26 user 17 critic

Hans Christian Andersen (1952)

2:38 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."



(screenplay), (based on a story by)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Doro (as Jeanmaire The Famous French Ballerina)
Peter (as Joey Walsh)
Erik Bruhn ...
The Hussar - Danced by
Roland Petit ...
The Prince in 'The Little Mermaid' Ballet
John Brown ...
Jeanne Lafayette ...
Stage Doorman
First Gendarme
Second Gendarme
Peter J. Votrian ...
Lars (as Peter Votrian)


A completely fabricated biography of the famous Danish fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen featuring several of his stories and a ballet performance of "The Little Mermaid". Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The glorious story of the greatest storyteller of them all!


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

14 August 1953 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hans Christian Andersen et la danseuse  »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,080,000, 31 December 1952
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In order to cover the necessary camera tricks, and to add "magic" to the Little Mermaid ballet, it was decided that, rather than presenting it as an actual ballet, they would have Hans imagine how it would look. This allowed them to do things on the screen which would be impossible on the stage. See more »


During the crossing of the Great Belt the still existing light tower on the island Sprogø is seen in the background. Although there was a light tower on the island when the 14 year-old Hans Christian Andersen went to Copenhagen, this particular tower was not built until 1869, when Andersen was 64 years old and had been a famous writer for many years. See more »


[about Hans's stories]
Gerta's Father, Farmer: The other day I asked my Gerta what time it was and she said that the minute hand and the hour hand weren't speaking to each other. They were both in love with the second hand. And they wouldn't make up until they met at twelve o'clock. And no one could tell the time until then.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about this great spinner of fairy tales." See more »


Featured in The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (1997) See more »


I'm Hans Christian Andersen
(1952) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Danny Kaye
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Wonderful kid's film
2 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

A lot of the comments previously made here are true and this certainly isn't any kind of real biographical film of Hans Christian Anderson. But one must remember that Samuel Goldwyn was primarily making this film as children's entertainment. And on that level he succeeded brilliantly.

In fact at the age of 5 in the cinema in Brooklyn this was the first movie on the big screen I ever remember seeing. My father was a big Danny Kaye fan so the whole family went to see it. And of course one of the first long-playing records we had in our house was the soundtrack to that film.

Another reviewer said that Frank Loesser's score was the highlight for him in the film. I don't think Danny Kaye ever had better material to sing with on the screen. Up to this point he got by with stuff especially written for him by his wife Sylvia Fine. He proved here in Hans Christian Anderson that he could definitely succeed without it.

Anyway when I view this film I'm five years old again. You will be too if you see it.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 26 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Zach Braff tackles acting and directing on his new show "Alex, Inc.," and we take a look at the 15 most bingeable TV shows of all time.

Watch the show