Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Movie Review ~ Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1965) with Leslie Ann Warren & Stuart Damon

With a cast of famous people (including Ginger Rogers as the queen) and the historically high overall ratings, I was quite curious to see this one. Richard Rodgers commissioned it and was Executive Producer, present/personally superintending during the production -- which I wouldn’t have guessed and find most interesting.

Along those lines, one of the most fascinating things was discovering the prince’s number I Lie in the Loneliness of Evening (which I first heard with the soundtrack of the new Broadway production) was actually first included here in 1965! :) It was originally composed for South Pacific (which makes a lot of sense with the “flecked sea” line), but cut before production. It’s placed near the beginning in this version and I think the prince does an admirable job with it. Also, while on the song topic, I thought their take on In My Own Little Corner was original (i.e. having the stepmother send Cinderella to her corner and Cinderella trying to make the best of a bad business).

It’s very much a “stage” type production and the color scheme throughout is quite bold: reds and lavenders and blues and oranges and bright greens.

I do have to say the dialogue’s a bit stilted in places, but I’ve now seen it twice and overall did like it more the second time. One of the main things (that does irk me) is that the stepsisters aren’t terribly nasty and they’re also a bit older (which is absolutely fine), but I ended up feeling much more like, “Oh, the poor unfortunate girls… Yes, they’re totally awkward and disagreeable, but oh dear… they don’t really deserve to be made fun of.” (And most especially not by the prince. As my sister said, he’s an absolutely great prince, he just needs to go to finishing school -- which, of course, is more the fault of the script, not the actor.)

The prince is quite fantastic. His voice and singing are excellent, reminding me in places of Jon Cypher’s performance in the original 50’s version, while Cinderella has a definite, high, piquant timbre/quality to her voice and singing tone. 

For a couple high points, Cinderella’s chiffon skirts do sweep and glitter quite beautifully when she’s dancing at the ball and after she arrives home she also has a short ballet interlude during A Lovely Night, which is fun and unexpected. :)

Altogether, while I have to say this still isn’t a top favorite, as aforementioned, I've seen it twice now and did like it quite a bit more the second time around. It’s definitely memorable!

Tell me! Have you seen this version and what do you think of it?


  1. Replies
    1. Ivy Miranda,
      *grinning* Well, it definitely does have some fun and most memorable parts! ;D And I actually watched all the behind-the-scenes "extras" recently, too, which were most fascinating. :)

  2. I really like the use of color in this movie. You get such a certain "feel" when you're watching it. And the songs are so clever/beautiful! I love singing "In My Own Little Corner", "Impossible", and "Ten Minutes ago".

    1. Abby P.,
      Yes, the colors! So striking! Altogether, I almost feel like it has a 'picture book' vibe. :) Do you think so? And do you have a favorite scene? And yes indeedy, those songs are so lovely!! ;)

  3. I would watch this just for Ginger Rogers, and Walter Pigeon and Celeste Holm would make it even more fun! And wow, those costumes are delightful!

    1. Hamlette,
      Do give it a try sometime -- I'm super curious to know what you might think of it! And it's definitely family friendly so you could totally watch it with the little people. :)

    2. If I can, I will. I'm thinking of showing The Slipper and the Rose to them soon because the girls at least will like all the costumes and dresses. It's still free for Amazon Prime right now, so I should probably do that soon.


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