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Hans Christian Andersen (1952)

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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."

Director:

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Niels
...
Doro (as Jeanmaire The Famous French Ballerina)
Joseph Walsh ...
Peter (as Joey Walsh)
Philip Tonge ...
Otto
Erik Bruhn ...
The Hussar - Danced by
Roland Petit ...
The Prince in 'The Little Mermaid' Ballet
John Brown ...
Schoolmaster
...
Burgomaster
Jeanne Lafayette ...
Celine
Robert Malcolm ...
Stage Doorman
George Chandler ...
Farmer
...
First Gendarme
Gil Perkins ...
Second Gendarme
Peter J. Votrian ...
Lars (as Peter Votrian)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The glorious story of the greatest storyteller of them all!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 August 1953 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hans Christian Andersen et la danseuse  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Hans Christien Andersen and Peter cross the Great Belt, Peter spots Copenhagen on the other side of the belt, but Copenhagen is located on the other side of Zealand and cannot be seen from a boat on the Great Belt. See more »

Quotes

Hans: You know, I never saw such a worrier as you, Peter. You want to worry? I'll give you something to worry about. Two years ago I took you out of that orphanage and promised them I'd make you into a good cobbler. Two whole years! Look at that shoe. Glue's all smeared, the nails go in crooked. Two years an apprentice and still the nails go in crooked.
Peter: I'm not as bad as all that, am I? You're not going to send me back, are you?
Hans: Ah! A new worry appears in the sky.
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 »


Soundtracks

The King's New Clothes
(1952) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Danny Kaye and children
Reprised by Kaye, children, and Chorus in the Finale
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User Reviews

 
The Frank Loesser score is an original gem.
9 July 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Watching this again (for only the second time) last night, I was just knocked out by the score. Presumably because of a Broadway-is-better-than-Hollywood bias, the piece tends to be dismissed in the Loesser oeuvre but every single number is a gem -- and the fullest score for a "family fantasy" since THE WIZARD OF OZ. I was particularly taken by INCH WORM, a really short song sung in counterpoint to the children's chanting of their mathematic tables after the schoolmaster has dragged them away from Hans' tales. Not long enough to have a commercial future (outside of a soundtrack album) it tells us more about Hans than most of the scene that precedes it.

As others have noted, Danny Kaye is totally bearable and the kitsch side of the film is now enjoyable for that. (The colours also recall WIZARD.)

This film deserves more recognition in the world of original film musicals. It's a rare classic score at the time of composer compilations or Broadway imports.


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