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Alice in Wonderland (1933) Poster

Trivia

Sterling Holloway, who played The Frog in this movie, later went on to be the voice of The Cheshire Cat in the well known Disney adaptation of Alice in Wonderland (1951).
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Mary Pickford and Walt Disney planned a combination live action and animated feature, but Paramount beat them in securing the rights to the story on 9 May 1933.
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Virtually the entire star stable was thrown into this movie because Paramount was trying to keep from going bankrupt and thought that such a star-laden movie could save the studio from failing. It didn't work since most of the stars couldn't be recognized because of their costumes. Instead, two Mae West movies, She Done Him Wrong (1933) and I'm No Angel (1933) saved the studio from bankruptcy instead.
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The running time, 76 minutes, is the length of the time Alice is through the looking glass: clock on the mantelpiece starts at 3:40 and she returns at 5:00.
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During the Mad Tea Party, the Hatter asks Alice what day of the month it is and Alice answers that it's the 4th. The Hatter checks his watch and bewails the fact that "it's two days off." When Alice examines the watch, the hands on the dial indicate the date as being a Tuesday in June. In 1933 when this film was made, June 4th fell on a Sunday - two days off from what the Hatter's watch indicates.
The failure of the film at the box office was attributed to the fact that although a top-rank cast was used, many of them were virtually unrecognizable under their heavy makeup and costuming.
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Bing Crosby was originally sought for the role of the Mock Turtle but refused it because he felt the role was demeaning to his career.
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Never legally released on any home video format until the 2010 DVD edition, which was prompted by the popularity of Alice in Wonderland (2010) in cinemas. The more famous Alice in Wonderland (1951), already available in several home editions, had an "un-anniversary" DVD repackaging at the same time.
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The Mock Turtle, who says he is what mock turtle soup is made from, is a cow in a turtle's shell. This was because mock turtle soup (for those who couldn't afford to have real turtle soup) was generally made from veal.
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Ida Lupino, Betty Grable, Anne Shirley, Marge Champion and Paulette Goddard were among those tested for the role of Alice.
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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.
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When Paramount previewed the film in 1933, the original running time was 90 min. However, by the time it was shown to the press, the running time was cut to 77 minutes (many reviews, including the savage one it received in Variety, made a point of how long it seemed at an hour-and-a-quarter). Although it is often reported that Universal Studios cut it to 77 minutes when they bought the television rights in the late 1950s, the film went on general release in 1933 at the shorter length. The film is now legally available on DVD.
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Charles Laughton was initially announced as part of the cast, but due to scheduling conflicts he dropped out of the film.
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Over 7,000 applicants were screened for the role of Alice on a five-month period before Charlotte Henry was chosen.
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Many theatrical productions were produced nationwide starting in 1931, anticipating the celebration of Lewis Carroll's 100th birthday in 1932, which helped the box office enormously.
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The screenplay was heavily influenced by Eva Le Gallienne's and Florida Friebus' Broadway version of the novel, which had premiered on-stage in 1932, starring Ms. Eva Le Gallienne as the White Queen and featuring Josephine Hutchinson in the leading role of Alice.
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The film was one of several theatrical films based on literary classics which were released to US schools in the 1950s and '60s, for showing to children. The others included Heidi (1937) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939). They were all released to the schools in heavily cut versions that had a running time of no more than forty-five minutes.
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Three cast members in studio records/casting call lists for this movie were not seen in the final print. These were (with their character names): Julie Bishop (Alice's Sister), Harvey Clark (Father William) and Lucien Littlefield (Father William's Son).
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Young actress Sue Kellogg auditioned for the role of Alice. She lost to Charlotte Henry, but was kept on as Henry's stand-in.
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Bing Crosby was one major Paramount star who refused to appear in this film. The Old Groaner was right since it was considered a flop.
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One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.
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