On a boring winter afternoon, Alice dreams, that she's visiting the land behind the mirror. This turns out to be a surrealistic nightmare, with all sorts of strange things happening to her, like changing her size or playing croquet with flamingos. Written by
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Although much of the technical crew of the film is left completely uncredited (standard practice at the time), the opening credits sequence is one of the longest up to that time, lasting almost a full three-and-a-half minutes. Its length is due to the fact that practically every character was played by a major star or character actor of the time, and all are listed, one by one. See more »
William Shakespeare's birth and death dates are given as 1585-1616. That would make him 31 when he died. Actually, although he did die in 1616 at the age of 52, he was born in 1564. See more »
I've often seen a cat without a grin - but a grin without a cat!
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The opening cast credits are in order of appearance, with stills of credited actors shown twice: first in full costume and mask with the character name identified, and followed by a studio photo of each with their actor name identified. The end credits are in alphabetical order and presented normally with a character name and actor name on each line. See more »
Whilst it's undoubtedly true to say that few (if any) members of the cast were ever again to play such weirdly offbeat roles, the performances generally rate as both captivating and fascinating. Adults will be enthralled. The film may, however, be regarded as too grotesque for children.
Mary Boland, Bing Crosby and Charles Laughton were originally scheduled for the cast, while Jack Oakie was slated to play both Tweeledum and Tweedledee. Charlotte Henry was chosen to play Alice from over seven thousand applicants.
Although the official writing credit is divided between Menzies and Mankiewicz, what Menzies actually did was to illustrate the script which Mankiewicz combined from the two Carroll novels. When I interviewed Mankiewicz, he was justifiably proud of the fact that he used Carroll's original dialogue and followed the original characters and incidents without the slightest deviation, except for the omission of the Lion and the Unicorn, the Live Flowers and the episode on the train in Chapter Three of "Looking Glass". (We were speaking, of course, about the original 90 minutes version, not the ruthlessly truncated parody that formerly plagued television airings).
A striking film in every respect, this version also anticipates Disney with its excellent cartoon sequence, "The Walrus and the Carpenter".
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