The singing, rhyming citizens of Hamelin hope to win a competition with rival towns for royal recognition. To this end, the mayor outlaws play (which is a bit hard on the children) and ... See full summary »
The singing, rhyming citizens of Hamelin hope to win a competition with rival towns for royal recognition. To this end, the mayor outlaws play (which is a bit hard on the children) and refuses to help a rival town when it's flooded. But rats (seen only as shadows), fleeing the flood, invade Hamelin in droves; a magical piper, whose music only children (and rats) can hear, strikes a bargain...which, once the rats are gone, the Mayor and council renege on, to their subsequent regret. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You can't judge a 1957 TV special by 21st century standards. I saw and loved this when it was first shown, and still love it today, as does my son. Yes, there are slow points, but you've got to remember that this is family fare, so there was a love story to interest the parents along with the magical story to entertain the kiddies. Yes, some of the lyrics could be better, but do we really know what time constraints may have been dogging the creators? I have no problem with Kay Starr's song lamenting the disappearance of her son; it's set to 'Asa's Death' from 'Peer Gynt', so the melody is most appropriate. Maybe the colors are garish; as has been pointed out, that was to make the grey-scale diverse enough to have distinct shades.
Like so many dramatic actors, Claude Rains surprised audiences who never realized he had such a good singing voice. In addition, Doodles Weaver (of Spike Jones fame) and Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones in 'The Trouble with Tribbles') play off each other beautifully. Van Johnson does a lovely job in his dual roles as Truson and the Piper. My favorite moments are the opening, with the Piper slithering down the tree like a snake, and the song 'Prestige' - 'Prestige is the dinner they give you for fun, which they wouldn't have done when you really needed one.' Very clever lyric, that.
Yes, the screenwriters added a happy ending. This was, after all, a family show. Besides, it nicely pointed up the moral and showed that people can repent of poor behavior and become better people.
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