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."
A fictionalized account of the young life of Hans Christian Andersen, a young man with a penchant for storytelling but struggles to find his place in the world and gain the affection of the... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Danny Kaye's re-creation of eight songs from the Frank Loesser score, released on a Decca album with accompaniment by Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra and Chorus, zoomed to the number-one spot on the "Billboard" album chart in January 1953. The LP reigned in first place for an impressive 17 weeks. Rerecording the delightful patter duet, "No Two People," Mr. Kaye was joined on record by Jane Wyman, who substituted for Danny's film partner, Zizi Jeanmaire. 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.
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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 »
You could describe this as a childrens film but it's rather more of a family/young at heart type of story. These days it just doesn't really appeal to the age range that flocked to see it when it was released back in 1952, but if you have a good understanding of fables and fairy stories you will appreciate this little gem. First off it clearly states at the beginning of the film it's not a biography of Anderson but rather just a made up story, much in the style Anderson would have wrote himself. Hans was very much one of those village idiots/dreamers in his native Denmark and here he is portrayed as the childish adult who lets kids skive off school and teach them stories and songs which actually have a lot more impact on children than just sitting in a classroom reading books. And he's right, all of the stories he wrote had morals. However the stern mature townsfolk don't see things his way and go about throwing the guy out of their precious village to stop him corrupting the young minds with these 'childish' meanderings. Hans and his good friend young Peter take a trip to Copanhagen (or Copen-ha-gen as they seem to like calling) and there we see the masters inspiration and imagination go wild. He falls for a beautiful French ballerina, who he suspects her husband is beating her, a very adult topic to delve into, he gets into trouble with the law and ends up doing freelance work for the Ballerina - fixing her shoes. he reads all the signals wrong and falls for her unaware that for him fact and fantasy are overlapping. Peter seems to be the more mature of the two and eventually gets tired of warning Hans about building his hopes and getting obsessed about things he can never have. Skip to the end... Han's realises that there is more to life than day-dreams and clocks and flowers and returns to his village, slightly deflated but more wordly wiser and lives happily ever after.
There's a very good moral to the story but it's one you can't really explain, you have to watch it and see for yourself. Your dreams are china in your hands. Danny Kaye is fabulous as Hans he always brings with him that symapathetic, boish quality and the ballet sequences are stunning for their time. The characters are basic but are very important to the way the film evolves. Inaccurate and very outdated but beautifully told and well acted.
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