopsis (printed in the CD): In the time of fairy tales and magic, in the city of Venice, A Tale of Cinderella begins with the Venetians greeting a new day (Buon Giorno). A costumed and masked stranger, who is the Prince in disguise, hears a sad tale of long ago from a Gondolier (The Tale of Cinderella). He learns about Paolo, Giametta, and their child, Angelina, who is raised by her father after her mother dies (Hear Us). Angelina still lives in Venice, only now she has a stepmother and stepsisters. As the Prince departs, a grown-up Angelina, busily cleans the hearth (Cinderella) while her new stepsisters mockingly dub her “la cenerentola” — the Cinderella. Paolo returns from a merchant voyage to reveal he has lost two ships and as a result, nearly all their money. The stepsisters, Seppia and Moltovoce, and the stepmother, Pulchitruda, selfishly lament the prospect of poverty (Poor, Poor, Poor). Cinderella reassures her father that they will be happy again despite his loses (In the Air). He wonders why she is doing all the housework, as if he were a servant, and confronts his new wife, telling her that she and her daughters should help out (These Graceful Hands/Stepmother Casts a Spell). Pulchitruda complains about Cinderella, and to keep Paolo from interfering, she abuses the power of a magic amulet (which is intended to help people find love) by enchanting him with it. The stepsisters mock Cinderella as she plays with the children (Showoff) and ruin her whole day’s work by upsetting the laundry she has just cleaned, leaving her dispirited in the town square. Her godmama, La Stella, arrives, first only as a voice in the air and then in her magic gondola, and encourages Cinderella not to lose hope (Have Faith). Hearing sounds in the night, La Stella hides Cinderella in the shadows and magically makes herself look like a wall. The Prince, on his way to a masquerade, arrives with his boastful godfather, Il Compari, who also urges the Prince to hide in the shadows when La Stella challenges them. The two godparents then confront each other. The Prince, meanwhile, discovers Cinderella and befriends her by helping her to collect the scattered and now-dirty laundry. When she leaves, the Prince admits to Il Compari that he is in love with the laundress and urges his godfather to help him win her (Make Magic). Il Compari discovers his sword may be magic because when he waves it, they hear Cinderella singing in the distance. The Prince cleverly plans a great ball for all the unmarried women of Venice, at which each must sing for him so he can identify the beautiful laundress and make her his wife. After they leave the square, Cinderella dreamily returns, herself in love with the masked stranger. To the night, she bids him happy dreams and falls asleep. But her own dreams become a frightening nightmare (Demons and Devils and Witches) filled with threatening figures and the menacing presence of her stepfamily. She is wakened by the arrival of the king’s messenger who announces the Grand Venetian Wife-Hunt Ball (Peliculo) for the following night. Paolo promises to buy Cinderella a gown and, as the act ends, excited Venetians begin frenzied preparations for the festivities (Unmarried Women).

Act II opens with the new day dawning (Out of the Ashes) and Cinderella preparing breakfast demanded by the stepsisters (Bring My Porridge). Pulchitruda insults Cinderella’s mother, and when Paolo warns her to say nothing about his first wife, she tries to enchant him again. But in a flash, Cinderella deliberately spills porridge on her, steals the amulet, drives the stepsisters from the kitchen, then fantasizes about turning the tables on her tormenters (Some Sweet Day). As the Venetians continue preparations for the ball (Can You Believe It?), Cinderella reveals to her father that she may be in love with a masked stranger she met in the square (Love, Love, Love). Paolo prepares to depart for Padua where he hopes to salvage some of his fortune. The stepsisters renew their taunting (Showoff reprise), leaving Cinderella in despair, but this time Paolo witness the moment and separately he and Cinderella lament what has happened to their lives (Bella/Mi Dispiace). In a fury, Pulchitruda threatens Cinderella: find the lost amulet or miss the ball. Cinderella ponders her dilemma: she can return the amulet and thus hurt her father, or keep it and protect him (The Amulet). Lovingly, she chooses to help him and hides the amulet. When the others leave for the ball and Paolo has failed to return with a gown for her, a disappointed Cinderella remains behind. Riding fog, La Stella arrives and with her magic wooden spoon promises to give Cinderella’s tormenters a taste of their own medicine (Don’t Mess With La Stella). From the basket of dirty laundry, she conjures a beautiful ball gown, and from the fireplace, mysterious crystal shoes which can help find love. But they can also steal love and turn a heart to hard, unfeeling glass if the wearer has not found her love by midnight. With a warning (Be Back by Midnight/To the Ball), she sends Cinderella to the ball in an enchanted gondola. At the masquerade the Prince and Cinderella meet and dance, unaware they have met before and that they actually seek one another. Il Compari and La Stella do recognize each other and as they dance realize they are in love (Compliments). Cinderella and the Prince, meanwhile, are also attracted to each other (No One Ever Told Me), but midnight arrives and as the great clock tower tolls the hour, Cinderella flees, leaving behind one of the crystal shoes. For two days without success the Prince and Il Compari search the city for whoever fits the shoe. Without recognizing it, they arrive at the little square where they first saw Cinderella. The children playing spot the Prince and interrupt the search to say how much they admire him and his life, but he cautions them about being fooled by appearances (The Prince). Il Compari tries out his erratically magic sword, and again in the distance Cinderella is heard singing. The children point out the source of the voice and the Prince hurries away to find the woman he loves. The stepsisters insist they both lost the shoe, but cannot squeeze into it. As Paolo finally arrives home, Cinderella tries the shoe, and of course it fits, so the Prince asks her to be his bride. She seeks her father’s approval, but Paolo tells her to hear her own heart. As Cinderella realizes the Prince and the masked stranger she loves are one and the same person, she agrees. Paolo gives her the gown he brought back, too late for the ball, but perhaps it can be her wedding gown. She, in turn, retrieves the magic amulet from its hiding place in the hearth and gives it to her father, hoping it will help him find love again. As Cinderella goes off to plan the wedding, Pulchitruda decides she and her daughters cannot live without riches, so they leave. But La Stella is not through with them. When they try to board a gondola, she waves her magic wooden spoon, and they plunge into the canal instead, to the great delight of the Venetians. In the air music is heard, which Paolo tells the children is really the sound of happiness and while the setting transforms, the wedding procession begins. As the play ends, bride and groom appear and pledge themselves and their love to each other (You Are My Love/No One Ever Told Me reprise) and the Venetians celebrate (Cinderella Finale).]
Tales of Paris. Produced by Francis Cosne. 1962. 100 minutes. Cast: Ella (Dany Seval), Hubert (Darry Cowl), Eric (Henry Tisot), Pidoux (Jacques Ary), Juliette (Francoise Giret), Taxi Driver (Serge Marquand), with the Les Chaussettes Noires (singers).
[A four-part French film presented by Times Film Corporation at the Little Carnegie, consisting of four 20-30 minute vignettes of women. The first is “The Tale of Ella,” a scenario by Isabelle Phat and Mark Aurain, adapted by Jacques Poitrenaud, Jean-Loup Labadie, and Francis Cosne. Directed by M. Poitrenaud. Synopsis: A scatter-brained nightclub performer (Ella) casually picks up a fellow, takes him to her apartment, and doesn’t find out until morning that he is the important Hollywood producer she has been hoping to meet and impress. Though he thought the first tale the weakest of the four, Bosley Crowther called it “an exhibit of pure perpetual motion”–New York Times, 27 August 1962, p. 16.]
Tammy and the Bachelor. Directed by Joseph Pevney and Oscar Brodney. 1957. 89 minutes. Cast: Debbie Reynolds, Leslie Nielsen, Walter Brennan, Fay Wray, Sidney Blackmer, Mildred Natwich, Louise Beavers.
[Tammy, her mother dead, lives with her grandfather and a nanny goat along the river in Mississippi. A plane crashes, and she and grandpa rescue the pilot and nurse him back to health. He then goes back to his life, leaving Tammy in love with him. Meanwhile grandpa is sent to prison for making moonshine, and Tammy is sent to be with Peter the pilot, who lives on a great (though poor) plantation, where he hopes to become independently wealthy by developing a super tomato. Tammy is set to work in the kitchen, but her good cheer and down-home philosophy gradually win the favor of everyone (except that of Barbara, a woman of position who wants Peter and improvements of all sorts). Each year Peter’s family shows off the old colonial estate to the public in order to make money to survive. The land has been farmed out, though Peter has hope for his tomato seed. The festival-like “pilgrimage” is a hit as never before as Tammy impersonates the poor girl who came from Virginia but won the love of the plantation owner while selling him eggs and became the princess. She embellishes the story with fairytales told by her father. She wins the favor of the community and Peter’s heart. A hailstorm destroys the tomatoes, and Peter would quit. Tammy, discouraged not by the hail but by Peter’s lack of grit as he gives up on the tomatoes and accepts the offer of Barbara’s uncle to go into advertising, takes nanny and returns to the bayous. But her “prince” comes to find her; Pop gets out of prison, and, clearly, this fairytale will have a happy ending as Tammy finds her love. Cinderella Themes: Motherless poor girl, with good natural intelligence, coming of age. Impoverished guardian. Meets prince initially in pastoral setting. Works as scullion in household with rival and stepmother-types oppressing her. Fairy-godmother- type helps cloth her and get her to the festival. The prince has a Dandini-like rival, his friend Arthur. She wins the prince’s heart at the ball in the ancestor’s dress. She leaves in the middle of the night to return to the pastoral scene. The prince finds her, brings her back, and marries her. She helps others to find themselves and their true hearts throughout the plot.]
Thin Ice. Directed by Sidney Lanfield. 1937. 78 minutes. Darryl Zannuck Production. Cast: Sonja Henie (Lilly Heiser), Raymond Walburn (Uncle Dornik), Tyrone Power (Prince Rudolph), Arthur Treacher (Nottingham), Sig Rumann (Prime Minister), Joan Davis (Orchestra Leader).
[An orphaned ice-skating teacher living with her comically greedy uncle becomes Cinderella to a European prince who falls in love with her, courts her in disguise, and wins her, to the benefit of all. Instead of three dances, three skating extravaganzas. Based on a book, Der Komet, by Attila Orbok.]
The Truth about Cats and Dogs. Dir. Michael Lehmann. Written by Audrey Wells. Cast: Janeane Garofalo (Abby), Uma Thurman (Noelle), Ben Chaplin (Brian), Jamie Foxx (Ed), Hank (the dog), Jamie McCaffrey (Roy), Richard Coca (Eric), Stanley De Santis (Mario), Antoinette Valenti (Susan), Mitch Rouse (Bee Man), La Tanya M. Fisher (Emily), Faryn Einhorn (child model), David Cross (Male Radio Caller/Bookstore Man), Mary Lynn Rajskub (Voice of Female Radio Caller). Bob Adenkirk (Bookstore Man), Dechen Thurman (Bookstore Cashier).
[Some Cinderella motifs (slipper, mistaken identity, the "prince" seeking what he doesn't understand, a kind of stepsister relationship, except that though they become rivals and the wrong one seems to be succeeding, here the two women really are best friends who help each other in the end as Noelle helps Abby finally to get her man, and Abby helps Noelle to get a respectable job). Plot: Abby is successful as a Veterinarian talk show host, but lacks confidence about her personal life. She becomes emotionally involved with Brian, a photographer whom she helps to befriend a dog on roller skates. He asks her out. In a panic she talks Noelle into impersonating her, but continues to talk with him herself by phone. He falls in love with Abby's wit, openness, vitality, and violin playing, though he thinks Noelle is Abby. In disguise Abby gives Brian her tennis shoe, when he insists that she give him a token. When he finds out that the two have been hiding the truth from him, he thinks he is being ridiculed by cruel women. But he does love Abby, and she loves him, and, with the assistance of the dog as go between, they get together for a happy ending.]
Wall Street. Directed by Irvine Stone. 1987. 126 minutes. Cast: Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Martin Sheen, Terrance Stamp, Hal Holbrook.
[A variation on male Cinderella, whose ascent turns to ashes. Pairs well with Working Girl.]
White Palace. Directed by Luis Mandoki. 1990. 103 minutes. Universal Studios Production. From the novel by Glenn Savan. Screenplay by Ted Tally and Alvin Sargent. Music by George Fenton. Costumes by Lisa Jensen. Cast: Susan Sarandon (Nora Baker), Max Baron (James Spader), Eileen Brennan (Judith, the Tarot Clairvoyant and Nora’s older sister), Renee Taylor (Edith Baron, Max’s mother), Maria Pitillo (Janey, Max’s deceased wife), Jason Alexander (Neil Horowitz), Rachel Levin (Rachel, Neil’s bride and wife), Steve Hill (Sol Horowitz, Neil’s father), Hildy Brooks (Neil’s mother), Kim Meyers (Heidi Solomon, talented socialite), Corey Parker (Larry Klugman, a friend), Barbara Howard (Sherri Klugman, friend).
[A twenty-seven year old Jewish yuppie, still grieving over the death of his wife Janey (auto accident), finds himself attracted to a forty-three year old gentile waitress at the White Palace hamburger joint who is preoccupied with the tragedy of Marilyn Monroe. She has let her life disintegrate after the suicide death of her fourteen year old son and lives on the brink of poverty. Max’s first gift to her is a fashionable dust buster (vacuum cleaner), which outrages her. But she does start cleaning the place up. He fears introducing her to St. Louis Jewish society, but finally takes her to Thanksgiving dinner with his mother at the Horowitz’s. As they set out Nora worries whether she is wearing the right shoes. At dinner the class lines are heavily drawn and the dinner a disaster. She leaves St. Louis without a trace, and he is left with the task of finding her. Her sister Judy serves as fairy godmother in bringing them together, first in St. Louis by telling him his fortune and the truth about Nora’s difficult life, and then by leading him to her in New York, after he has quit his job in St. Louis and decided to become a school teacher as he had originally planned. He meets her at a New York restaurant where she now works. They sweep each other off their feet and evidently will have a happy life together. The movie stresses honesty, love, and the overcoming of class and social interference. Rather than rags to riches, this Cinderella plot takes both the protagonists from the ashes of their depressing lives to something more vital. Their identities grow through each other, despite apparently insurmountable obstacles. They find the right shoes for themselves–a good fit even on the lunch table of a busy Manhattan restaurant at noon.]
Wizard of Oz, The. Directed by Victor Fleming. 1939. 103 minutes. Screenplay by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, and Edgar Allan Woolf. A Victor Fleming Production. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Cast: Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Lion), Frank Morgan (Wizard), Margaret Hamilton (Elvira Gulch and Witch of the West), Billie Burke (Witch of the North), Clara Blandick (Auntie Em).
[One of the greatest movies of all times, brilliantly juxtaposing the fantasy kingdom and home in the bifurcated quest. Like Molly Whuppie or Vasilisa, the motherless Dorothy, caught in a magical real of wishes, takes on a Baba-Yaga like witch. Assisted by her animal and mechanical companions she escapes the demon and, with the aid of her slippers can click her heels together to obtain her dream. Memorable songs include “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Follow the Yellow-brick Road,”, “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” and “The Merry Old Land of Oz.” Based on L. Frank Baum’s book. See entry under Miscellaneous Cinderellas.]
Wiz, The. Directed by Sidney Lumet. 1978. 133 minutes. Music by Charlie Smalls, augmented by Quincy Jones. Screenplay by Joel Schumacher. Production design and costumes by Tony Walton. A Motown Production. Cast: Diana Ross (Dorothy), Michael Jackson (Scarecrow), Nipsey Russell (Tin Man), Ted Ross (Lion), Mabel King (Evillene), Theresa Merritt (Aunty Em), Lena Horne (Glinda the Good), Richard Pryor (The Wiz).
[Set in Harlem, a brilliant adaptation of the all-black cast Broadway musical that explores problems of the ghetto and African-American adolescence. Dorothy is 24, teaching elementary and being pressured by Aunty Em to accept a high school teaching position that will take her beyond 125th street. While rescuing Toto from a blizzard Dorothy falls into the nightmare wherein she confronts the contemporary perils of the ghetto–from despair, violence, drugs, loneliness, lack of confidence, fear, and deserted rubble and subway landscapes, to sweatshop exploitation, and intimidation. Great sets, great large production numbers. In Munchkinland the graffiti comes to life.]
Working Girl. Directed by Mike Nichols. Screenplay by Kevin Wade. Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus. Music by Carly Simon. Twentieth-century Fox, 1988. 113 minutes. Cast: Melanie Griffith (Tess McGill), Harrison Ford (Jack Trainer), Sigourney Weaver (Katharine Parker), Joan Cusack (Cyn), Alec Baldwin (Mick Dugan), Philip Bosco (Oren Trask).
[“A charming, corporate Cinderella”–Newsweek; “a modern Cinderella” –Partison Review; “Cinderella in a business suit”–New York Times. Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” won the Academy Award for best song. A number of parallels of concern and technique with Wall Street. On her thirtieth birthday Tess McGill faces new crises in her working-girl life that seems to be going nowhere. Working in the secretarial pool at Petty Marsh she has completed her MBA degree with honors in night school but still is denied access to entry positions above the glass ceiling by her superiors, who treat her more like a prostitute or a personal slave than a serious candidate. But through risk taking and resilient personal stamina she makes her way out of the ethnic Staten Island background and, through impersonation, gains access to the ball even without invitation. She learns to “make it happen.” Her boss, Katharine Parker, serves both as stepsister and fairy godmother as Tess, through Katharine’s unwitting assistance, gets new clothes, a new voice, and new savvy. Like Cinderella, Tess is caught short by bad timing and is humiliatingly exposed as only a secretary, but, through strength of character and ingenuity she manages to get an honest hearing with Jack Trainer, the one she loves, and Oren Trask, the business executive, and closes the big deal. The movie concludes with Tess, well-served by her prince, in an office of her own, high in the shining white towers of the silver city. One of the little people has made it. See Russell A. Peck’s essay on Cinderella components in the movie under Criticism.]
Year of the Fish. Written and directed by David Kaplan. 2007. 96 minutes. Based on the ancient Chinese fairy tale Yeh Shen, with some adaptations from the Russian story of Wassilissa. Music by Paul Cantelon. Cinematography by Adam Silver. Casting by David Caparelliotis. Design by Mylene Santos. Set decoration by Kelley Burney. Costume design by Mattie Ullrich. Makeup and hair by David Kalahiki, Johnny Mooi, and Leo Won. Photographed in rotoscopy for animated affect. Cast: An Nguyen (Ye Xian), Tsai Chin (Mrs. Su), Lee Wong (Vinnie), Hettienne Park (Hong Ji), Corrine Hong Wu (Katty), Lori Tan Chinn (Shuk Yee), Ken Leung (Johnny), Randall Duk Kim (Auntie Yaga / Old Man / Foreman), Sally Leung Bayer (Johnny’s Grandmother), Constance Wu (Lucy), Gine Lui (Fortuneteller), Paul J.Q. Lee (Wu), Lloyd Suh (Chik), Henry Yuk (Mr. Meng), Matthew Saldivar (Gang Leader), Andre De Leon (Thug), Akira Takayama (Lin). Masae Taniguchi (Salon Worker #1), Esther Cheng (Salon Worker 3), Eva Liu (Salon Worker 4), Kim Dong (Salon Worker 5), Jessica Moon, (Salon Worker 6), Tina Duong (Salon Worker 7), Janet Lau (Salon Worker 8), Lillian Leong (Salon Worker 9), Migini Tsai (Salon Worker 10), Susan Li (Salon Worker 11), Henry Russell Bergstein (Hasidic Customer Henry Russell), Ken Marks (Ye Xian’s Customer), Philip Levy (Businessman #1), Buzz Bovshow (Businessman 2), Barry Sacker (Tourist Man), Bunnie Levine (Tourist Woman), Anna Kim (Seamstress #1), Wai Ching Ho (Seamstress 2), Jane Wu (Seamstress 3), and Sophia Tam (Little Girl).
[Set in Chinatown, NYC, in the first decade of the 21st century, the story is narrated by a fish (David Lee) that is given to Ye Xian by “Auntie Yaga” (a Baba Yaga figure from Russian fairytales, who destroys most people but serves as a kind of fairy godmother to Ye Xian, providing she does not ask too many or the wrong questions). Ye Xian’s mother has died and her father, who has lost his job on the farm, sends her from China to her mother’s sister, Mrs. Su (Tsai Chin), who runs a “massage” parlour in a seedy part of New York City’s China town, amidst laundries, gambling joints, sweatshops, and brothels. Ye Xian (An Nguyen) is 17; Mrs. Su’s first command is to lie about her age – “you are 18" – and then forces her to sign a contract to pay back her traveling expenses, rent, and a management fee, by working with the other “salon girls” as a masseuse, first giving massages, then performing sexual acts according to the desires of the customer. Two of her “sister” salon workers give her special advice: One, Hong Ji (Hettienne Park), a hardened beauty who detests sentiment and understands the demands of the job as a fiscal arrangement whereby she ekes out a living with a pitiless resolve; her primary advice to Ye Xian is never to show love or feeling or to fall for such foolishness. In her hard-nosed self-first lack of sympathy Hong Ji is a kind of bad stepsister. The other “sister,” Katty (Corrine Hong Wu), is a more kindly girl who understands Ye Xian’s dire circumstance, and tries to console her – “it’s awful the first time,” just as bad the second and third, but by the sixth or so you learn to distract yourself and get through the assignments without too much pain. As an act of kindness, she gives the new girl a package of panty wipes which she, in her innocence, finds baffling.

After being shown the routine, Ye Xian tries to escape, but is trapped by her Aunt Su who threatens her with breach of contract. Ye Xian is assigned her first customer, a man who usually wants Hong Ji, but this time chooses Ye Xian because she is new and a virgin, for which Mrs. Su demands a higher fee. Ye Xian takes him to the changing room, offers him tea, then flees. Mrs. Su beats her and assigns her, like poor Cinderella, to all the dirty tasks of the establishment – scrubbing the floors, cleaning the toilets, washing and ironing the clothes, doing the shopping, and all the cooking. Ye Xian proves herself to be an excellent cook – her mother had taught her that – and enjoys doing the shopping, where she meets the blind and fearfully hideous Auntie Yaga, who appears as if by magic and gives her a very small gold fish to nurture. Xian also meets Johnny Pah (Ken Leung), an accordion player in a trio he’s put together, who sometimes plays and sings to himself in the park, where Ye Xian first sees him and he her. Johnny imagines himself to be in love with Lucy, an uptown girl who is cheating on him, entertaining young bankers who give her expensive gifts. When a restaurant owner gives the band $50.00 rather than $50.00 a person for a performance, Johnny pays the difference out of his own pocket; his buddies go to the massage salon to have some fun, but Johnny goes home to his grandmother. She advises him to forget about Lucy and find a nice Chinese girl who will love him in return. She gives him money to go out on the town with his buddies, but he declines. He’d rather play his accordion alone in the park to an imagined audience, except that Ye Xian sees and listens to him. He sees her watching, they make eye contact, and neither is certain about what happened in that glimpse.

Mrs. Su has a brother, Vinnie, who secretly watches YeXian when she bathes, loves her cooking, and decides to “rescue” her, first by showing her his tattoos and promising more if she will come to his bed, which she refuses to do. Hong Ji kicks over Ye Xian’s bucket while she is scrubbing the floor, and they get into a fight, which really sets off Mrs. Su. The fish has grown too large for the bowl, and after further humiliation of her niece, Mrs. Su tells her she must get rid of the fish. In a fierce rain storm, Ye Xian takes the fish to a fountain in the park where a wise man has said that the water reaches all the way through the earth to China. On subsequent shopping days at the Chinese street markets she stops by the fountain and feeds the fish. Hong Ji spies on her and tells Mrs. Su, who sends Ye Xian on a mission to a dangerous place where a street gang, Mrs. Su is certain, will abduct and rape her. Meanwhile, Hong Ji gets the fish from the fountain and cooks it for dinner. As the gang attempts to attack the helpless girl, she escapes, rounds a corner and bumps into Johnny. She hides behind him as he confronts the gang. They outnumber him many to one, but fear that he may be a leader of a Chinese gang. The principal assailant spits on Johnny, but backs off. Johnny recognizes Ye Xian as the girl in the park and begins to ask questions about her. She uses a panty wipe to clean the spit of his jacket, then disappears. He wonders who she is, has strong feelings for her, but falls back into his mournful solitude. When she gets back to the Salon she is welcomed to supper – a fish that Hong Ji has cooked. The Wise Man at the fountain had warned her of this eventuality, telling her to keep the bones, but she had not understood his meaning until now. She refuses to eat, but collects the fishbones, cleans them, and puts them under her pillow.

Winter comes and there’s to be a grand Chinese New Year’s Party. Mrs. Su buys tickets for all the Salon girls and makes an announcement: Ye Xian has been forgiven and is to become Vinnie’s wife. When Ye Xian refuses, Mrs. Su is outraged, tells her of her father’s death, and announces that she is going to sell her to a sweatshop or a brothel, which is worse than death. Ye Xian stumbles to her room. Vinnie curses her, and goes to the party with the others.

Alone and weeping in her room, she remembers the fortune teller’s words about some mystery in store for her, and recalls the Wise Man’s exhortation to return the clean fishbones to Auntie Yaga. But be careful: the witch lurks behind a white door somewhere in the worst sweatshop in the city, which she must enter fearlessly. She sets out alone, finds the white door that opens onto a dark passage up many flights of stairs: at the top of the first flight is a ghostly man with a painted-white face. She passes resolutely by him, only to be confronted at the top of the next flight by a figure with a face painted red. At the top of the third flight there is a third man, deep in the darkness, who has no face at all. She continues on and opens a door into the sweatshop where the foreman demands that all the women work faster or be whipped. She asks the foreman to see Auntie Yaga. All stop work in terror. The foreman threatens her, but she says she has brought the bones to the blind visionary. The Baba Yaga feels Ye Xian’s face, knows it is she, and can tell from the bones that she took good care of the fish. She announces that Ye Xian will go to the ball. “Maybe you will find what you are looking for.” The sweatshop girls bathe her and Auntie Yaga gives her a new blue dress made of tears. Ye Xian inquires whether she may ask a question. Be careful, Yaga responds; “not all answers are good.” The question is, as in the Russian Baba Yaga tales, about the three guardians. The reply: the white-faced one is the bright day; the red-faced one Auntie Yaga’s sun; and the one with no face is dark night. Do you want to ask anything further? Ye Xian says no and is given a blue dress that flows between the color of sky and the color of the sea. “Time to go,” the witch says, “and never come back,” or else she will “bite her little teats off.”

Five factory girls guide Ye Xian to the ball, amidst a fabulous dragon-led Chinese New Year’s parade. On the escalator up to the ballroom a little girl tells her she’s pretty. The child is Mr Meng, the master of ceremony’s daughter. At midnight he welcomes all, telling them that the Chinese New Year feast is about community, not just of the living but with the spirits of their ancestors, too. Ye Xian’s confidence grows as she finds herself standing confidently with her father and mother. As she looks up, she sees Johnny Pah and his trio, who have been hired to play for the festivities.. He begins with a solo, the one she heard him play in the park, though this time it’s not sung to an imaginary Lucy, but rather to Ye Xien, whom he once rescued. He sees her and tells the other two to play on while he dances with his dream girl. “Do you believe our ancestors are with us,” she asks? Johnny agrees; he learns her name, and they dance close, then kiss. Mrs. Su sees her and approaches, but she flees into the darkness. She stops by the fountain, with a full moon reflecting on the water, then returns to her room, where she meets her father, who calls her the bravest girl in the world.

Johnny, unable to find her in the darkness, returns to Grandma, who says, find her. His band mates tell him that they recognize the name Ye Xian, insisting that she works as the chore girl at the salon, scrubs toilets and does all the dirty work. Johnny can’t believe them, but goes with them nonetheless. They ask for the manager, but Mrs. Su says that there is no one named Ye Xian in her establishment. Chik, his friend, insists she must be there, but Mrs. Su would shoo them out. But before they get out the door, Katty steps forward and says Ye Xian is in the laundry room. Johnny finds her, embraces her even in her dirty rags. As the men leave, taking the girl along, Mrs. Su, sounding like Hong Ji, imagines them “old and putrid, wallowing in each other’s love” – the worst thing that could happen to anyone. Johnny’s grandma pays the debt, Ye Xian and Johnny are married, and she continues working, now in a bakery. They are happy.

The fish becomes once again the tale’s narrator and tells how Auntie Yaga grinds the fishbones into a powder and scatters the dust all over Chinatown, insisting that “it make no difference to me – we all become dirt someday.” He asserts that the most we can hope for is to love and be loved. “For me it was Ye Xian. But that do I know, I am only a fish. My story over now and it’s time to say good night.” The fish then proceeds to say good night to each character as they lie in the darkness (Mrs. Su, looking at a photograph of Mao Tse Tung!), and concluding with Johnny lying peacefully with Ye Xian. The fish wishes her sweet dreams, calling her “my own true heart in this world or any other. I think I bring you good luck a lot, and now I can get some rest.”]
Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China. Directed by Ray Patterson. 1985. 25 minutes. CBS Entertainment Video 1992. Based on book by Ai Ling Louie. Illustrated by Ed Young. Teleplay by Malcolm Marmorstein. Music by Arlon Ober. Animation Supervisor Mark Simon. Creative Design by Iwao Takamoto. Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.
[Yeh-Shen works hard bearing water and wood and doing the washing for her cruel stepmother and stepsister, who starve her. But Golden Eyes, a beautiful fish, is her friend, talks with her, and encourages her. She gives the fish rice, but the mother finds out about the fish, captures it using Yeh-Shen’s red coat as a disguise, and eats the fish, leaving only the bones for Yeh-Shen. The bones are magic, however, and provide the hard-working girl with food. The stepmother and her unmarried daughter go to the festival in hope of marrying the prince. Yeh-Shen must stay in the cave, but the bones provide her with a lovely dress and golden slippers so that she may attend. The prince falls in love with her and dances with her, but she flees, losing one of her slippers. A peasant finds it, sells it to a merchant, who gives it to the king. The king is enamoured of the slipper and seeks to marry its owner. Yeh-Shen searches for the lost slipper, feeling obliged to get the two slippers together again so that the soul of her fish might join its ancestors. She tries to get it from the king at the palace but is put into prison as a beggar. Later, after many try to fit the slipper but fail, the king releases Yeh-Shen from prison, leaves the slipper out and spies to see what she does with it. She takes it to the cave, gets her other slipper, then goes to the pond where her fish once lived. But at that moment the stepmother intercepts her and accuses her of stealing the slipper from the king. The king permits her to try on the pair, and as she does so the spirit of the fish joins its ancestors, transforming Yeh-Shen into a lovely princess with a beautiful dress. The prince says she is the one he danced with, but the king claims her as his bride. The stepmother would share in the credit for the match, but she and her daughter are, we are told, crushed in the cave by falling rocks. See Asian Cinderellas.]
Zou Zou. Directed by Arys Nissotti. 1934. 92 minutes. Artistic director: G. Abatino. Cast: Josephine Baker (Zou Zou), Jean Gabin (Jean), Pierre Larquey (le père Melé), Yvette Lebon (Claire), Illa Meery (Miss Barbara), Palau (Saint-Lévy), Madeleine Guitty (Josette the costume mistress), Claire Gerard (Mme Vallée of the laundry), Marcel Vallée (Trompe).
[As children Zou Zou and Jean are exhibited as freak twins in the circus by Pere Melé. As they become older Jean joins the navy while Zou Zou works in a laundry. Later Jean works as electrician for a musical theater company in Paris. Zou Zou and Claire deliver the laundry at a time when Miss Barbara, the blonde star of the show, wants to quit the show. Jean falls in love with Claire, while Zou Zou gets the role left vacant by Barbara. Jean accidently is accused of murder. Zou Zou has witnessed the scene and does what she can to rescue him. She becomes star of the show, saves Jean from death row, and discovers that he loves Claire instead of her. She carries on, nonetheless. The movie was billed as a Cinderella story. Cinderella components include an orphan girl, hard work, perpetual high spirits despite oppression, the search for a girl that cannot be found, and, ultimately, success as Zou Zou rises from poverty to stardom. She does not get the prince, however, and that ends up hurting. But she has the stamina to carry on, albeit secretly in grief, and selflessly facilitates the happiness of several others.]