|ALICE IN WONDERLAND (director: Norman McLeod; screenwriters: from a Lewis Carroll book/Joseph L. Mankiewicz/ William Cameron Menzies; cinematographer: Henry Sharp/Bert Glennon; editor: Ellsworth Hoagland; music: Dimitri Tiomkin; cast: Richard Arlen (Cheshire Cat ), Roscoe Ates (Fish), Charlotte Henry (Alice), Louise Fazenda (White Queen), Mae Marsh (The Sheep), William Austin (Gryphon), Leon Errol (Uncle Gilbert), W.C. Fields (Humpty Dumpty), Ford Sterling (White King), Polly Moran (Dodo Bird), Gary Cooper (White Knight), Sterling Holloway (Frog), Skeets Gallagher (White Rabbit), Cary Grant (Mock Turtle), Edward Everett Horton (Mad Hatter), Baby LeRoy (Joker), Edna May Oliver (Red Queen ) Jack Oakie (Tweedledum), Jackie Searl (Dormouse), Billy Bevan (Two of Spades), Charlie Ruggles (March Hare), Raymond Hatton (Mouse), Alec B. Francis (King of Hearts), Alison Skipworth (Duchess), Ned Sparks (Caterpillar); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Louis D. Lighton; Paramount; 1933)|
|"What the curio lacks is the
spirit of the classic novel."
by Dennis Schwartz
star-laden mannered version of Lewis Carroll's unfilmable
novel is set in England's 19th century. Norman
McLeod ("Let's Dance"/"Never Wave at a
WAC"/"The Paleface") directs. The screenplay is
mishandled by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
and William Cameron Menzies. It forces a vast array of
Carroll characters on us. Paramount parades out its
top stars in costume, who are recognized mainly
through their voices. Even if it catches our interest,
it still disappoints with too much nonsense. The
characters appear off the drawings by Tenniel. That's
a bad idea, leading to the film's stagnation. What the
curio lacks is the spirit of the classic novel.
a chilly winter day Alice (Charlotte
Henry) reads a book, with her
cat by her side. When Alice looks into the mirror
above the fireplace, she finds herself in the mirror
and entering a fantasy land. Eventually finding her
way into a garden where she encounters the Dodo Bird (Polly
Moran), who recites history to her.
gist of the children's book story has Alice wandering
around in the Wonderland, taking in all the colorful
characters and absurd nursery rhymes. One of the
characters is the W.C. Fields version
of Humpty Dumpty. Which is good for a laugh.
REVIEWED ON 1/27/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ