EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|GLASS SLIPPER, THE (director: Charles Walters; screenwriter: ballet librettos and lyrics by Helen Deutsch/Helen Deutsch; cinematographer: Arthur Earling; editor: Ferris Webster; music: Bronislau Kaper; cast: Leslie Caron (Cinderella), Michael Wilding (Prince Charles), Estelle Winwood (Mrs Torquina), Keenan Wynn (Kovin, Manservant), Elsa Lanchester (Widow Sonder), Amanda Blake (Birdina), Lisa Daniels (Seraphine), Barry Jones (Duke), Lurene Tuttle (Cousin Loulou), Liliane Montevecchi (Tehara); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edwin H. Knopf; MGM; 1955)|
|"Aside from being charming it never excites as
much as it satisfies for being so competent and musically sound."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A retelling of the Cinderella
fairy-tale. Star Leslie Caron
makes good use of her talent as a dancer to excel in such numbers as the
"Kitchen Ballet" and the "Tehara Ballet." Director Charles Walters
("Don't Go Near the Water"/"The Tender Trap"/"High Society") keeps it humorless and seriously high-flown
by bringing on modern psychological implications. Its most winsome
virtue is that it's all so pleasant. Other positives include the
well-designed ballet numbers and rousing score by Bronislau Kaper.
Helen Deutsch wrote the
screenplay, the ballet
and the lyrics.
There's an off-screen
narration by Walter Pidgeon.
It's set in a small
European village, where the locals prepare a celebration to welcome
home Prince Charles (Michael Wilding). He's
returning from years away at school. Helping in getting ready for the
festivities is ugly duckling, elfinish, Ella (Leslie Caron), a scullery
maid, who is mockingly called "Cinder-Ella" because of her dirty
face and clothes. Ella runs away to the woods when her droll stepmother
(Elsa Lanchester) and beautiful
but cruel step-sisters, Birdena and Serafina (Amanda Blake &
Lisa Daniels), refuse to
let her attend the parade for Prince Charles.
The prince is walking in the woods and contemplating how he could escape his life of court duty, when he meets the outcast Ella. He tells her he's the son of the palace cook, and immediately has a rapport with her and invites her to the ball. The eccentric Mrs Torquina (Estelle Winwood), the Fairy Godmother, lays a dress on Ella and shoes made of Venetian glass. With that rich attire, Ella looks gorgeous and makes a grand entrance to the ball. Ella learns the prince's real identity, but at midnight has to leave the ball because Mrs Torquina's magic will wear off. The next morning Ella awakens to find the prince standing over her and slipping on her foot the glass slipper she lost last night in her haste to flee by midnight. When Prince Charming sees it fits, they joyfully embrace and she's set to become the new princess.
The tasteful lightweight production is graciously executed, but aside from being charming it never excites as much as it satisfies for being so competent and musically sound.
REVIEWED ON 7/29/2010 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ