Hans Christian Andersen (1952)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Family, Musical  |  14 August 1953 (France)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,503 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 15 critic

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), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Doro (as Jeanmaire The Famous French Ballerina)
Joseph Walsh ...
Peter (as Joey Walsh)
Philip Tonge ...
Erik Bruhn ...
The Hussar - Danced by
Roland Petit ...
The Prince in 'The Little Mermaid' Ballet
John Brown ...
Jeanne Lafayette ...
Robert Malcolm ...
Stage Doorman
George Chandler ...
Fred Kelsey ...
First Gendarme
Gil Perkins ...
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 »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

14 August 1953 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hans Christian Andersen et la danseuse  »

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Goldwyn's wife, Francis Howard, would often travel to New York city scouting Broadway productions, looking for talent in both the production's acting areas and the creative teams involved in a Broadway production'a staging. Francis' trip (1941) to see the Kurt Weill-Ira Gershwin-Moss Hart new musical "Lady in The Dark" - she discovered Danny Kaye. Returning to Hollywood, Francis' ability to mint new stars from seemingly nowhere, Francis insisting her Husband, Samuel Goldwyn, put Danny Kaye under contract. After Danny Kaye arrived in Hollywood, several screen tests were made, studied, to determine the best possible path for Danny Kaye's future in Goldwyn's film business. The major problem with Kaye's physical look, besides his nose, was his natural dark-brown hair. Francis, upon seeing Kaye's screen tests, dictated to her husband - "they have to change his hair color!" Francis was the one who said, "turn Danny into a red headed strawberry blond!" Goldwyn's studio press agent always insisted Danny Kaye's strawberry-blond hair was his natural hair color for publicity reckoning. 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 »


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

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User Reviews

I love it....
16 September 2003 | by (South FL) – See all my reviews

This was the movie that caused me to fall in love with Danny Kaye. I still love watching this movie more than 20 years after I saw it for the first time on television. I love his gentle nature with the children, in particular the little girl he sings "Thumbalina" to. Fabricated or not, this is one of his best films showing the true diversity of an incredibly talented man. Danny Kaye was surely one of the last of a dying Hollywood breed.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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